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How to Choose the Best Soap for Your Face

For many years, the best face wash was a simple bar of soap. We watched our moms and dads lather their favorite facial bar soaps between their hard-working hands every morning and night. There was no talk of the skin barrier or double cleansing—just a simple face wash seemed to work just fine. 

Then, a few commercially-produced facial cleansing bars showed up and complicated things. These bars were more than soap, and not necessarily in a good way. They contained synthetic detergents, synthetic fragrance, and were stripped of any ingredients that were nourishing to the skin. Dermatologists noticed these bars drying out people's skin, and proclaimed all bar soap to be evil, warning their patients to stay away from all bar soaps, but especially from facial cleansing bars.

We make a different kind of soap, using nourishing natural oils and allowing the bars to retain the ingredients, like glycerin, that leave your skin feeling soft and clean, not tight and dry. Scroll down to learn why our bars are the best soaps for your face, and why our Black Clay Facial Soap has over 1000 five-star reviews—it's the perfect natural face wash for oily skin, combination skin, even dry or difficult skin.

Already a black clay believer?  


First of all, a word about how we make our soap. If you’re interested in the nitty gritty, we have an entire post about our cold process method of soap making—you’ll be a pro after reading it. But, if you want the short version, here it is: we combine organic plant oils and sodium hydroxide and stir them up with a mixer. The mixing causes the process of saponification to begin, where molecules rearrange themselves in a soapy dance, and, over the course of 72 hours, we are left with only soap molecules and glycerin.

Soap molecules have a water-loving end and a grease-loving end, a structure that explains how soap cleans your skin. The grease-loving end grabs onto oil and dirt on your skin as you lather up, and the water-loving end pulls the soap, with said oil and dirt attached, away from your skin when you rinse away the bubbles. The glycerin in the bar acts as a humectant, and draws moisture to your skin throughout the day.


Now that you know how soap works, here's why we think our facial soaps are the best face cleansers for your skin!


Most commercial soaps have ingredient lists that make your brain hurt just trying to pronounce them. They often contain synthetic fragrance, which is an irritant for many skin types, and don't contain the glycerin that keeps natural bar soap from being drying. Our facial bars have natural botanical oils, clays, and essential oils (at appropriate concentrations) to leave your skin soft and supple.


When you use facial bar soap correctly, using warm water, and a 30-second, gentle lather with your fingertips, the dirt and germs go down the drain. When you rinse, your skin feels soft and clean, not dry and tight. It’s a facial cleanser strong enough to remove makeup but nourishing enough for daily use.


If you’re trying to stay away from certain chemicals (think synthetic fragrance, ethoxylates, PEGs, parabens), a natural facial bar soap is the way to go. Many liquid cleansers have surfactants and preservatives that can shed harmful ingredients into our water supplies and septic systems. 


The reviews on our website tell the story of how our Black Clay Facial Soap soap has helped people with sensitive-skin, perioral dermatitis, eczema, and acne issues, thanks to the active ingredients below:

  • Dead Sea Mud

Mud found in the Dead Sea (a giant salt lake surrounded by Israel, Jordan and the West Bank) has been a beauty secret for millennia. Studies have shown that the high mineral and salt content can hydrate skin, reduce inflammation, and are full of anti-microbial properties, beneficial for acne, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.

  • Organic Mango Butter

Cold-pressed from the mango seed, this uber-moisturizing, thick butter is packed with essential fatty acids. Soothing and rich in texture, mango butter is gentle enough for sensitive skin and helps protect skin from environmental stressors. It’s a natural source of vitamins A and C, giving a glowing and plump appearance to the skin.  

  • Organic Avocado Oil

Pressed from the avocado seed, this thick green-hued oil is full of fatty acids, minerals, and antioxidants, conditioning the skin and leaving it soft and nourished. “The beta-carotene, protein, lecithin, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E found in avocado oil help moisturize and protect your skin from damaging UV rays and increase collagen metabolism,” says Healthline. One more cool fact? It contains chlorophyll, making it like a superfood for your face!

  • Organic Coconut Milk

Applied directly to the skin, coconut milk smoothes the surface and provides Vitamin C, improving the skin’s appearance and elasticity. Within the Black Clay Facial Soap, the coconut milk also helps produce a beautiful white lather, free of sulfates and chemicals.

  • Iron Oxide

This mineral-rich clay gently exfoliates the skin, clearing congested pores of dirt and debris while replenishing and tightening the epidermis. Minerals help to plump the skin at a cellular level, allowing skin cells to retain moisture more effectively.


We offer three natural face soaps, each with its own set of benefits.

  • Black Clay Facial Soap is our most popular bar, as it seems to solve problems for many different skin types. It's especially helpful for dermatitis, acne, and combination skin, and many folks with sensitive skin love this bar, too.
  • Rose Clay Facial Soap is made with French pink clay and essential oils of palmarosa and rose geranium, which can be helpful for balancing and toning the skin. We love this bar for rosy skin types, like sensitive skin or rosacea.
  • Pumpkin Facial Soap is made with pumpkin and tomato, so it's rich in alpha hydroxy acids, which can boost cell turnover and brighten the skin. It also contains honey and camellia seed oil (from the green tea plant), making it an awesome facial cleanser for dry, dull, or dehydrated skin.


  • Will face soap dry my skin?

Some face soaps are drying to the skin, especially if they are commercially manufactured. Handcrafted, cold process soaps, like Osmia soaps, are more nourishing and not drying for most skin types. As with any face cleansing routine, you'll want to follow with a moisturizer or an oil serum to seal in the moisture from washing!

  • Does face soap disrupt the skin barrier?

The pH of bar soap lather is on the higher side, usually around 8. The pH of your skin is closer to 5, so it's more acidic. In this sense, bar soap does disrupt the acid mantle of your skin temporarily. However, the acid mantle is a few cells in thickness, so wiping your face with a washcloth or even rinsing it with tap water (pH between 5.5 and 8) will also disrupt the acid mantle. While you wouldn't want to leave a product with a pH of 8 on your skin for hours, using it to wash for a minute and then rinsing with tap water and following with your moisturizer (pH closer to 5-5.5) is completely fine!

  • Does face soap carry germs?

Everything can carry germs, but it's been shown that any germs on a bar of soap can be easily rinsed away and do not transmit disease. But do make sure you store it on a soap saver so it's not sitting in a puddle of stagnant water. 

  • How long does face soap last?

If kept on a soap saver or a soap dish that allows drainage, our face soaps often last 4-6 months!

  • What's the best face soap for acne?

Our Black Clay Facial Soap is our most popular soap for acne-prone skin. The high mineral content of black clay and Dead Sea mud is helpful for soothing inflammation.

  • What's the best face soap for dry skin?

Our Pumpkin Facial Soap has the most nourishing formula of our facial bars, with the addition of honey and camellia seed oil. It also has alpha hydroxy acids to help increase cell turnover and keep skin smooth and soft.

  • What's the best face soap for rosacea?

The Rose Clay Facial Soap is our best face soap for rosacea. With pink clay and rose geranium oil, this bar can help reduce redness and soothe inflammation.

  • How do I use face soap?

To use your facial soap, wet your face and the bar, and work up a nice thick lather by rubbing the wet bar vigorously between your hands. Wash your face for 30-60 seconds, avoiding the eyes by keeping them firmly closed, then rinse completely with lukewarm water. 

  • Does face soap remove makeup?

Yes! Osmia facial soap is a cleanser and makeup remover in one product! If you wear waterproof eye makeup, you can massage a drop of olive oil or Nectar in to your lashes before washing with your facial soap.

  • What's the best way to travel with soap?

Repeat after us: THE OSMIA SOAP TRAVEL BAG!!! Never mess with a ziploc bag or a hard plastic case—and the soggy soap situation—again. This organic, reusable bag works perfectly, even if your soap is still wet from the shower. Just give it a rinse and air dry when you get where you're going!

You don’t have to take our word for it when it comes to our natural face soaps, just read the thousands of reviews on our site and make your own decision. Men and women of all ages (from teens to seventies, seriously) love our natural face soaps, and we hope you will, too. Bar soap is not only cool again, but it's better for our skin and for our fragile planet!

With and love and a sincere belief in power of our natural face soap formulas,