The body exfoliator minimizes bumps and painful in-grown hairs.
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There are two types of people: bar soap enthusiasts and bar soap haters — I fall into the later category. While I'd never shame anyone for using a bar soap over a body wash, I'm not a fan of how slimy and gunky they get when not in use and how the last bit of the bar gets so small, it's hard to use. Not to mention, many soaps leave my skin stripped and dry post-shower.

However, there are usually exceptions to the rules (especially when they're arbitrarily made up). As for bar soap, it's Soft Services Buffing Bar. The cobalt blue brick shape and its recyclable paper packaging initially grabbed my attention, but it's the ingredients that convinced me to give this bar soap a chance.

It doubles as a body exfoliator made with microfine magnesium oxide crystals for physical exfoliation, and its cushioned within a blend of moisturizing ingredients including glycerin and shea butter.

Soft Services says those with keratosis pilaris (KP), ingrown hairs, or rough, uneven texture will benefit from using the bar once a week. The Buffing Bar rings in for $28 for two bars, which is a pretty good deal considering bar soaps last forever. Or at least, longer than a bottle of body wash.

Soft Services Buffing Bar
Credit: Courtesy

To shop: $28; softservices.co

The bar provides medium-to-intense physical exfoliation and is designed to be used weekly, but depending on your skin type and needs you can exfoliate more often. How well your skin tolerates the bar greatly depends on how much pressure you apply while buffing your skin with it. A light touch provides gentler exfoliation, while pressing it harder into the skin makes it more intense.

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Personally, I use the Buffing Bar twice a week on areas of my skin that gets bumps and in-grown hairs from shaving. Using medium pressure, the texture of the bar is similar to a pumice stone, but doesn't leave my skin red or raw. Since I started incorporating the exfoliator into my routine a month ago, areas like my armpits and bikini line are smoother and I get less painful in-grown hairs.

I don't consider myself a full-on bar soap convert now, but I'll keep the Buffing Bar in my shower. Not only does it deliver results, it's doesn't come in a plastic bottle with a pump that will eventually end up in a landfill.

From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate  is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space. Find out what's really in your products — and what's being left out.