Clean up your act with the Best Vegan Soap Bars in the UK

With plastic waste mounting up in our oceans and landfill sites, we can all play our part in not adding to it. This guide to the best vegan soap bars will help you to banish those endless plastic liquid soap dispensers from your bathroom.

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A square bar of soap on a sink, with 'I'm plant based, Original source' carved into the soap. Behind it is the cardboard outer packaging for the soap bar, printed with the same information, in dark green and purple writing on a white background

If you’re trying to reduce your consumption of single-use plastic in the bathroom, then don’t go getting yourself in a lather over it. Here at Vegan Mum, you won’t be ‘soaprised’ to know that we can help you clean up your act…

Ok, this is a serious review of the best vegan soap bars, I promise.

I’ve been trying hard to reduce single-use plastic consumption, so plastic shower gel bottles and liquid soap containers were quickly consigned to my ‘never-buy-again’ pile as I decided to go back to the good old bar of soap. But which one? I hadn’t realised just how many soap brands there are available, and was blissfully unaware of the animal ingredients that many of them contain. But, after quite a bit of research, I managed to switch over to cruelty-free, vegan soap bars.

So, I hope that you find this guide to the best vegan soap bars useful, and that it helps you reduce your consumption of single-use plastic too.

What is vegan soap?

Vegan soap bars contain only plant-based ingredients and you will find products using castile, glycerine or tar as a base ingredient. It is these oils that contribute to the vegan soap’s cleansing, lathering and moisturising properties.

Castile and glycerine (also known as glycerol, its chemical source) are often obtained from plant-based oils but BEWARE – this is not always the case! Whilst castile generally comes from olive, coconut or almond oil, glycerine can sometimes be derived from animals. If the label says ‘vegetable glycerine ’, then the chances are it’s ok. However, even when something is derived from plants, that doesn’t always mean it’s sustainable – palm oil can be a villain of the peace in the ‘vegetable oil’ arena.

The moral of the story here really is to read the label – I tend to look for something on the product that definitively states that it is suitable for vegans. Even better is if it is approved by an organisation like the Vegan Society and has a Leaping Bunny accreditation to show it is cruelty-free.

It can be tricky keeping clean as an ethical vegan, can’t it? But worth it. As always, do your research and satisfy yourself that you are happy with the ingredients and their source. You won’t get it right every time because there is so much confusing and conflicting information out there, but you can only do your best!

Here are the Best Vegan Soap Bars

The following list of products are all cruelty-free, vegan soap bars tested here at Vegan Mum, although I should add the brands themselves are not necessarily all vegan.

Wild Natural Soap Bars

3 Bars of Wild Natural soap in 3 different fragrances on a blue background

Pros

  • Good range of lovely fragrances
  • Attractive, eco-friendly packaging
  • Made in the UK & Europe

Cons

  • Some synthetic fragrance ingredients

Wild Deodorant are now also producing Wild vegan soap bars, and very lovely they are too. They lather well and smell wonderful. Whilst they say that they’ve used some synthetic ingredients in the soap to improve on fragrance, they are still completely vegan, and cruelty-free. The packaging is also planet-friendly and recyclable.

There are 3 scents available, and they are all smell lovely. I can’t really choose between them:

  • Fresh Cotton and Seasalt
  • Jasmine and Mandarin Blossom
  • Coconut and Vanilla

Use Wild Discount Code: AFFAW10 at checkout

Update: Wild now also do a Body Wash in bamboo compostable packaging which is pretty amazing, with a choice of colourful outer body wash cases!

Shop Wild’s Body Wash here using the discount code above.


Fussy Body Bars

a bar of white soap and a bar of black soap, both on a white background, and both soaps have the Fussy branding on them

Pros

  • Eco-friendly and natural
  • 2 scents
  • Gentle and soap free

Cons

  • Price

Fussy – those natural deodorant people – have now produced these lovely vegan soap bars. The white bar, containing coconut and oat is a luxurious soap free…erm, soap. The black charcoal bar is a fabulous exfoliating bar – perfect for sloughing off all that dead skin. Let’s face it, you don’t want that hanging around.

They come in 2 familiar Fussy scents, and although they are in the higher price bracket, they last really well.

The great thing too is that each bar relates to an equivalent 3 plastic bottles of body wash according to Fussy, so you’d be doing yourself, and the planet, a favour.

Use Fussy 15% Discount Code: VEGANMUM15 at checkout


Amazon Aware Hand and Body Soap Bars

white cardboard box with an orange patterned side panel containing Amazon's 'energising' hand and body soap bar - depicted in green writing on a white background on the box

Pros

  • Some organic ingredients
  • No sulfates, phthalates or plastic packaging
  • Good value

Cons

  • Available in packs of 3 only

Containing organic aloe vera and fairtrade olive oil, these Amazon Aware vegan soap bars are also cruelty-free.

They are also free of those commonly used, nastier chemicals, being formulated without phthalates and sulfates. These soap bars are also wrapped in recycled paper – so, not a bit of plastic in sight.

This brand is good value for money, with this particular pack containing 3 x 100gm bars, and the 3 different fragrances, using organic oils, are refreshing and just perfect for that morning shower routine!

  • energising orange
  • refreshing mint
  • purifying lemon

Buy from Amazon


Mad about Nature Soaps

Long rectangular brown cardboard box, with shredded brown paper filler, and 8 bars of beautifully decorated pale coloured bars of soap - decorations include leaves and berries

Pros

  • All natural ingredients
  • Palm oil free
  • Environmentally friendly packaging and ingredients
  • Handmade in the UK

Cons

  • I actually can’t find a con!

These lovely artisan vegan soap bars are handmade in the UK. Using natural ingredients and essential oils, they are a little piece of luxury and make truly wonderful presents for that real ‘wow’ moment.

Mad about Nature has a huge range of soaps which can be bought separately, or in beautiful gift collections like this one. so take a look at their Etsy shop now – link below. I honestly can’t think of a reason not to, unless you really have something against soap!

Buy from Etsy


Little Soap Company

buff coloured rectangular cardboard box, branded with the Little Soap Company logo and illustrations. There is a band of lilac on the left hand side of the box with the logo and describing the fragrance of the soap bar contained in the box, which is lavender and citrus. The box is on a distressed wooden surface, with lavender flowers scattered around it, and a dehydrated slice of orange next to it.

Pros

  • Vegan Society approved and B Corp accredited
  • All natural ingredients
  • Environmentally friendly packaging and ingredients
  • Made in the UK

Cons

  • Some fragrances could be stronger

Another soap approved by the Vegan Society and it’s a B Corp too so certainly a brand that’s living its values.

There’s a good range of scents available, although some could be a little stronger. However, that, and the lathering of the soap, is down to the natural ingredients, and that’s got to be a good thing, right? So, if sustainability is high on your list, definitely give these soaps a try. It’s a very nice product and NO plastic packaging at all.

Lots of natural scents and different ranges available too – Amazon has a good range of them.

Buy from Amazon


Eco Warrior

several rows of Eco warrior branded soap bars  - some in their boxes and some not - on a white and grey marble type surface. There are lots of different fragrances and colours incuding a black charcoal soap bar, and several cream and white coloured ones

Pros

  • Made by the Little Soap Company
  • Environmentally friendly packaging and ingredients
  • Made in the UK
  • Great variety of soaps

Cons

  • Pricier than some

Another offering from the Little Soap Company, with a branding that looks like it is targeting a younger audience. They do a wide range of soaps for bathing, shaving and face-washing, so covering all bases really. Again, lots of commendable, eco-friendly credentials so a great choice if sustainability is top of your list. 

I’m not a fan of the coconut scent, but I don’t generally like it in body care products of any description, so don’t let that put you off. I think the charcoal bar is great though.

This is a good product, although definitely one of the more expensive products on this list, but a nice gift.

Buy from Amazon


Body Shop Soap Bar

rectangular bar of Body Shop soap with their logo, wrapped in a predominantly orange paper, with green writing describing that the soap is a satsuma fragrance

Pros

  • Lovely Body Shop scents
  • Most are Vegan Society approved
  • Packaging is recyclable

Cons

  • Only 90% natural ingredients

Body Shop have a fabulous range of vegan soaps (you can filter for vegan products on their website). They come in a wide range of scents too, including:

and many more.

This soap lathers well, smells divine and is really good value for money too. The soap is packaged in a paper material that is increasingly recyclable too.

Use exclusive 20% Discount Code: AFFVEGANMUM


Faith in Nature

square brown cardboard box with patterned label running down the middle in blue and green. Writing on the label shows that the contents is a faith in nature branded bar of hemp fragrance soap. Box is on a white flannel background

Pros

  • Good range of scents
  • Very good value for money
  • Ethical product, cardboard packaging

Cons

  • Some scents could be stronger

This soap is lovely and with its price range, it is good value for money too. I find it doesn’t lather as well as some of the others – this may be something to do with the ingredients being ‘natural’, but that doesn’t prevent it from making you clean and smelling better! There is a great choice of different scents too.

Overall, you’re buying a good product from an ethical company, and I do love the fact that they have appointed ‘Nature’ as one of their Directors! See my Faith in Nature Products Review for more info about this brand.

These vegan soap bars are packaged in cardboard, so fully recyclable.

Buy direct


Man Soap’s 4-in-1 Charcoal Bar

cube shaped block of black charcoal soap with a barber's blade open behind it. A brown paper label on top of it states that it is men's natural soap

Pros

  • Charcoal good for impurities
  • Moisturising
  • Handmade

Cons

  • A little pricey

Charcoal helps to draw out impurities from the skin and this charcoal soap is no exception.

The cold press method used to make this soap means that it retains the naturally-occurring glycerine so it has great moisturising properties for your skin. There’s also something quite primal about using charcoal soap…

This vegan, cruelty-free, and environmentally friendly handmade soap by ‘Man Soap’ can be used for:

  • hands
  • face
  • body
  • shaving

Buy from Amazon


Dr Bronner’s

bar of Dr Bronner's soap sliced into 3 pieces, with the blade of the knife diagonally across the top of the picture and the pink soap wrapper ripped open to the top right

Pros

  • Lovely range of scents
  • Sustainably made
  • Organic ingredients

Cons

  • Price

Dr Bronner’s soap bars have unusual and gentle scents, good moisturising properties, and ‘latherability’.

They are at the more expensive end of this list, but in addition to a quality product, you are paying for their sustainability credentials, organic ingredients and recycled packaging.

This is a nice product that lasts well, which does does justify the price somewhat.

Buy from Amazon


Original Source

White square cardboard box with purple patterns on the front, and green printed writing describing the contents which is a plant based bar of Original Source soap

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Natural fragrances
  • Made in the UK

Cons

  • Awkward edges and shape

I really like the Original Source soap bars. The scent lasts all the way to the end and lathers well. The soap bar is very ‘square’ with hard edges when it first comes out of the packet but becomes more comfortable to use after a few washes.

Comes in a recyclable cardboard box, is good value for money and is a frequent purchase in the Vegan Mum household.

Buy from Amazon


Pears

white rectangular cardboard box with pale orange coloured side panel, showing the contents of the box - an oval, translucent bronze coloured bar of soap. The box also has the Pears logo and branding

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Not too drying

Cons

  • Long list of ingredients
  • Owned by Unilever

Now for a soap with a real heritage – about 200 years to be precise, although not with Unilever, its current parent company. It is an example of a soap bar that uses glycerine and it doesn’t feel as ‘drying’ as some other soaps I’ve tried.

Pears state that it is a vegan-suitable product, so we can assume it is a plant-based glycerine, and they also confirm that all their packaging is fully recyclable too, so perhaps not a bad option. However, the individual bars do seem to be wrapped in plastic film inside the box.

There is quite a list of ingredients though, and not all of them recognisable, but it is by far the cheapest vegan soap bar on this list so good value for money in that respect.

If you want to try their other scents, use the link to Amazon below.

Buy from Amazon


FAQs about vegan soap bars

What makes a Soap Bar Vegan?

There are several ingredients in soap that can be derived from either animals or plants, and some – confusingly – cross over. Glycerine is an example of this, so you have to rely on the manufacturer stating its source. Other examples that mean a soap bar isn’t vegan are things like tallow (animal fats), and honey.

Is there Animal Fat in Soap?

In a lot of soap bars, yes there is. Unless your soap brand states that it’s vegan, I’d suggest you steer well clear. Many contain sodium tallowate, an animal-derived fat that is a popular ingredient with soap-makers because it tends to:

  • be hypoallergenic (depending on what else the soap contains, obviously)
  • make the soap lather well
  • last for longer because the animal fat doesn’t break down easily

You can read more about the use of animal fats in soap manufacturing on Healthline.com if you’re interested. However, if you’d prefer to hang out with me, my guide to vegan soap bars tells you which are:

  • cruelty-free
  • eco-friendly
  • contain no animal ingredients

Is Dove soap vegan?

Dove soap does not claim to be vegan, and contains ingredients that may be derived from animals. For example, the ingredients include glycerine, but the source (vegetable or animal) is not stated.

Not finding anything on their website that refers to vegan products, I submitted a contact form to them to ask. To date, I have not had a response and so am not able to confirm.

Whilst there is now a lot of ‘noise’ on the internet about their cruelty-free status, that does not mean that their products are vegan, so I avoid them.

What 1 other thing can I do to reduce plastic in the bathroom?

Another successful change I’ve made on the single-use plastic front is switching to a sustainable deodorant – read my review of Fussy Deodorant to find out more. 


I hope you have found this guide to the best vegan soap bars helpful.

If you would like to see more of my product reviews and guides, the following may be of interest. You can also visit my Lifestyle page.

Best vegan winter skincare guide

Champo Pitta shampoo review

Simply the best vegan shampoo and conditioners

Best vegan deodorant brands

Best vegan collagen supplements

Body Shop shampoo review

Best Vegan Socks

Penny Barkas


Comments

2 responses to “Clean up your act with the Best Vegan Soap Bars in the UK”

  1. Danielle Monks avatar
    Danielle Monks

    Disappointed you didn’t include Kushboo Soaps in your vegan soap review. I hope you add them to your next review!

    1. Thanks for bringing these soaps to my attention, they look lovely and have good reviews.

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