If a plain white bar in a ho-hum wrapper offers little bath time excitement, it's time to try something novel and nifty. While many companies offer traditional formulas for common cleansing needs, others offer brand-new ways to clean -- all bubbling with possibility.
LAFCO New York's Verbena Kimono soap is packaged in beautiful paper reminiscent of a Japanese kimono and tied with a matching green cord. Lothantique's Eglantine Soap with rose petals is so pretty you might hesitate to use it.
Essentiel Elements Citrus Dream is a citrus-scented soap that contains sweet almond oil to smooth skin while calming nerves with relaxing fragrance. Floris' London Lavender Luxurious Bath Soap is as fragrant as a field of lavender. Jergens' Natural Soap with vitamin E and Chamomile pampers even the most sensitive skin with creamy lather and a soothing scent.
For a no-nonsense clean, try the Basis Vitamin Bar, a plant-based formula that cleans and pampers your skin, leaving it soft and smooth. Blue Q Mr. Pit Stop soap is a crisp blend of bergamot, Spanish amber and lemon. Caldrea Citrus-Mint Ylang-Ylang Soap is a pure vegetable bar that cleanses with citrus and mint. Lush's Figs-and-Leaves body soap makes your skin feel fresh and new. Neutrogena Extragentle Cleansing Bar is a mild nonsoap formula that cleans without irritating. Health Bar from philosophy is an oatmeal soap bar that leaves you soft yet squeaky-clean.
An exfoliating soap like Caswell-Massey's Oatmeal Garden bar gently sloughs off dead skin cells from your body.
Looking for a great bar for the face only? Try Neutrogena's Transparent Facial Bar. It's especially helpful for those with acne-prone skin. Use it for a week and it will start to regulate your complexion without overdrying your skin.
For a wake-up call every morning, use Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile Peppermint Soap with a healthy dose of peppermint oil to make your body hum all over. Essentiel Elements' Fleur D'Amour soap uplifts the senses and leaves your skin floral fresh and clean. 5S Empowering Soap Bubble Bar revitalizes you with peppermint extract and rosemary. For a tingly fresh feeling, peppermint can also be found in Good Home Company's Peppi-Mint body soap.
When your skin needs a little TLC, choose a moisturizing bar that calms and soothes the skin. Ingredients like shea butter, oatmeal, vitamin E, olive oil, sweet almond oil, milk and aloe vera are excellent skin softeners. Choose among these moisturizing bars: Dove Nutrium, Aveeno Moisturizing Bar, Banana Republic Classic Triple-Milled Vegetable Soap, Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap, L'Occitane's Honeysuckle Soap and Milk Soap, Molton Brown Body Bar and Palmer's Cream Soap with vitamin E.
For pure refreshment, try Banana Republic's Peony Bar, which invites spring into your shower. Bloom's rose geranium soap is a vegetable bar that contains primrose seeds and lanolin to pamper your skin. LAFCO New York's Pansy Kimono soap has a pleasant pansy fragrance that's not overwhelming.
For nothing but fun use Blue Q Bubble Monkey, a 100 percent pure vegetable-based soap that smells of coconut and mango, and has witty packaging to make you smile. Lush's Psychedelic Bubble Bar fizzes like a bottle of soda pop that's been shaken when it hits the water.