Dr. Squatch Bar Soap Review: Is It Worth It?
Buying personal care products for men can be tricky. How can you know if the soap you are considering is worth the cost, or whether it will lead to dried out, irritated skin?
Dr. Squatch Soap is designed for men, and it claims to keep your skin healthier and smelling better than other brands. You can purchase the soap on a subscription basis as an all-natural alternative to traditional self-care products.
Here, we’ve analyzed the claims of Dr. Squatch soap to help you decide if this is a brand worth considering.
Dr. Squatch Soap is a US-based, male-focused brand of all-natural personal hygiene products designed to keep you clean without exposing your skin to toxic ingredients. The company sells skin, hair, beard products, as well as home goods, but this article will focus on its bar soaps.
Company founder Jack Haldrup’s central philosophy for the brand is that it refuses to cut corners in the quality of their ingredients. Each bar of soap is made using techniques designed to maximize the benefits of each component without exposing your skin to the harsh preservative agents found in conventional products.
Dr. Squatch’s target audience is the low-maintenance man who wants to clean up without harming his skin with questionable ingredients in his personal care products.
The Dr. Squatch brand is based around the idea that its soaps are both nicer to use and better for your skin than most conventionally available options. Let’s look at how soap is made to understand these claims.
All soap is made through a process called saponification, which is the term used for the chemical reaction that takes place when oils are mixed with lye under heat. Though lye has a reputation for being harsh and potentially dangerous, this highly alkaline compound is used up during saponification, so no traces remain in the final product.
In fact, lye is used to make all types of soap, both commercial and hand-made.
During saponification, the oil’s natural fats transform into a combination of soap and glycerin. Glycerin is a natural humectant, which means that it attracts moisture to your skin and helps to keep it healthy.
However, many large-scale soap manufacturers pull the glycerin out of their soap so that they can use it in other, more expensive products. Synthetic ingredients are then added as a replacement, which can include detergents and foaming agents that replicate the benefits of glycerin.
The problem is that these cheaper ingredients often don’t have the same hydrating benefits, and they might leave your skin stripped of moisture over time.
Dr. Squatch leaves the glycerin in its soap so that the product doesn’t pull moisture from your skin. But is this worth paying more for this ingredient?
There are many skin benefits associated with glycerin soap, especially for those with sensitive skin. Using skincare products with glycerin can combat the effects of acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, rosacea and other conditions associated with excessive dryness. Likewise, its nongreasy formulation makes it suitable for anyone with oily skin.
Likewise, there is some evidence that glycerin offers anti-aging benefits by evening out your skin tone and texture, which can reduce the appearance of fine lines.
Many soapmakers keep costs down by pulling glycerin from the recipe and replacing it with less synthetic ingredients. Dr. Squatch claims to keep the glycerin intact to maximize the moisturizing benefits for your skin.
Dr. Squatch offered more than half a dozen varieties of bar soap with names like ‘pine tar,’ ‘crisp IPA,’ ‘gold moss,’ ‘bay rum’ and more. Each 5-oz bar costs $7 on the company website and should last for up to two weeks with regular use.
Every bar contains the same primary ingredients and some include oatmeal, sand, and other naturally exfoliating ingredients.
You can buy these soap bars individually online or in bundles based on scent. Expect to pay about $2 for shipping unless your order is over $40, at which point it is free.
You can also sign up for Dr. Squatch’s “subscribe and save” program. This lets you save 15% per order and qualify for store-wide free shipping. It’s up to you whether you want monthly or quarterly delivery, though plan to pay an additional $1 for handling if you choose monthly. Subscription costs are as follows.
- Two bars/month: $13
- Three bars/month: $19
- One bar/month (three per delivery): $18
- Two bars/month (six per delivery): $36
- Three bars/month (nine per delivery): $54
You can choose any combination of scents for your soap and will receive this same combination of scents automatically every delivery unless you change them through your account dashboard at least 24 hours before the next order processes.
It’s possible to pause or cancel your subscription at any time through your online account.
You should contact the company directly if you are unhappy about your order. So long as your purchase was within the past thirty days, it qualifies for the brand’s “100% Sudsifaction Guarantee”. You will need to contact the company directly to learn what this means in your specific situation, but expect it will refund all or part of your order.
Though each variety contains different fragrances and essential oils, most Dr. Squatch bar soaps are composed of the following ingredients:
Saponified Oils (Olive, Sustainable Palm Oil, Coconut)
These oils are common ingredients in natural soaps due to their high fat content and natural moisturizing abilities. Dr. Squatch blends these oils with lye at high heat to trigger saponification, the process of turning fats into soap.
As the fat extracted from the nuts of the shea tree, shea butter is a popular cosmetic ingredient with moisturizing abilities—thanks to its high fatty acid content. When applied topically, the oil is quickly absorbed in your skin.
There’s also evidence that the butter clears your skin of excess oil, which can prevent acne flare-ups.
Traditionally obtained by leaching ashes, lye is a strong alkali that is highly soluble in water. It’s essential for the soapmaking process because it triggers the chemical reaction that creates it.
Lye is caustic, which means that it can burn skin and even cause blindness if you contact it directly. However, the compound is used up during saponification, meaning that lye-based soap products are entirely safe.
Sea salt is often added to soap to act as a natural exfoliant. It also works to create a creamy lather, restore minerals to the skin, and reduce oil production that can lead to acne.
Some Dr. Squatch soap bars also include oatmeal and activated charcoal as exfoliants.
This fine white powder is a common ingredient in skincare products. It is considered to be a mild clay, and it works to exfoliate the skin while cleansing it and increasing circulation.
Despite its natural absorbent properties, this clay does draw oil out of your skin and can be used by all skin types.
Are There Dr. Squatch Bar Soap Side Effects?
To the best of our knowledge, none of the ingredients in Dr. Squatch soap have known negative side effects associated with their topical use.
While lye has a reputation for being extremely dangerous when you come in direct contact with it, you aren’t putting yourself at any risk by using a personal care product that used it for its chemical reaction.
Hundreds of Dr. Squatch reviewers have weighed in on these soap bars, both on the company website and other platforms. Here’s a summary of their perspectives:
Great Scents, Great Soap
Almost every soap scent on the Dr. Squatch website averages more than 4.5 stars. Users raved about the scents, smooth feeling, and moisturizing properties of each bar.
Many wrote that they used to deal with dry skin and irritation until they switched to the Squatch brand and that the soap successfully solved these skincare problems.
Good for Washing Hair
A few Squatch users reported that they used the bars to wash their hair with great success. They found the bars to be moisturizing and easy to wash out.
Soap Doesn’t Last Long Enough to Justify the Cost
By far, the most common complaint against Dr. Squatch soap is that the bars don’t last long.
Dozens of users wrote that their bars disappeared after a week of use, which is twice as fast as the company claimed. These customers reported that this made the bars cost-prohibitive for regular use.
Occasionally Slow Delivery
A few soap users complained that their order took more than two weeks longer than predicted to arrive and that they weren’t able to get answers about the slow delivery time even after leaving multiple calls with customer service.
Overpriced and Overhyped
In several instances, Dr. Squatch customers accused the company of relying on clever branding to sell soap that wasn’t better than the competition. Some of these users also didn’t like that the soap’s scent disappeared after they had showered.
Squatch soap reviewers are enthusiastic about the company’s bar soaps, stating that they had great scents and left their skin feeling better than normal.
The most significant drawbacks for most users seems to be the price and the relatively short lifespan for each bar.
There are numerous other brands of men’s soaps to consider. The following chart compares Dr. Squatch Bar Soap to two popular options: Dove Beauty Bar and Baxter of California’s Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar.
|Dr. Squatch||Dove Beauty Bar||Baxter of California’s Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar|
|Cost||$7 per 5-ounce bar ($1.40 per ounce)||$6.88 per 4oz 4-pack ($0.43 per ounce)||$19 per 7-ounce bar ($2.71 per ounce)|
|Number of Scents||11+||One||One|
|Key Ingredients||Saponified oils, shea butter, lye, sea salt, kaolin clay||Sodium lauroyl isethionate, stearic acid, sodium palmitate||Palm oil, pumice, coconut acid, sodium gluconate, jojoba seed powder, glycerin|
|How Long Will It Last?||Two weeks with regular use||One week to three months, depending on whether you store it in the shower||1-3 months with regular use|
As this chart shows, men’s bar soap brands vary significantly in their cost per ounce, their ingredients, and how long you can expect them to last. Dr. Squatch is the only brand we looked at that offers a variety of fragrance options, which many people found to be a big selling point of the brand.
At $2.71 per ounce, Baxter of California soap is almost twice as expensive as Dr. Squatch. However, customer reviews of the brand show that many users love how long the soap lasted, as some reported that they could use a single bar for three months or longer.
This brought the cost down to $6.33 per month of use, compared to $14 for using Dr. Squatch for the same amount of time (two bars).
Pricewise, the Dove Beauty bar costs just a fraction of what you’ll pay for the other two brands. However, this product doesn’t contain glycerin, so you’re missing out on this natural skin-moisturizing effect.
If you’re looking for a basic daily soap and don’t have any skin issues, you can probably get by with using an inexpensive soap brand like a Dove Beauty Bar.
If, however, you’re looking for a skincare product with all-natural ingredients (including glycerin), then Dr. Squatch or Baxter’s of California are better bets.
Just keep in mind if you go with Dr. Squatch that you’ll need to restock often.
Dr. Squatch bar soap lives up to its promises. This simple soap recipe contains only all-natural ingredients and the company leaves the skin-moisturizing ingredient glycerin intact. We like the company’s simple subscription program and a variety of fragrance options.
While Dr. Squatch soap earns glowing reviews from most users, the biggest drawback seems to how long the bars last. This discrepancy is partly explained by the fact that the bars are naturally soft, meaning that they can dissolve more quickly than regular soap when left in the shower.
You can extend the life of your soap by storing it outside of the shower or by using a Dr. Squatch-brand Soap Saver to reduce soap scum (available on the company website). Even so, don’t expect to get more than two weeks of use out of each bar. This means you should plan to pay about $14/month if you want to use this soap longterm.
That’s likely worth it for those who love the scents or have skin issues that cause them to react to brands with harsher ingredients. For everyone else, though, that might be enough to regulate Dr. Squash Soap to an occasional indulgence rather than as a daily personal care product.