Millennials Killed Bar Soap, And Now Millennials Are Bringing It Back

Skin Care
Illustration by Lindsay Hattrick

Why you should become a bar soap convert

I have something to admit: I have always despised bar soap. I felt like it was extremely harsh on my skin and generally pretty gross: slimy, mushy, and always covered in someone else's hair.

And so, during my past few years as a beauty writer, whenever I've seen bar soap, facial cleansing bar, and even shampoo in bar form cross my desk, I tended to ignore them. I had too many bad memories of bar soaps engrained into my brain: the overly drying, skin-stripping, heavily fragranced soaps of my childhood, the ones that always ended up a wet, mushy glob on the side of my tub. I just couldn't shake how rough and moisture-less my skin used to feel post-shower or bath. And the thought of using one of these on my face? Oh, hell no.

My hatred for bar soap was made easy by the fact that there are tons of ways to avoid using it. After all, there are seemingly infinite varieties of liquid body washes, cleansers, and scrubs available on the market today, many of them tailored to specific skin-care needs, meaning there's no need to turn to the dated, archaic, rectangular soap bar to get yourself clean.

And, of course, I'm not alone in my bar soap-hatred. Most other millennials feel the same way—so much so that we're allegedly the cause of a rapid decline over the years for drugstore staples such as Ivory and other similar brands.

Yet, it might just be millennials who are responsible for bar soap's recent resurgence. I can't be alone in noticing how all my friends (even those not involved in the beauty world like I am) are raving about the latest facial bar or conditioner bar they're using, all coming from ingredient-transparent brands who preach the sustainability of bar soaps over plastic-using liquid soaps. These new bar soaps aren't just beloved for their environmental consciousness, though, they also feel great, because they're being made with younger, savvier customers in mind—the kind of people whose social media-love for a product can make or break it, and who won't tolerate anything but the best ingredients and ultra-moisturizing results.

Tara Foley, founder of beauty company Follain, says, "Historically, most bar soaps have been drying. Newer formulations like ours include nourishing, clean ingredients like shea butter and argan oil to moisturize the skin while cleaning it." Michelle Connelly, the director of merchandising and planning at Credo Beauty, adds: "In general, cleansing products are being formulated to leave the skin more balanced and still hydrated, not stripped dry, which I think is many people's first thought when they think of bar soaps." (Ahem, it was definitely mine.)

Bar soaps are also inherently more environmentally friendly, because of their lack of packaging and preservatives. "Liquid shower gels require packaging, and most require preservatives," says Erica Vega, product and brand trainer at Lush. "Soap, on the other hand, will likely have little or possibly no packaging and no preservatives, so they're going to beat out shower gels in the sustainability standpoint every time."

But here's the thing—whether or not you're concerned with ingredients (though you should definitely be), it's the sustainability factor that comes along with bars that are making them the new popular choice. Vega says, "Not only is there typically far less packaging—usually only a paper/cardboard single layer versus a liquid product in a plastic or glass bottle, with a plastic pump, often packaged in an outer carton—but the carbon footprint of bar soaps is also lower in terms of transporting the product. Bar products are concentrated formulas not diluted with water, so, therefore, they are much lighter and more efficient to transport."

They also last a lot longer, meaning you'll be buying less and, therefore, less product will need to be produced. "Typically, bars last more than two times longer than the equivalent volume of liquid soap, which is pretty amazing," says Emily Doyle, co-founder of Ursa Major.

While I had long ignored the many bars that would come across my desk, I finally decided to give some a shot, and I will say, it's a totally different world than what I remember. Today's star products do everything from moisturizing and soothing the body to detoxing and brightening the complexion to cleansing and conditioning the hair, and none of them have the awful drying effects of yesteryear. (However, as Doyle points out, they'll still be slimy and gross if you don't store them in a soap dish or tray post-use.)

If I can become a believer, so can you—trust me. Below, we rounded up some of the best bars for body, face, and hair out there—all with fully transparent ingredient lists, too. Check 'em out, below.

Photo courtesy of Herbivore

Herbivore, Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Bar Soap, $12, available at Herbivore.

"Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Soap is specially designed for oily or blemish-prone skin, with activated charcoal adding extra cleansing and exfoliating properties," says Connelly. "It gives a deep clean without overdrying skin."

Photo courtesy of By Humankind

By Humankind, Thyme Shampoo Bar, $12.95, available at By Humankind.

These nourishing, non-stripping shampoo bars reduce the need for a conditioner and are highly concentrated, making them longer lasting than most bars their size.

Photo courtesy of Ursa Major

Ursa Major, Morning Mojo Bar Soap, $14, available at Ursa Major.

"This unisex body bar has a fresh scent and a lightly exfoliating texture, and is great for someone who might be converting over from conventional bar soap—it's an awesome upgrade," says Connelly.

Photo courtesy of Skin Owl

Skin Owl, Turmeric Beauty Bar, $24, available at Skin Owl.

This facial bar contains turmeric, which works to reduce inflammation and boost your glow, while agave stimulates hyaluronic acid synthesis (meaning a plump, smooth complexion) and oatmeal soothes and moisturizes.

Follain, Everybody Bar Soap, $9, available at Follain.

This hydrating, lathering soap bar is rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, helping to comfort dry skin; the shea butter helps replenish any hydration lost during cleansing.

Photo courtesy of Soapwalla

Soapwalla, Crushed Saffron & Makrut Lime Soap Bar, $14, available at Soapwalla.

This super-gentle cleanser is great for sensitive skin, brightening the complexion with crushed saffron threads and rejuvenating skin with makrun lime essential oil—perfect for sleepy mornings!

Photo courtesy of Lush

Lush, Brazilliant Shampoo Bar, $11.95, available at Lush.

This solid shampoo bar tames thick, curly hair with strengthening andiroba oil.

Photo courtesy of Apoterra

Apoterra, Aloe + Rose Clay Complexion Soap, $12.50, available at Apoterra.

This gentle cleansing bar detoxes with pink clay, while jojoba oil moisturizes and soothes.

Photo courtesy of Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company

Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company, Butter Bar Conditioning Shampoo, $8.95, available at Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company.

This super-conditioning shampoo bar is great for dry, over-processed hair as it uses a combination of soothing butters, oils, and coconut milk to moisturize and soothe.

Saipua, Saltwater Soap Bar, $18, available at Follain.

The saponified coconut oil in this hydrating body bar promotes healthy cell turnover, protects from environmental stressors, and brightens skin discolorations, while olive oil adds extra moisturizing benefits.

Screenshot via YouTube

And I need to see the rest ASAP

As excited as we already are for Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart, to hit theaters next week, we just got even more desperate to see it. Why? Well, the first six minutes of the film were just released, and every minute is incredible.

The film opens on Molly (Beanie Feldstein) meditating and listening to a motivational tape telling her she's better than everyone else, and to "fuck those losers." Her room is decorated with pictures of Michelle Obama and RBG, so we know her head is in the right place. We learn she's the class president when she arrives at school with her best friend, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever).

It's there that we get a glimpse of the social hierarchy in which Molly and Amy exist—but somewhere down near the bottom, way below the popular kids, the theater nerds, the stoners, and even the annoying class clown.

The film officially hits theaters on May 23, but Annapurna Pictures is holding advanced screenings across the country today, May 17—we're actually holding two of them! So, if you're in L.A. or New York, check them out.

But also, you can watch the first six minutes of the film, below, and prepare yourself to watch the whole movie in a week.

BOOKSMART | Uncut First 6 Minutes

Photo by Rich Polk/ Getty

Her hypocrisy would be mind-blowing if it weren't so predictable

It's been just over two years since Tomi Lahren appeared on ABC's The View to assert that, despite her ultra-conservative bona fides, she holds one position more normally associated with the left wing: She's pro-choice. In that talk show appearance, Lahren made clear then that her pro-choice views were consonant with her self-identification as a "constitutionalist," further explaining:

I am someone that's for limited government. So I can't sit here and be a hypocrite and say I'm for limited government but I think the government should decide what women should do with their bodies." I can sit here and say that as a Republican, and I can say, "You know what? I'm for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well."

Back then, we noted the hypocrisy inherent to that position, since Lahren was an ardent supporter of President Trump—who made no secret of his desire to appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and other judicial benches—and Vice-President Pence, whose anti-abortion views are even more ardent.

Since Lahren's appearance on The View, she has appeared in the anti-abortion film Roe v. WadeRoe v. Wade, which co-starred fellow execrable conservative troll, Milo Yiannopoulos, and, um, Joey Lawrence. Though the film has not yet been released, it is alleged to contain "several graphic scenes depicting aborted fetuses," and also the acting styles of Jamie Kennedy, so we're not sure for whom it will really be appropriate.

But while Lahren's role in that film would be enough to make anyone question just how committed she is to her alleged pro-choice stance, the recent news about de facto abortion bans in Alabama and Georgia has incited Lahren to speak out about her views once again.

On Twitter, Lahren opened herself up to "attack[s] by [her] fellow conservatives" and spoke out against the Alabama abortion ban as being "too restrictive." And, indeed, her "fellow conservatives" did quickly attack Lahren for not actually caring about human life, and for having too liberal a position on whether or not a woman should be forced to continue a pregnancy that resulted from rape. But then also, as Lahren must have known would happen, other people supported her for... not having one irredeemably monstrous position amongst her arsenal of irredeemably monstrous positions.

But, let's be clear: Tomi Lahren is not—no matter what she tweets—pro-choice, and neither is any supporter of the Republican Party. There is no doubt that there are Republicans who are in favor of safe access to abortion—particularly when it comes to themselves and their family members having said access. But by supporting the Republican Party, they are showing how little it actually matters to them, and showing what it is that they really prioritize over women's safety and freedom: namely, access to guns, bigoted immigration policies, the continued disenfranchisement of voters across the country. I could go on, but there's no need.

Lahren's tweet doesn't reveal in any way that she's an advocate for women's rights, all it reveals is her hypocrisy and that of anyone (Meghan McCain, hi), who would love to have a world created specifically for their needs, and who is willing to sacrifice the rights of the less privileged in order to secure their own. It is despicable and dangerous and incredibly predictable. But, at least, it might give Lahren something to talk about on the red carpet with her fellow anti-abortion movie costars, if that film ever gets more than a straight-to-video release.

If you want to find out how to help women have access to abortion, please visit here for information about donating and volunteering.

Diplo, Vince Staples, and Rico Nasty also appear

Lil Nas X went all out with the visuals for his hit "Old Town Road," tapping all of his newfound collaborators and friends, like Billy Ray Cyrus, Diplo, Vince Staples, and Rico Nasty, to star. The movie travels from 1889 Wild Wild West to the modern-day city outskirts, so saddle up and come along for the ride.

As the visuals start, Nas and Cyrus gallop away with a bag of loot, obviously having pulled off a heist. The trio of men on horseback that were in pursuit of them come to a halt, unable to catch up, and Chris Rock—the leader of the group—states, "When you see a Black man on a horse going that fast, you just gotta let him fly." Just as Nas and Cyrus think they're able to relax in stranger's home, it turns out the homeowner isn't so friendly. Nas jumps into a hole to escape, only to end up hundreds of years in the future on the other side.

Forget trying to figure out the logistics of time travel, and just embrace the hilarity of Nas' horse also having wound up there, and in peak racing condition. He impresses the locals not only in the race (with Vince Staples losing money in a bet against him) but with his sweet square dancing skills. Once he and Cyrus (yes, he time traveled too) trade out their old-timey duds for some fresh, rhinestone-adorned outfits, they enter a room playing bingo with Rico Nasty in it. Diplo is playing the washboard, I feel like I'm losing my mind, and this is probably the best music video I've watched this year.

Watch the movie for "Old Town Road" again and again, below.

Lil Nas X - Old Town Road (Official Movie) ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

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Screenshot via YouTube

They really "don't care" about how this was edited, do they?

Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber used the name of their song as inspiration for the "I Don't Care" music video, and have presented what is essentially a long blooper reel of the pair messing around with a green screen.

The visuals show how dedicated the two are to proving just how much they don't care, because I'm pretty sure they did the editing on this video as well. They dance around in costumes, as an ice cream cone, a panda, a teddy bear, and more. I have a clear vision of Bieber and Sheeran raiding a costume shop just an hour before setting up a tripod and going to town on this one. They also juxtapose their faces on top of a ballerina, a skydiver, and a corn inside the husk.

Blink, and you'll miss the funniest moment of all in the video: Ed Sheeran gets married to a cardboard cutout of a young Bieber with swoopy hair.

Watch the visuals for "I Don't Care" below.

Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber - I Don't Care [Official Video]

Photo by Jena Cumbo

Her new LP, 'Take Me to the Disco,' is her most personal work yet

Meg Myers isn't afraid to admit she's still figuring out who she wants to be. Originally from Tennessee, Myers moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19 to dedicate her life to her music career. In 2012, she released her first EP, Daughter in the Choir, which set the groundwork for the releases of Sorry (2015) and Take Me to the Disco (2018). Well-known for her poetic lyrics, crude vocals, and cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill," the honest singer-songwriter makes a point to tell me that self-acceptance is a process. After listening to her deeply personal LP, Take Me to the Disco, I know she's not wrong.

In the middle of producing her new forthcoming music, the star opens up to NYLON: "I've always been able to channel [more painful moments in life] into my art. Music always stood out to me as the easiest way to capture all the emotions at once in one piece. Music for me is wild and free." It's clear that it is this fearlessness to self-reflect that not only makes her body of work so authentic but also what motivates her to continue to grow.

Below, we speak with Myers about her new music, self-love, and her ever-evolving relationship with creativity.

The Great Eros Pants, Chae New York top, Schutz shoes, and Via Saviene rings. Photos by Jena Cumbo

How did moving to Los Angeles influence the artist you are today?
I feel more safe here. I've been tapping more into my truth and expressing myself on a deeper level here. Growing up, my family was very chaotic, and I never knew what was about to happen. I have four brothers and a sister, and we grew up basically as best friends, making fun out of the chaos and always creating some type of art from it. I've always been able to channel [more painful moments in life] into my art.

Music always stood out to me as the easiest way to capture all the emotions at once in one piece. Music for me is wild and free.

What are some of your biggest influences?
I think all the barbecue and shrimp and grits [in Tennessee] really adds a smokiness to my music.

My queerness gives me a lot of material to create with. It's allowing me to be more playful and not take every little thing so seriously.

Silk Laundry jumpsuit, Wild Vertigga T-shirt, and Nakamol earring.Photo by Jena Cumbo

Tell me about your new music. Why is it different than anything you've ever created?
This EP is going to have a lot of similar vibes to my last album, because I wrote it at the same time with the same producer about a lot of the same struggles and self-discoveries as my past music. I'll share more with you on my third album.

I'm such a fan of your cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill." Why did you gravitate toward that song to cover?
It's such a powerful song! Kate Bush is magic. It's almost like I've been being guided to cover that song for a long time. I don't know how to explain it in words, as they can feel so limiting, and this song is beyond words to me. It's just a deep inner knowing, and it makes my heart flutter.

Chae NewYork blazer; Saku top, The Great Eros bottoms, and Inch2 boots.Photo by Jena Cumbo

Are there any other songs you feel really connected to?
I would love to collaborate with Active Child. The songs "Hanging On" and "Johnny Belinda" are also otherworldly to me. I've been listening to this band called Walk the Moon a lot. I also love Phoebe Bridgers. I have a crush on her. I generally listen to instrumental music and classical. If you look up 432hz music, it's incredibly healing, and solfeggio frequencies have helped me with a lot.

What does self-love mean to you?
It's been a process for me. It's been quite the journey. Right now, I would say [self-love for me] is about accepting myself, and having love for all the experiences that have led me to where I am. It also means being grateful for growth. It's also been about learning to be in the present moment. It's been learning to trust myself and not listening to what others think I need to be doing. As I learn to do this, I also learn how to love others deeper. All this being said, it's a process.

Chae New York blazer and Saku top.Photo by Jena Cumbo

What advice do you have for someone struggling to find happiness right now?
Spend some time in solitude if you can, or with a really safe person who you feel you can express yourself freely with. Find someone who has no expectations of you and is supportive. In that present moment, ask yourself, What feels good to you? What do you feel like doing? Use your imagination. Daydream. Find what it is you enjoy doing. I promise you can unlock magic inside yourself. It just takes patience.

*This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.