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Dr. Squatch Soap, Tested: Is It Overrated, or Actually Good?

The brand's handmade soaps are all-natural and anti-drying, meaning you'll feel clean (but still soft) after using them. But is $7 a bar (or $13 via Amazon) too much?

dr squatch
Evan Malachosky

The toxicity of online advertising is no small phenomenon. Just look at True Classic, Liquid Death or Dr. Squatch. They're all giants in their respective categories: which are T-shirts, water and soap, if you couldn't guess. But if you are familiar, the overt, arguably aggressive, ad tactics clearly worked.

They're belittling, with a tone that's somewhere between scolding and dismissive. True Classic calls you fat, and positions its T-shirts as a way to hide your embarrassing "dad bod." Liquid Death wants you to "murder your thirst," because drinking plain 'ol water from the tap is for the weak. And Dr. Squatch wants you to ditch the bar soaps "your mommy bought you" in favor of their soaps for "men who use their hands; men who build things; men who open the pickle jar on the first try; men who catch foul balls without spilling their beer."

To be frank, who the fuck comes up with these? Sure, they're funny to some, but even the Axe body spray folks know this kind of jargon should be left in the past. As Adweek puts it, in an article about fellow grooming brand Axe's advertising overhaul, which centers a more neutral man, "New narratives are imperative in an industry that has been slow to challenge outdated gender stereotypes."

But enough about the ads. How's the actual product? Well, we'll see.

Dr. Squatch Alpine Sage

drsquatch.com
$7.00

  • Varying "grit" levels offer no exfoliation, some exfoliation and extreme exfoliation
  • The all-natural ingredients don't strip the skin of its natural oils
  • Your skin feels soft after using it, not abused

  • The essential oils are way too strong
  • The soaps are small and melt fast

What's Good About Dr. Squatch Soap

The ingredients are all-natural.

Dr. Squatch is built on the idea that regular soaps are bad for your skin — and most are. When founder Jack Haldrup (who is not the guy you see in the ads) came up with the brand, it was to make "the best soap for psoriasis," a skin condition he's had his whole life.

Instead of using detergents and additives like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Dioxane, Triclosan, Parabens, Ureas and Polyethylene Glycol, Dr. Squatch relies on natural ingredients like olive, coconut or hemp oils, oats, sage, mint and sea salt (among others, depending on the listed scent).

If you're looking for an all-natural alternative to the cheap body bars you've long relied on, Dr. Squatch is a good option.

dr squatch
The soaps come with varying degrees of grit for subtle exfoliation. (Ignore the fact that this one’s called Crypto Cleanse. Yes, they made an NFT. Ugh.)
Evan Malachosky
dr squatch
Alpine Sage, for example, is a "Zero Grit" soap.
Evan Malachosky

The soap lathers really well and leaves your skin feeling super-soft.

Some consider "natural" products to be inferior — a lesser product that doesn't work, like natural deodorant. But Dr. Squatch's soaps lather super-well, all-natural ingredients considered. The bubbles are voluminous, and it coats your skin without washing away too easily. That being said, there's no unsavory residue left behind. The soaps rinse off easily and leave your skin feeling soft, not stripped.

What's Not Ideal About Dr. Squatch Soap

The brand overdoes it on the essential oils.

Essential oils are a better fragrant than synthetic formulas, but the ones Dr. Squatch uses are strong — smell-them-through-the box-they-were-shipped-in strong. "Flavors" like Summer Citrus, Irish Whiskey & Cream, Pine Tar and Bay Rum come across as overpowering, especially when they're non-traditional "clean" scents.

That's great for men who are put off by traditional "mint" or "ocean" scents, but not-so-great for those that derive their cleanliness from the scent left on their skin after a shower.

dr squatch
Look how much mass the soap lost after just three showers. I might use hot water, but damn!
Evan Malachosky

It melts fast.

If you peruse Dr. Squatch's site, you'll find plenty of "extras," which is surprising for a brand that basically just sells soap: Soap Savers, a Soap Gripper and even a Travel Bag. "It's a bar of soap. Is it really that delicate?" you're probably asking. Well, yes, it kind of is.

With prolonged exposure to warm water, the soap melts — and fast. "I found their bars to last me about a week, when other bars I've tried go for around a month," Home editor Johnny Brayson says. "And then it disintegrates." The same was true for my bars. They shrunk considerably after just a few uses. That's probably why they sell a special (and overpriced) caddy for it and a bag for when you hit the road.

Sure, synthetic detergents are bad for your skin, but they hold up a hell of a lot better than this.

The prices are insane — even if you bundle.

I've tested a lot of bar soaps. Few feel as pricy as Dr. Squatch's. Sure, natural ingredients are inherently (and sadly) more expensive; so is recycled packaging, which Dr. Squatch uses. But $9 a bar feels like robbery, especially given how small they are. And if you only want bar soap — the brand's best-selling product — there's no discount for buying in bulk. It's $9 a bar no matter whether you buy one or three.

You have to order six or 11 in order to save any money, but that's a lot of soap. (But, like I said before, it melts fast; so maybe it isn't that much soap after all.) If you want a bundle of three, your only option is a set that comes with a soap saver, an extra that it's a little useless, in my opinion.

The branding is... something.

Truthfully, it was the ads that caught my attention first — not the perceived quality of the product. Sure, the soaps are fine, but I can't get past using something called Dr. Squatch, let alone its iterations like Crypto Cleanse (yes, they made an NFT), The Batman Bricc (like the comic) or the Dark Side Scrub (a Star Wars version).

I felt a little like the old man yelling at the clouds when opening up my sampler box, but maybe I'm not alone. If you're okay with over-the-top branding and machismo marketing jargon, the soap's probably for you — but you better have some disposable income.

Dr. Squatch Soap: The Verdict

The soap is fine — but it's not better than Marlowe's, Atwater's, Ursa Major's or even Humanrace's bars. Sure, some of those are even pricier, but they have better aromas, last longer and don't come with the baggage of bad marketing and branding. I might be nit-picking, but there's something unsavory about using soap branded with a pipe smoking Sasquatch, especially when the ads seemingly bullied me into buying it. It all just feels a little unnecessary.

Still want to give it a go? Start here.

Dr. Squatch Alpine Sage

drsquatch.com
$7.00

  • Varying "grit" levels offer no exfoliation, some exfoliation and extreme exfoliation
  • The all-natural ingredients don't strip the skin of its natural oils
  • Your skin feels soft after using it, not abused

  • The essential oils are way too strong
  • The soaps are small and melt fast

SHOP NOW (DR. SQUATCH)

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