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Liquid soaps at “Öko-Test”: These are the losers and winners

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In the “Öko-Test” issue 01 from January 2021, 55 liquid soaps were tested. These include 41 conventional products and 14 certified natural cosmetic products. All liquid soaps were tested for problematic substances such as skin-irritating preservatives or fragrances and aggressive surfactants.

“Öko-Test”: 55 liquid soaps in the test

As with many other products, the following applies to liquid soap: not all soap is created equal. “Öko-Test” was able to rate 19 liquid soaps with “very good” – including all 14 products with the natural cosmetics seal. Seven soaps, on the other hand, could not convince and were rated “poor” or “unsatisfactory”. The biggest problem according to the “Öko-Test”: A number of problematic substances were found in the liquid soaps. These include, for example, the preservative chloromethylisothiazolinone, which is considered a strong allergen and may no longer be used in products that are not washed off again. For cosmetics that are rinsed off, the amount allowed is strictly regulated.

Liquid soaps mainly consist of water and surfactants. Surfactants remove dirt from the skin, but also loosen the skin’s own fats from the skin barrier. Aggressive surfactants such as sodium laureth sulfate, however, are cheap to buy and can therefore be found in many cheap soaps – even 36 of the liquid soaps tested by “Öko-Test” contain such stubborn surfactants. But soaps from the more expensive Rituals brand also contain these substances. Sugar surfactants such as coco-glucosides ensure milder cleaning – this surfactant can also be found in many soaps rated “very good”.

Liquid soap or solid bars of soap?

But does it have to be liquid soap at all? Solid bars of soaps are more sustainable than liquid soaps, but many wonder whether they are hygienic enough. Don’t worry: you can use solid soap without fear of germs. Studies show that although there are more bacteria on solid bars of soap, they are not transferred to the skin when you wash your hands with them.

But you can also make the use of liquid soaps a little more sustainable by buying refill bags. Although they are also made of plastic, they use less plastic and are easier to recycle than liquid soap dispensers. Refilling is also easy on your wallet.

These liquid soaps convinced “Öko-Test”

All 14 liquid soaps with natural cosmetics certificate and five conventional products convinced in the test and received the rating “very good”, 23 other products were rated “good”. These 19 liquid soaps performed best in the test:

  • L’Occitane Shea Lavender Liquid Soap – 22.35 euros at Amazon *
  • Urtekram Hand Wash Spicy Orange Blossom – 5.52 euros at Ecco Verde *
  • Of course hand washing soap by Evita – 3.10 euros at Amazon *
  • Share Lime & Coriander Hand Soap – € 2.95 at Rewe *
  • Speick Original Liquid Soap – 8.70 euros at Douglas *
  • Eubiona Sensitive Liquid Soap – 9.99 euros at Amazon *
  • Lavera Fresh Care Soap – 17.94 euros (6-pack) at Amazon *
  • Alviana liquid soap organic lime – 2.49 euros at Rewe *
  • Bioturm hand wash foam – 8.99 euros at Ecco Verde *
  • Organic Shop Vitamin Hand Soap Garnet Jewelry – € 2.99 at Ecco Verde *
  • Alverde liquid soap organic lavender & organic mallow – 5.95 euros at Amazon *
  • Sante Family Liquid Soap Organic Aloe & Lime – EUR 3.49 at Douglas *
  • Sonett Hand Soap Citrus – 4.49 euros at Ecco Verde *
  • Sodasan Lavender & Olive Mild Plant Soap – 7.61 euros at Amazon *
  • Cosnature Hydro Hand Soap Water Lily – 1.79 euros at Parfumdreams
  • I + M Fair Edition CBM dispenser soap – 9.90 euros at I + M
  • Alterra Cream Soap White Tea & Organic Lime – 1.49 euros at Rossmann
  • Terra Naturi Happy Lime liquid soap – 1.25 euros at Müller
  • Jean & Len foam soap sensitive – 2.99 euros at Jean & Len

According to the “Öko-Test” you shouldn’t use these soaps:

  • Vivian Gray Lemon & Green Tea Cream Soap
  • Cleox Liquid Soap Sunny Orange
  • Dalan Therapy Liquid Hand Soap Rosemary & Olive Oil
  • Hydro Basics With Sea Minerals Liquid Soap
  • Sagrotan Liquid Hand Soap Aloe Vera
  • Dove Nourishing Hand Wash Lotion
  • Regina Cream Soap Beauty Flower

You can buy the full test report from “Öko-Test”.

Disclaimer: We’re looking for products for you that we think you’ll like. The selection is subjective, but editorially independent. We have affiliate partnerships, which means that if you make a purchase using a link marked with an asterisk, we receive a small commission. Our recommendations and the selection of products are not influenced by this. The content is also independent of our advertising marketing. You can find our guidelines for journalistic independence here:


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