Until very recently, guys basically had just the two options when it comes to soap:
We could either use one of the cheap, big-name brand soaps that are full of chemicals and potentially toxic ingredients, and tend to leave our skin feeling flaky and dry.
Or, we could refinance our homes to buy a natural or organic soap that was not only insanely expensive, but also fragranced with flowers and other decidedly feminine scents.
The good news is that today things are different, and there’s no shortage of soap, shower gel and body wash aimed directly at men.
The bad news is that this increase in the quantity of men’s soap hasn’t been met with an equal increase in quality.
Some of the new soaps on the market are great, while others look, smell and feel like someone squirted a shot of hand soap into a bottle of Windex and labelled it “Ocean Surf.”
I recently spent a few weeks showering with Dr. Squatch’s pine tar scented soap, a natural soap made specifically for men, to find out how it stacks up in terms of quality, price and overall effectiveness.
Read on to learn the full results of my Dr. Squatch review and find out if their soap is worth shelling out for.
Dr. Squatch Soap Review
Is Dr Squatch good?
An Irreverent Gent Investigation
Overview: Dr. Sqautch
As I mentioned above, for decades guys who wanted to escape the boring and skin-drying effects of big-brand soaps basically had no other options.
And when some more natural alternatives finally emerged, they cost a fortune and were clearly geared toward women, with feminine scents, packaging and marketing campaigns.
But men, of course, have very different needs when it comes to our hygiene.
And for years there was really nowhere to turn for guys who wanted to ditch the harsh chemicals in big-name soaps or find a more manly scent.
Jack Haldrup set out to solve that problem when he founed Dr. Squatch Soap Co. in San Diego back in 2013.
Now based in L.A., Dr. Squatch is an American company whose stated goal is to solve that problem by offering natural manly soaps created specifically to address the way men approach hygiene.
While they started as a natural bar soap company, they now offer quite a few natural products in a wide range of masculine scents, including beard oil, cologne, shampoo and conditioner products, and more.
Let’s take a look at what happened when I used what’s probably their most popular product, the pine tar-scented soap, to find out how close Dr. Squatch – if he even really is a doctor – comes to achieving that goal.
How Does Dr. Squatch Make Their Soap?
Though the scents vary (at the time of this writing, Dr. Squatch has 12 different scents, including bay rum, cool fresh aloe, grapefuit IPA, gold moss and more), all of their handmade soap products are created using a traditional cold process.
In the cold process, the natural ingredients – including sodium hydroxide lye, the waxy, odorless base substance that provides the texture and essential oil, which provides the scent – are combined and then allowed to sit, without being externally heated.
Using the cold process takes a lot longer, but it allows the soap to maintain its glycerin, a moisturizing agent that makes the soap soft and more friendly for dry skin, which essentially gets cooked out of industrial made soap.
How it Feels
Interestingly, the difference was noticeable as soon as I unwrapped the pine tar soap.
Cold process soap both looks and feels a little different than regular bar soaps, and not just because it’s rectangular.
The bar is normal size, but it’s noticeably softer, both when you hold it in your hand and when you apply it to your body.
It creates a better lather than the mass-produced soaps I’ve mostly used in the past, which tend to create greasey-feeling streaks rather than thick, rich lathers.
But the biggest difference probably came the first time I toweled off after the shower.
As mentioned above, regular big-brand soap tends to dry out my skin, especially in the winter when it’s already fairly dry.
But after putting my bar of Dr. Squatch soap to daily use for about a week, I noticed that not only was there an absence of dryness, there was actually some softness.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like using this soap was as good as putting on moisturizer.
But it left my skin feeling a hell of a lot better than the cheap bars of soap I usually buy at the grocery store, and reduced the amount of moisturizer I need.
It also had the added benefit of replacing a decidedly non-masculine activity – smearing moisturizer all over my dry, sensitive skin – with the masculine act of showering with a black square that smells like the forest.
Speaking of which…
How it Smells
I noticed the scent strength when I first opened the package.
The pine tar bar had a unique scent that sort of reminded me of a Christmas tree.
But the smell dissipated pretty quickly, and after that I could really only smell it while I was showering, or if I lifted the bar to my face.
While showering the natural woodsy scent was fresh, outdoorsy and masculine, which added a little vigor to my otherwise boring shower routine.
But I have to admit, what I liked most about the smell is that it didn’t linger after I got out of the shower.
As someone who doesn’t mind investing in a good cologne and likes to make sure my scent game is on-point, I hate how the scent of cheap soap lingers when I get dressed, potentially clashing with my cologne.
Fortunately, that wasn’t much of an issue here at all.
The real test came when I went back into the bathroom about 10 minutes after showering. I have a small bathroom, so normally 10 minutes after a shower the whole bathroom smells like an Irish Spring factory exploded.
But after I went to get dressed and then re-entered the bathroom to comb my hair, I could barely detect the pine scent.
Total Score on Scent: 4.3/5
Overall I found the Dr. Squatch soap to be better-smelling and better on my skin than the name-brand soaps I’ve tried in the past.
So it’s no surprise that the better product comes with the bigger price tag.
On Amazon, bars of Dr. Squatch sell for 10 bucks each, and if you have Prime you get free shipping.
The other option is to buy direct through Dr. Squatch’s website, where they only cost 7 bucks each (or even less if you use my exclusive discount code, which you can find below).
But note that in order to get free shipping through their website, you have to order $40 worth of product.
Either way, the cheapy drug store soap I’ve been buying for years costs somewhere in the vicinity of $1.50 to $2 per bar, so Dr. Squatch is obviously more expensive.
(Slightly) Bigger Price,
(Significantly) Better Value
But considering how much more I enjoyed the product, I was actually kind of surprised that it didn’t cost even more.
This might sound weird (scratch that – it’ll definitely sound weird), but I’ve come to think of soap kind of like I think of craft beer (just hear me out).
Sure, I could buy a shit ton of Coors Light for next to nothing, but then I’d have to drink Coors Light.
“I’ve come to think of soap kind of like I think of craft beer. (I know. But just hear me out.)”
By contrast, the hoppy IPAs I buy from local craft breweries are twice as expensive, but they’re a lot more enjoyable to drink.
And if that logic makes sense for a beverage I occasionally indulge in, it makes even more sense for a bar of soap I smear over my entire body every single day.
So while Dr. Squatch may be the more expensive option, in my opinion it’s worth it, especially when compared to the other body soaps on the market.
Total Score on Price: 4/5
So, is Dr. Squatch Good?
After four weeks of washing, reaching, scrubbing and cleaning more of my body’s nooks and crannies than I care to mention in detail here, I feel comfortable saying that Dr. Squatch has become my new favorite soap.
For style-conscious guys like me, who are concerned about the health effects of chemical-based, mass-produced soaps, but also concerned about the social effects of smelling like our mom’s perfume, finding a good soap that’s both natural and masculine-focused is a huge win.
The only thing I would probably change about it is the price, because at about 10 bucks a bar it’s a little bit more expensive than the big-name soaps.
But in a world where we frequently pay 4 to 5 bucks for a cup of coffee, the price is hardly prohibitive, and each bar of soap lasts a helluva lot longer than a latte.
When thinking about price you also have to consider the value-for-money ratio of what you’re buying, and after conducting a pretty thorough Dr. Squatch review, I was quite impressed.
Plus, you can get a bit of a discount if you sign up for their monthly subscription.
(Note: the monthly subscriptions have been phased out in favor of a quarterly subscription. See “Update” section below for more details.)
Their soaps smell great, create a great foamy lather, include natural oils that moisturize your skin, and leave you feeling both clean and masculine after a shower.
The Pine Tar has become my favorite scent for soap, and while I haven’t tried any of their other personal care products yet, I definitely intend to give them a shot.
If the other products in their hair care, deodorant, toothpaste and other lines perform as well as this one, then I’ll consider it money well spent.
Total Score of the Dr Squatch Soap Review: 4.3/5
In doing research for this post and reading other Dr. Squatch reviews, I noticed the same common questions coming up again and again.
So let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions:
Is Dr Squatch soap worth it?
In my opinion, it’s totally worth it. Switching from a chemical-rich soap to a natural one is probably worth it for the health benefits alone, but when you add in the better scents, the value’s definitely there.
Is Dr Squatch legit?
As far as I can tell, yeah, Dr. Squatch is a good company. My own experience was quite positive, and it seems like I’m not alone: almost all of their products on Amazon have four-plus stars, many of which come after more than 20,000 reviews.
Which Dr Squatch soap smells the best?
I haven’t tried them all, but I really enjoyed the Pine Tar soap I tested. It has a natural outdoorsy scent that’s both outdoorsy and masculine, without being overpowering.
Where to Buy Dr. Squatch Soap
The best way to buy the Dr. Squatch brand is probably online through their own website.
Is Dr Squatch at Walmart?
Yes Dr. Squatch is available at Walmart – at least virtually, that is. Walmart’s website sells multiple Dr. Squatch soap bars in a variety of both scents and bundles.
(But it’s worth noting that these are actually shipped and sold through a third party.)
Over the past year I’ve tried a few more scents (the Cedar Citrus was a particular fave, especially in the summer), and after regular use for a prolonged pierod, I still feel that Dr. Squatch makes some great soap.
I’ve also received a number of questions through email and social media, so I thought I’d add an addendum to my FAQ section and address some of the more common questions here.
Dr. Squatch Ingredient List
As mentioned above, Dr. Squatch uses all natural ingredients, as opposed to the artificial stuff used by cheaper, lower quality soaps.
But I’ve had quite a few questions about what, exactly, they put in their soap.
Ingredients differ slightly depending on the scent, but here are a few of the more common ones found in most bars:
- Olive Oil
- high in antioxidants and polyphenols that fight oxidation
- Shea Butter
- provides vitamins and fatty acids that moisturize and nourish skin
- Coconut Oil
- provides fatty acids and serves as a natural detoxifier, pulling dirt and grime to the surface
- Sea Salt
- absorbs dirt and grime to help cleanse the skin’s pores
What happend to Nautical Sage?
I had quite a few questions about the now-defunct scent known as Nautical Sage.
For those who loved it and were sad to see it disappear, there’s good news:
Not sure why they rebranded it, but it’s got the exact same ingredients and scent.
How does the subscription service work?
I mentioned above that you can sign up for a Dr. Squatch soap subscription to get a bit of a discount on each bar, but I failed to describe how it works.
Fortunately, Dr. Squatch makes it fairly straightforward.
You just go to their subscription page and choose the products/scents you want to get on a regular basis, then enter your shipping and credit card info, and that’s it.
Dr. Squatch will then send you the quantity of products you requested quarterly.
If you have more specific quesitons about the subscription or shipping process, I recommend checking out their FAQ page.
Duke Cannon vs Dr. Squatch
I also had a few guys ask me to weigh in on the Dr Squatch vs Duke Cannon debate.
Unfortunately I haven’t actually tried Duke Cannon’s soaps myself, so I can’t add my own personal opinion here.
But I had enough guys ask me about it that I decided to do a bit of digging, and found that they seem to have a lot of happy customers.
Their multi-pack of soap on Amazon has 4.7 out of 5 stars after more than 1,000 reviews, so it seems like guys legitimately appreciate the quality.
And Insider.com did their own review, writing “We tested a wide range of Duke Cannon’s products and ultimately liked everything,” but added one caveat:
“Admittedly, some of us were a little put off by the overtly macho messaging.”
So, it seems safe to say that the quality is there, but if I decide to pursue my own review, I’ll update this post in the future to let you know my results.
Is the soap saver worth it?
Meh, not really.
I mean, don’t get me wrong: it definitely helps to place your soap on a ridged surface, to avoid the dreaded “soap scum” that can develop over time.
But nowadays a lot of showers have something like that built in, so it’s not really necessary.
(Plus, at 20 bucks a pop, they’re a bit pricey.)
Have you tried any other Dr. Squatch products?
I have indeed.
Since first trying the soap, I’ve also tried a number of their natural deodorants, which also come in a range of unique, masculine scents.
You can check out my full Dr. Squatch deodorant review to find out how I liked them, but the short answer is:
A lot. I liked them a lot.
More Resources ↓
More Men’s Grooming Advice & Style Reviews From Irreverent Gent:
- In-Depth Dr. Squatch Deodorant Review
- The 15 Best Smelling Dr. Squatch Soap Scents
- The Absolute Best Dr. Squatch Alternatives & Competitors
- The 13 Most Soothing, Smooth and All Around Best Shaving Soaps for Men
- Taper vs Fade vs Taper Fade – The Ultimate Guide
- In-Depth Lumin Skincare Review
- The Best Face Wash for Men
- Marlowe Shave Cream Review
- The 17 Best Soap Bars for Men
- The (Absolute) Best Foil Shavers on the Market
- How to Shave Your Back by Yourself (Safely & Smoothly)
- The 15 Best Clippers for Bald (& Balding) Head Shaving
- The Best Beard Oil for Healthy, Handsome (& Kissable) Beards
- The 17 Best Beard Straightening Brushes
- The 12 Best Trimmers for Shaving Your Balls
- The Absolute Best Electric Shavers for Black Men
- How to Shave Your Pubic Hair with an Electric Razor
- The Absolute Best Men’s Deodorants & Antiperspirants
- Taylor Stitch Long Haul Jacket Review
- Can you use Nair on your balls?
- The Best Beard Growth Kits for a Full, Manly Mane
- The 17 Best Bar Soaps for Men
- The 13 Best Back Shavers for Men
- How to Grow a Beard Faster – The Definitive Guide
- The 17 Best Colognes to Attract Females
- The 19 Best Clippers for Black Men
- The Absolute Best Clippers for Fades