Soap Worst Cleansing Agent No known benefits Soap description True “soaps” are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and are not required to list their ingredients on the label. They are made up solely of fats and alkali. Many bar cleansers are not soaps, but contain synthetic detergent cleansing agents and various thickening agents that keep the bar in its bar form. Most soaps are considered very drying due to their alkaline base (i.e., a pH over 8). Bar cleansers can be gentler than bar soaps, but are more often than not still drying, depending on their composition.