BJJ / Grappling Soap review: The Athlete Bar

Disclosure: I know the people behind The Athlete Bar. I have no business connections with the brand.

I have used this soap on and off for several weeks. The Athlete Bar is a SLS free soap bar whose benefits are primarily derived from all natural ingredients, all of which are detailed on the practical, see-though packaging. Being a SLS free product, it won't quite lather up as much as most commercial soap, nor should it. In commercial soap the lather is added and doesn't enhance skin cleaning. In fact, it will dry your skin so if possible, do avoid. The Athlete Bar, on the other hand, carries a range of essential oils that cleanse and moisturise naturally and you will feel that post shower.

The Athlete Bar is not just a bar of soap, the manufacturer tells me. One of the qualities I love about this soap is the fresh tea-tree smell it fills the shower with. It smells natural, rather than perfume / chemical. Initially, the team behind the soap used poppy seeds but customers found them too coarse / harsh so they switched to strawberry seeds which, by nature, are smaller, milder on the skin and easier to rinse away. I have tried both the old (poppy) and the new (strawberry) and the difference is very noticeable. Strawberry seeds all the way.

I read in reviews of other brands that fighter soaps can crack / crumble after a while but weeks and weeks in, the Athlete Bar is still in beautiful condition. In fact, the combination of it being a solid product, the see-through ziplock bag, non-cracking surface, fantastic smell and being able to use it for face, hair and body meant this was my choice to take with me to the IBJJF Europeans in Lisbon, Portugal. Why pack several products when one will do the job beautifully?

Here's the official word from Idee Pure about Athlete Bar:

Product Description

Athlete Bar  – Your essential training partner

An invigorating, exfoliating Soap bar. Perfect for all contact sports – BJJ, MMA, wrestling, grappling, rugby and others. The Athlete Bar provides a deep cleanse without drying out your skin. Each bar weighs a minimum of 120 grams (on average each bar is approximately 125 gms) and provides about 30-35 washes!

We didn’t think it was possible but we’ve taken your feedback and made the Athlete Bar even better: A new formula continues to do what the original Athlete bar did best – keeping your skin fresh, clean and clear without drying it out. A little more peppermint and tea tree oil? Yes please. You’ve never felt this fresh and alert! Strawberry seeds replace the original poppy seeds to provide a smoother, gentler exfoliation. They’re easier to wash away too!
Spirulina powder is an all natural colorant with added benefits for the skin.

A new price – just £3.99 a bar!

Comes in a waterproof, ziplock bag ideal for taking straight into the shower and keeping in your gym bag for a hassle free clean whenever you need it.

  • Peppermint and tea tree. These oils kick start your senses – you’ll feel alert and ready for action. Their strong anti-bacterial, anti inflammatory,  anti-septic properties are said to help fight common skin infections or conditions such as eczema, acne or ringworm.
  • Eucalyptus and rosemary oils are known aid in the treatment of blisters, burns, in the healing of bruises and to be great for muscle pain relief.
  • Jojoba oil, a natural moisturiser, prevents the skin from drying without making it oily.
  • Spirulina powder, a blue-green freshwater algae is used as a natural colourant and is rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • 100% Pure Essential Oils
  • 100% SLS free.
  • 100% Vegan.
  • 100% Against animal testing.


This is clearly a premium product and I know for a fact, because I know the owners of the brand, that it's only made in small crafted batches, which reflects in the price. £3.99 per bar (generous bulk discounts available). As grapplers, we spend a lot of time and money looking after and honing our bodies, minds and skills so a £3.99 bar that lasts (according to the manufacturers) at least 30 washes (13.3p / wash!) is a wonderful luxury that I have decided to treat myself to. Make your own informed decisions.

What I do recommend, however, is that if you do buy one Athlete Bar and if you like it, tell your academy owner about it. Businesses work best when they get support from the community they were born to serve and vice versa.

Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.



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