Soap bars are about as fashionable as the shoulder pad. They fell out favor with good reason - generally they were made with pore cloggers and comodogenics - to make way for liquid cleansers. Recently, however, soap bars have been cleaning up their act. Take this one, for example, the Arcona Berry Fruit Bar ($42).

It is a tad pricey, but I was seduced by jewel-like colors and, as I ordered it, rationalized that it is likely to last for ages. Best of all the Berry Fruit Bar has Arcona's trademark approach of a short, effective menu of antiaging ingredients (check out the Cranberry Firming Gel and the Peptide Firming Complex).

First back to basics. There's no soap without suds and Arcona uses aloe saponins for the soapy stuff. Saponins are glycosides and form about 3% an aloe vera plant. They are soapy substances that provide cleansing and antiseptic activity, as well as being antimicrobials against bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeasts. Saponin rich yucca extract - taken typically from the root - is also used for making soaps.

Listed separately are mucopolysaccharides, although they can be found in aloe as well. Mucopolysaccharides, which are long-chain sugars found in large amounts in the plant. Mucopolysaccharides (MPS) play a role in human and animal health, and we stop manufacturing them in our bodies by the time we reach puberty.

The eponymous berries are cranberry (one of our Five Best antiaging botanicals) and raspberry. Cranberries are a source of vitamin C, but they really come into their own as an antioxidant due to the high presence of polyphenols. The Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of 100g of cranberries is 9,584. Not quite in goji’s league, but better than grapes. There are several flavonoids in cranberries, including quercetin. According to Cornell University, quercetin has the highest antioxidant capacity of all the flavonoids. Meanwhile, raspberries are antioxidants due to the presence of ascorbic acid.

Agua (Distilled Water), Glucose Polymers, Aloe Saponins, Yucca Extracts, Mucopolysaccharides,Honey, Lecithin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon Fruit Extract (Cranberry), Red Raspberry Extract (Rubus Idaeus), Camellia Sinensis Extract (White Tea), Citrus Grandis Peel Oil (Grapefruit), Citrus Grandis Seed Extract (Grapefruit)