When it comes to hygiene, there is a big debate over what is better: bar soap vs body wash. Some people believe that bar soap is the best way to cleanse your skin, while others think that body wash is a better option. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between each option.
What Is The Difference Between Bar Soap, Body Wash, And Shower Gel?
All mild soaps do the same thing: remove dirt from your skin’s surface. There are differences in the dirt-removal ingredients and mechanisms.
Bar soap dissolves dirt from the skin’s surface.
Your skin can become contaminated with sweat and dirt when it mixes with your body’s natural oils. Bar soaps can break down this oily layer and remove pathogens from your skin.
While body wash works the same way to clean your skin of dirt and oil, it often contains ingredients that can be used to treat common skin conditions.
A body wash can address dryness, blocked pores, and skin flaking. It typically contains ingredients that restore skin moisture, which can be lost during the cleansing process.
The shower gel is essentially a thinner and less hydrating body wash form. The shower gel doesn’t adhere to the skin in the same way and is designed to cleanse the skin but not moisturize it.
Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Pros And Cons
Bar Soap Pros
A simple method of application
Apply a lather to damp skin and rinse. It’s that simple. There is no need to use loofahs or washcloths, sponges, or body brushes, nor do you need any. The bar soap can be used until it runs out, so you don’t have to stop using it.
Perfect size for small spaces
Are you short on space in your studio walkup on the fifth floor? Square footage shouldn’t stop you from getting clean skin. A whole bottle of body wash could take up too much space in your small corner shower. A soap bar can fit easily in that small space in the wall. When deciding what you should keep on your shelf, you don’t have to weigh the pros and cons of using bar soap against other skin and hair care products.
Bar soap for sensitive skin
Many people with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis avoid using bar soap that contains skin-drying ingredients. We think the story of soap for sensitive skin is not over. Bar soaps that are plant-based and have a balanced pH level will work for anyone with dry skin. Be sure to choose transparent brands and products.
Bar soap for oily skin
Creamy body washes can be super hydrating. If oily skin is the issue, bar soap with no oil-based ingredients would be best. Bar soap’s oil-free, the squeaky-clean effect can be a little too costly for your skin’s natural oils. We recommend using a moisturizing lotion to help replenish the lost nutrients.
Exfoliation without the use of equipment
We see body washes with exfoliating ingredients and properties. Bar soaps offer your skin much-needed exfoliation without all the work of cleaning! Tools like loofahs or washcloths. For even greater skin stimulation, bar soaps may also have built-in nubs.
Bar Soap Cons
Bacteria breeds unless it is properly stored
The truth is that bar soap isn’t necessarily unhygienic. It’s how you store it that matters. This is what gives bar soap its bad reputation. They can become a breeding ground for bacteria if they are left moist, such as in a soap dish. Bar soap should be stored in a dry place and washed before use.
Can dehydrate the skin
Have you ever used traditional soap bars and felt clean when you got out of the shower? Your soap may contain sodium lauryl, which is a harsh surfactant that can strip the skin’s natural oils. Bar soaps can dry out the skin, causing it to feel tight after a shower.
Body Wash Pros
A rich lather
The best thing about body wash is the indulgent, lotion-lather shower experience. You can feel pampered and renewed as long as your shower tools are clean.
While soap bars can fit in most crevices, they aren’t the most portable. The body wash has the advantage of not having to wrap a slippery soap bar in paper and then transporting it in a bag. Close the lid of your wash bottle and then pack it away.
Use for dry skin
Many body washes have skin-softening oils that moisturize and keep the skin hydrated. Creamy body washes are great for dry skin. They will not irritate your skin while lathering and will leave it feeling smooth. Our new Rosehip and Patchouli is the best remedy for dry skin.
Use for sensitive skin
The body wash is usually liquid inconsistency. It may also contain foaming agents, which can create a lather when it comes into contact with water. Some foaming ingredients, such as those with sulfate cleansers, can irritate sensitive skin.
The body wash is a good option for sensitive skin, provided it contains plant-based ingredients and does not contain solid foaming agents. You can trust that all Love Beauty and Planet sulfate-free body washes have plant-based cleansers. Our bar soaps are also sulfate-free!
Bar soaps can dry out and be too harsh on the skin. The body wash has hydrating, moisturizing, and antibacterial benefits that you can use anywhere.
When you use those bar soaps, you can cause an increase in your skin’s pH levels, Which can change the skin’s texture (and if you already have dry or sensitive skin, those bar soaps can be extra dehydrating).
Body Wash Cons
Can include iffy ingredients
Checking your labels is essential for all cleansers. The liquid soap contains water, which means it requires a preservative in order to keep the formula bacteria-free (as we know by now, water is a breeding ground for bacterial growth). That’s where body washes become a little tricky: You’ll want to make sure your wash doesn’t contain harsh chemicals like parabens or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.
When It’s Better To Use Body Wash Or Shower Gel?
There are times when shower gel or body wash is better than the other.
If you notice your skin feeling dry or stripped after a shower, it’s best to use body soap or shower gel. Mainly body wash contains moisturizing ingredients that will coat your skin and seal in moisture.
If You Have A Chronic Condition of The Skin
You may need to consult a dermatologist if you have a persistent skin condition such as rosacea or psoriasis. There is likely to be a body wash or shower gel that you like.
A dermatologist can tell you what ingredients to avoid and which ones to be careful with when shopping for body cleansers.
Exfoliating Your Skin Is Necessary
Many cleaning agents contain either synthetic exfoliant elements or natural exfoliant components. They can also be found in bar soap but are not as finely milled and ground down as in body wash.
It’s recommended to use a loofah or a washcloth to apply the liquid soap and then rinse it off. These tools can be used to add an extra level of exfoliation to your shower.
When It’s Better To Use Bar Soap?
Bar soap can win for those who are devoted to their soap.
If You Care About The Environment
Bar soap is actually more eco-friendly than body or shower gel.
Bar soap is usually packaged in a recyclable container. Once you are done with it, you can throw it away.
Microbeads used in body washes have been controversial due to their negative impact on the environment. These types of ingredients are not typically found in bar soap.
If You Have Allergies
Bar soap is more likely to have fewer ingredients than gels and body soaps. They don’t require preservatives to keep them stable, so they are usually free from parabens.
It is also much easier to make bar soap hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic bar soaps are available in many herbal and all-natural options.
Concerned About Bacteria
One concern was that bar soap’s surface might be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
It would help if you didn’t share soap with anyone in your household. However, studies dating back to 1988 show a minimal risk of bacterial contamination by a used soap bar.
What Ingredients Should You Look Out For In Soap?
Certain ingredients should be a red flag no matter what soap you use. You can also find common ingredients that make soap gentle, effective and moisturizing for your skin.
Glycerine, a plant-based cleanser, can seal moisture in your skin barrier without stripping it of oils.
Natural exfoliants such as oatmeal, ground apricot pits, and finely milled walnut shells can be used to remove dead skin cells.
Scented soaps can be made with essential oils.
- Lemon oil
- Rose oil
- Lavender oil
- Cedarwood oil
Moisturizing oils such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil provide additional skin-softening properties.
Coconut butter is a common ingredient in hypoallergenic soap formulas. They are safe and stable for skin use.
Avoid These Ingredients
Bar soap should not contain solid antibacterial agents.
Triclosan is an antibacterial drug that the FDA has banned since 2016.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t occasionally encounter it in products made overseas. So make sure to read labels. The FDA also banned 18 other ingredients that are antibacterial microbeads.
Parabens Chemical preservatives are chemicals that preserve cosmetic products’ shelf life. Parabens may be linked with certain health conditions or endocrine dysfunction. Avoid parabens whenever possible.
Avoid products that contain “fragrance” and “perfume” on the ingredient labels if you have allergies.
FDA does not require that soaps, body washes, or other cleansers disclose the source of any fragrances in their products. You may not be aware of allergen triggers in the products you use.
It is based on your skin type.
It’s not easy to choose between body wash and bar soap. You should be aware of your skin type, in addition to ingredient lists.
If you have sensitive skin, such as dry, flaky, or rough skin, a gentle cleanser may be better than bar soap. This is because it has emollient qualities. Because Body washes usually offer mild cleansing that won’t strip the natural oils needed for skin health.
Consider carefully before deciding Which one is better for your skin. We hope that you can find it useful in this article. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave your comments below. We’re glad to hear from you.
Grounded in biology and informed by a large body of scientific research, our mission is to develop innovative medicines that target the biology of aging to prevent or treat aging-related diseases. I am a writer on beauty care. With 5 years of experience writing about beauty, skincare, and wellness, Spiddy has worked with some of the biggest beauty brands in Asia and has been featured in several publications, including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan.