What Is Better Body Wash Or Bar Soap?

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Regular cleaning of the body is important to keep it in the best health. But the selection of the right cleanser is difficult. Bar soaps and body washes are the two popular body cleaning options available on the market. They have their share of pros and cons. Where bar soap offers convenience and cost-efficiency, body washes offer more moisturization and luxury feel. If you are confused about which one to choose, then read this article. We will explain to you the basic differences between them and how to make the right choice.

About Bar Soap

Bar soap is a lengthy chain of fatty acid alkali salt that has a pH level between 9 and 10. These cleansers remove the essential proteins and lipids on the skin. The result is dry and rough skin. However, not every cleansing bar is harsh on the skin.

People who have moderate to dry skin should opt for glycerine-enriched soaps. This ingredient provides a protective layer of moisture on the skin. If you have oily skin, antibacterial bar soap contains triclosan that destroys bad odour and bacterial growth on the skin.

About Shower Gel

The body shower gel is pretty similar. It comes in the form of a liquid cleanser that uses mild surfactants to properly cleanse the skin. Consistency is one of the key differences between a shower gel and a bar soap. The body shower gel has got a thinner consistency. This makes it better for warmer climates.

Body washes offer more moisturization than shower gels. They are more hydrating compared to bar soaps. They mostly contain skin-softening agents and innovative skin health-promoting formulas that cleanse, and reduce dryness too.

Comparison Between A Bar Soap And A Body Wash

Body Wash and Bar Soap Comparison

1. Price: Bar Soap

Bar shops are less pricey. A single-bar soap lasts for several weeks easily. As opposed to it, a body wash is expensive and lasts for a comparatively lesser time.

2. Eco-Friendliness: Bar Soap

Another reason that makes a bar soap superior is its eco-friendliness. It requires less packaging. You will find it wrapped in a cardboard or on a paper whereas a body wash is available in a plastic container. In this way, you save on packing materials and energy of the labour. This, in turn, benefits the environment and supply chain.

Liquid body wash, on the other hand, comes in a water-based consistency. As they are made using water, their excessive production can lead to water shortage. This is another reason that makes bar soaps eco-friendly. They are a solid and waterless formula that preserves the environment. With bar soap, it is sure that you will save water, save the planet, and save the product.

3. Quality And Number Of Ingredients: Bar Soap

This is again a plus point of bar soaps. It is made with a minimal amount of purer ingredients. Bar soaps are formulated by natural, purer and active ingredients that don’t include water. Bar soap has a high concentration of the cleanest form of ingredients.

The liquid body wash has water that needs a preservative to keep the formula free from any type of bacteria. Body wash can contain harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde or parabens that release preservatives in the body. Due to this reason, it is very important to check the product label.

4. Bacterial Growth: Bar Soap

Soaps can lead to the breeding of bacteria if you fail to store them properly. If you keep it in a moist place, then it can lead to unwanted growth of bacteria. It can cause the transfer of bacteria in the body.

To prevent such bacterial infection, it is required that you store the bar soap in the dry place. Allow it to drain and dry completely after every use. A body wash makes it convenient to avoid the build-up of bacteria as it doesn’t come in contact with the skin while in the bottle.

5. Impact On The Skin: Tie

The key difference between a body wash and a bar cleanser is how they interact with your skin. Both body wash and bar cleansers will cleanse. However, specific types of bars could be harsher than body washes. It can eliminate essential proteins, and lipids on the skin. By changing the pH level of the skin, bar soap can cause skin irritation too. Traditional bar soap can strip off the moisture from the skin. It can also feel harsher on the skin.

It can take away the natural oils from the body. Due to this reason, your skin may feel tight and dehydrated after a shower. Bar soaps have pH levels between 9 and 10. When you bath with bar soap, you can enhance the pH levels of the skin. This can modify the texture of the skin and makes it very dehydrating. However, there are natural brands that offer conditioning bar soaps that are enriched with mild surfactants. They are calmer on the skin.

However, in our opinion, body washes are a clear winner in this case. They hydrate the skin and offer heightened moisturization to your skin. The squeaky-clean feel that you get from a bar soap replenishes the protective barrier on the skin. As opposed to it, body washes leave it hydrated and soft.

They are formulated with emollients that make them gentler on the skin. It fills in the micro-cracks in the skin and makes it smoother and fuller. Emollients soften and deeply clean the skin without taking away the hydrating oils from the skin.

People who have dry or normal skin, should look for milder cleansing formulas i.e., body washes. Those who have oily skin, or live in humid and hot conditions, should look for a bar soap that exfoliates and deeply cleans the skin.

Their impact depends on the type of skin. If you have dry skin, or sensitive skin, then you should choose ultra-hydrating cleansers. People with normal to oily skin are susceptible to sweat, an exfoliating bar soap will be the right choice.

If your skin is prone to excessive dryness, or face certain types of skin woes like eczema, acne, psoriasis etc. then moisturizing body washes are a perfect choice. People who have sensitive, rough, dry or flaky skin, should opt for body washes

6. Hygiene: Body Washes

Body washes are naturally more hygienic. They are less prone to the possibilities of bacterial growth. Though they offer fewer risks of bacterial contamination, the chances of infection are still there if you use a loofah or a washcloth. You need to keep them clean to prevent the breeding of bacteria. Changing them every few weeks is a good practice.

Body washes are more sanitary compared to bar soap. When you use a cleanser in soap form, you can notice that hairs can stick on it. Not just it is unhealthy, but also an unpleasant sight. Things can worse if two or three people use the same soap. Body washes are a great solution to this problem.

You can take it only what you require and leave the rest in the bottle. Even if many people use the same body washes, it is not going to create any sanitary issues. So, in terms of sanitary, body washes are a clear winner.

7. To get the dirt off: TIE

In terms of the ability to clean the body, both body washes and bar soaps are equally effective. They help get rid of accumulated dirt, bacteria and oil from the skin.

8. Oil Balancing Ability

Excessive production of oil causes makes your skin oily. Such skin can attract grime, and dirt. This can even lead to acne, pimples, and another type of skin damage. Bar soap is better to balance the production of oil on the skin. It can help remove dirt, oils and odor from the skin. From antibacterial to harsh chemicals infused soaps, they come in various types to give you the best relief from excessive oiliness.

9. To Maintain The Natural Balance Of The Skin: Depends On The Quality Of Cleanser

Whether you are looking for a cleanser to scrub the skin or simply clean the skin, it is important to check the product labels carefully. With body washes, and soaps, avoid products that contain antibacterial agents such as triclocarban, and triclosan. These ingredients are banned by the FDA. It is believed that the skin is covered with beneficial bacteria.

Triclosan sterilizes the skin for some time but leaves it susceptible to destructive bacteria. It can harm the intestinal flora when they penetrate into the bloodstream. Always choose the products that contain natural ingredients such as shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oils, and essential oils. They should be devoid of preservatives or chemicals.

10. To Get Extra Hydration: Body Washes

Body washes are the ideal product to get silky-smooth skin. Though the gentle bar soaps enriched with natural constituents are the least drying, but can’t offer the necessary moisturization to your skin.

Conventional products that are enriched with chemicals are marketed as moisturizing agents. They pull out moisture from deep under the epidermis layer of the skin. For increased hydration, it is beneficial to apply natural oils on the skin before you take a shower.

11. To Keep It Sustainable: Bar Soap

Bar soaps are preferable to liquid soaps in this sector. This is because they need less amount of packaging. It eliminates the requirement for plastic. They last for a longer time. Natural bar soaps do not contain harmful chemicals that damage the environment. Loofahs, plastic sponges, and body scrubbing tools are not perfect for the environment.

12. Fragrance Free: Bar Soap

Many people prefer soaps that have the least amounts of synthetic elements such as artificial fragrance, artificial color etc. This is because these artificial ingredients can make the skin prone to allergies. If you have the same considerations, then bar soaps would be the ideal choice. You can find several bar soaps that are free from fragrance.

13. Ease Of Use: Bar Soap

In comparison to body washes, bar soap is easier to use. You don’t need any washcloth, loofah or any scrubbing tool to use it. You can use the soap directly on the skin. In this way, it gives the best comfort to use it on the skin.

14. Milder On Skin: Body Wash

Body washes are gentler than a bar soap on the skin. This is because of the presence of natural oils on the skin. It helps remove excess odors, dirt and oils from the skin when you shower several times a day. It doesn’t dry out the skin.

15. Aroma Therapy: Body Wash

One of the main reasons why people are attracted to body washes is because of their pleasant aroma. Smell has a great effect on our mind and mood. They calm your mind, elevates your mood and refresh your body. In this way, body washes also work in aroma therapy. Available in plenty of fragrances, choose the one that suits your taste.

What Ingredients Should You Avoid?

Irrespective of the type of cleanser you use, it is required that you avoid specific types of harmful ingredients. These include phthalates, parabens, heavy fragrances or dyes. They can irritate a few people. Some exfoliating washes contain microbeads that are not good for health.

A bar of bar soap has less packaging in comparison to a body wash. People should prefer ingredients that are hydrating and moisturizing in nature. Body washes have ceramics, petrolatum and hyaluronic acid that works well. The cleansing agents that are enriched with essential oils, and shea butter can help get rid of the dirt and bad bacteria.

Should You Change Your Cleansers As You Age?

Bar cleansers are suitable for young people. However, as you age, you should choose extra hydrating and moisturizing body washes for your skin. This is because gentler moisturizing body washes can improve your skin health with time. They will make the skin smoother, healthier and softer.


The decision between bar soap and body wash is more of personal preference. There is no clear winner. Both of them have questionable ingredients and beneficial formulas. Bar soap is a classic body cleanser that you have been using since your childhood days.

The body wash comes in various exciting colors, skin boosting agents and aroma. They are the ideal option when you want to pamper your body with a luxurious body cleaning experience. On the other hand, if you can’t spend more and look for more convenience, then bar soap would be the ideal choice.

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