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Bar Soap VS Body Wash

Bar Soap VS Body Wash

Are you torn in your decision between choosing bar soap or body wash for your daily skincare routine? While I have always been drawn to body wash because I loved the lather and smelly products I used, it wasn’t until recent years that I realized my skin was trying to tell me something. That it wasn’t happy.

That’s when I started using bar soap. There are some body washes I can still use and I only use those that I know won’t irritate my skin. But it’s nice having a bar soap that works just as well and that leaves my skin happy.

Is bar soap better than body wash? We will let you decide. Here is a comparison of Body Wash vs Bar Soap to help you better decide which might be best for your skin or skincare needs.

Dirt Removal

As the basic purpose of both the products is cleaning, which one will do it better? The bar soap and body wash are equally effective in removing the buildup of dirt and oil on your skin after sweating. So if your main goal is just cleaning of bacteria and dirt, both work fine. It then simply leans toward your own personal preference.

Skin Hydration

It is commonly believed that bar soaps cause dryness. While this can be true, it depends on the bar soap. Not all bar soap is created equally. Bar soap that contains sodium hydroxide, a chemical known to cause dryness, can in fact dry your skin out.

Still, there are many high-quality bar soaps that are hydrating similar to a body wash with moisturizing nutrients such as aloe vera and glycerin.

Simply paying attention to what ingredients are in the soap you’re considering can be a big benefit. In terms of bar soap vs body wash in this case, look for those that don’t have harmful chemicals and ingredients.


If you’re like most you probably believe that bar soap traps a large number of bacteria on its surface, increasing the risk of transferring bacteria to others when using the soap bar again.

However, through modern research, it has shown that there is very little risk in using a soap bar used by anyone else before. Not to mention that bar soaps are affordable so everyone can have their own if you don’t want to share.

If we talk about shower gels, they almost always need something to apply to the body like loofahs or washcloths. These things are a big source of bacteria and mold and need proper and regular cleaning. When using body wash over natural bar soap be sure to change out the applicator (loofah, washcloth, etc) regularly to avoid bacteria build-up.

germ facts to consider in bar soap vs body wash

Skin's Natural Balance

If you are really thinking about your skin care, you need to read the labels carefully. It doesn’t matter if you are using bar soap or body wash, the important thing is the ingredients. You should avoid products that contain antibacterial agents such as triclocarban and triclosan.

These agents can be present in both bar soap and body wash. Naturally, the skin is covered with beneficial bacteria but the triclosan sterilizes the skin and makes it more prone to the attack of harmful bacteria in the air.

Check for more beneficial and natural ingredients like oils, shea butter and sesame oil and make sure the soap is free from preservatives and synthetic chemicals. Our natural handmade soap bars include natural ingredients so they’re suitable for sensitive skin.

Ease of Use

Both are pretty easy to use. It’s hard to say if one option is more ideal than the other because both can be applied without additional work – you can apply it directly to your skin. This becomes more of a personal preference.

For Traveling

The first comparison we make is how easy it is to transport bar soap vs body wash. Body wash can easily burst or leak inside your bag. Bar soap is typically smaller than body wash bottles but if you’re using travel size products the size won’t be an issue.

The second consideration would be repacking. Drying off the body wash bottle is typically effortless. Bar soap, however, may not dry as quickly.

So if you do travel with the bar soap keep this in mind and have a way to store it safely and securely in your bag if you don’t have time to wait for it to completely dry before packing away.

Extra Hydration

When it comes to hydration, it is a common belief that soap is responsible for causing skin dryness. While in many cases this is true, you’ll still be able to find products that encourage hydration and don’t contain harmful chemicals that dry out the skin.

The majority of quality bar soap and body wash won’t strip your skin of its natural moisture but a large variety of bargain soaps can. Of course, regardless of what kind of soap you use, you don’t want to rely on your soap being enough to hydrate your skin properly. So, always remember to apply a moisturizer after bathing.


How long does your soap typically last? In the case of bar soap vs body wash, obviously body wash is likely to win if you’re using the correct amount for each application. Some feel that this is a benefit of body wash over soap.

Bar soap is more susceptible to melting when the water hits it. Therefore, you can lengthen the life span of bar soap by storing it away from streaming water and possibly beat the life span of a bottle of body wash.


The price is greatly dependent on the product. The majority of quality products tend to be a little pricier than the lesser quality products, obviously. However, you don’t have to sacrifice in cost to get the benefits you want. Look for products that are within your budget and that offer the results you want.

Many times you can find a more cost-effective alternative to your favorite expensive brand if you take the time to find it. Our natural handmade soap bars are very affordable and effective.

Benefits of Body Wash Over Bar Soap

Here is an overview of the above to show the possible benefits of body wash over bar soap:

-Typically lathers easily

-Can be purchased in larger quantities (over 8oz, etc)

-Variety of scents to choose from (for those who don’t have adverse reactions to fragrances)

Benefits of Bar Soap Over Body Wash

Here is an overview of the above to show the possible benefits of bar soap over body wash:

-Make a great option for traveling; more compact size and no worry of leaking in your luggage

-Can find bar soaps with fewer ingredients so you can read the label easier and pronounce what’s in it

-Help support more small businesses that don’t sell products in big box stores

Try Our Eczema Soap Bar

If you are searching for a soap bar that is free of harmful chemicals but includes natural ingredients and moisturizing properties, you’ve come to the right place.

Our honey and oatmeal soap for eczema is designed with sensitive skin in mind and features a natural honey fragrance. Each of our natural soap bars is handmade and individually wrapped.

In regards to bar soap versus body wash, whichever one you choose, opt for one that contains natural and safe ingredients. Look for ingredients and herbs that naturally benefit your skin. Consider checking out the post Symptoms of Sensitive Skin if you’re not sure what skin type you are.