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Body wash vs body soap bar

Date Posted:29 November 2021 

Bar soaps are traditionally more drying than body washes, however, the quality of bar soap will determine how moisturising it is. While commercial bar soaps may cause dry skin, a good quality natural bar soap benefits your skin and the environment.

Which soap is better liquid or bar?

This really depends on what your priorities are. Firstly, let’s look at what soap is. Soap is traditionally made with an acid (fat) and an alkali (lye). The fat used can either be animal or plant-based and the alkali is generally sodium hydroxide. When the fat mixes with the lye it becomes solid ­– when made properly, no lye remains in the finished soaps. Today there are very few true soaps on the market. Most ‘soap’ products – liquid or bar – are actually detergents. This is because other ingredients, detergents, are being used for that cleansing and washing function – not the ‘alkali salts of fatty acids that come from the soap making process.

When it comes to body wash and bar soaps, the distinction is largely the same. Body wash, like liquid soap, is a surfactant – a combination of a dirt-dissolving component and washing-away one. Body wash & shower gel are largely the same. Generally, shower gel tends to be slightly runnier and thinner than a body wash. A shower gel doesn’t tend to have added moisturising ingredients, making it good for those in warmer climates or with oilier skin types.

If you’re comparing it to standard bar soap, a body wash is usually more moisturising, however, it all depends on the quality. You can have a cheap body wash that dries out the skin and a block of good natural bar soap that moisturises while it cleanses. Natural body wash ingredients should be free from parabens and sulphates which often cause irritation and skin reactions in sensitive people. A natural body wash for dry skin or a bar soap specifically designed for dry skin conditions should both do the job when it comes to cleansing the skin while retaining moisture.

Does bar soap get you cleaner than body wash?

Overall, bar soap is just as effective as body wash in ridding your skin of dirt, oil and bacteria. When choosing a bar soap for cleansing, however, avoid any that have ingredients like triclosan which are added to make it antibacterial. These ingredients are harsh and often dangerous for the skin. Both body wash & shower gel are equally effective at cleansing your body. Again, just be sure to avoid any body wash & shower gel that contain harsh parabens and synthetic ingredients. 

If you’re looking for a little cleansing boost, you might like to try using charcoal soap. Charcoal has gained enormous popularity in skincare due to its ability to draw out dirt and grime from the pores of the skin. Using a charcoal soap is a great skin detoxifier, benefiting body acne such as on the back and shoulders. Most commercial acne body washes are too harsh on the skin’s natural oils, leaving it feeling dry and tight. The benefit of using a charcoal soap as a natural body wash for acne is that it effectively cleanses blocked pores without drying the skin and damaging its natural ph. Even a cheap natural bar soap can be just as effective as the expensive one. The key is to look at the ingredients and select a soap with quality plant based oils.

Can germs live on a bar of soap?

Yes. When you use bar soap, you transfer a thin film of bacteria, skin flakes and oils onto the bar soap. Bar soap in and of itself isn’t unhygienic. It’s how you store the bar soap that matters. If you store a bar soap in a moist environment, like a puddled soap dish, then it’s likely bacteria will build there. Store your bar soap in a dry area and give it a wash before you use it – to reduce the number of bacteria that are transferred back onto your body. 

Can I use bar soap on my face?

Traditional bar soaps aren’t the best choice for washing your face. Most bar soaps are scented and dyed. They can also be a little too abrasive for the naturally delicate skin on our faces. A face cleanser tends to be best for washing your face. You can opt for a solid face cleanser if you’re worried about plastic bottle use and waste – or just prefer the feel of bar products.  

Which are the best bar soaps?

The best bar soaps are those that use all-natural, plant-based ingredients. Even better, if your bar soap is made from natural and organic ingredients. The Australian Natural Soap Company makes its products from all-natural plant oils, without the use of animal fats, beeswax or palm oil. Wondering which soap from The Australian Natural Soap Company fits your needs? The Only Olive Soap from The Australian Natural Soap Company is a great all-rounder for washing your hands and body. Ethique is a pioneer of solid personal care products. Ethique grew from the desire to help reduce unnecessary plastic waste by removing water from traditional personal care product formulas. If you’re looking for Ethique Australia, we stock a wide range of solid body washes and cleansers. The Ethique solid body washes are made using plant oils, glycerin and natural cleansing ingredients to create a smooth, in-shower experience.

Again, charcoal soap is great for those wanting a deep cleanse that unclogs pores and prevents breakouts – charcoal soap is particularly good for those who get back or body acne. If you’re looking to switch to bar soaps, you’ll want to add an exfoliating soap into your weekly routine. An exfoliating soap has added granules that physically scrub away dead skin cells. Using an exfoliating soap is essential to keep your skin properly clean and help your skin cells renew – making it look younger and healthier.