Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: 2 Important Ingredients

Bar soap vs body wash, which is better? Well, let’s find out. Bar soap is simply a soap that comes in a solid bar shape. Bar soap contains no liquid content but can only get wet in the hands of the user when it comes in contact with water and can be used directly on the skin or can be applied directly with a washcloth or loofah. There are different types of bar soaps that can be used on both the face and body but the two soaps may have different formulas.

Some examples of highly recommend bar soaps are: cetaphil cleaning bar, dial, dove sensitive skin cleansing soap, shea moisture black soap, peach exfoliation hand and body bar soap, methods men bar soap, Basis bar soap, ceraVe, panoxyl, etc.


Below are the reasons why bar soaps are important:

  • Bar soaps completely clean the whole body.
  • Bar soap helps to reduce the amount of waste produced in the environment. 
  • Bar soaps tend to last for a longer period.
  • Bar soaps have different formulas in stock.
  • It can be easily packed when traveling.
  • It helps in body exfoliation.


The body wash is a specialized liquid product that is used for cleaning the body during showers. The body is saponified oil-free but rather uses synthetic detergents derived from either petroleum or plant sources.

Body washes contain a lower pH value than the normal traditional bar soap, it is also known to feel less drying to the skin. In certain cases, sodium stearate is added to the chemical combination to create a solid version of the body wash.

Some examples of body wash are: Aveeno body wash, Olay body wash, dove body wash, pears pure and body wash, ceraVe hydrating body wash, Cetaphil cleansing body wash, etc.


  • Body wash helps the general health of the skin to be in check.
  • Body wash is important for antibacterial protection of the body.
  • It is easily used for showers.
  • Body wash hydrates the entire body.
  • It helps to exfoliate the skin.
  • Body wash is travel friendly.


1. The main difference between bar soap and body wash is primarily the form they come in and how they interact generally with the skin and both bar soap and body wash will cleanse the body properly. Although certain bar soap seems harsher than their other counterparts in body wash and it can remove essential lipids and proteins, they can also alter the skin’s pH level, which can cause skin irritation. 

2. Body wash is best for people with normal to dry skin, it is also best for people who are looking for milder product formulas. While bar soap is best suitable for people with oily skin types, people living around areas that are hot and humid.

3. Body wash is slightly more hygienic than bar soap because bacteria can live on bar soap for a long time and can be transferred from shower to shower and person to person unlike body wash, it does not transfer bacteria because it does not touches the skin while in use in the shower.

Note: To avoid bacteria buildup it is always best to rinse thoroughly between use and allow to drain and dry completely.

4. Bar soap works by dissolving dirt on the surface of the skin. As sweat and dirt mix with the body’s natural oils, it settles on the skin and breed bacteria bar soaps break this oily layer apart and lift pathogens away from the skin completely while body wash uses the same cleansing mechanism to get the dirt off the skin but it often contains a mixture of ingredients meant to help treat common skin conditions.

Bar soap vs body wash

5. When it comes to environmental friendliness bar soap is a lot more eco-friendly than using a shower gel or body wash.

6. Bar soap comes packaged in a recyclable box, and can be easily recycled while body wash contains microbeads which are also very controversial. In some cases, body wash is completely banned because of its impact on the environment. 

7. Bar soap tends to contain fewer allergies because the ingredients are fewer while body wash causes more allergies because of the numerous ingredients used in the production. Bar soap does not typically need preservatives to keep them shelf-stable because they are typically free from parabens.

Note: It’s also easier to make bar soap hypoallergenic. There are plenty of herbal, all-natural bar soap options that are hypoallergenic.

8. Body washes are preferred and better to use with people with dry skin or when one skin typically feels dry, stripped, or flaky after a shower because it contains hydrating ingredients meant to coat the skin and seal in moisture.

Note: Body wash is highly recommended for people with a chronic skin conditions like rosacea, psoriasis, or acne.

9. Body wash contains cleansing agents and natural or synthetic exfoliant ingredients that are not found in bar soap. 


1. Glycerin: This is a plant-based cleanser that can seal moisture into the skin barrier without stripping the skin of its oils.

2. Natural exfoliants, such as finely milled black walnut shells, oatmeal, or ground apricot pits, work naturally to remove dead skin cells.


Some natural oil that is very important and one or more must be used in the production of bar soap and body wash are: lemon oil, rose oil, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, and some moisturizing oils, such as coconut oil and sweet almond oil, have additional skin-softening properties, Shea butter, and coconut butter are frequently found in certain hypoallergenic soap formulas and are safe and shelf-stable for people to use on skin.


One’s preference for body wash or bar soap should depend greatly on what your priorities are for total cleansing of the body. Dryness, clogged pores, and skin flaking can all be addressed with a body wash because body wash usually contains ingredients that are meant to restore skin moisture that can be stripped by the cleansing process.

It is also true and advisable to not share bar soap with other members of the family or even close neighbors so it’s better and recommended to use body wash if one best share it with family and friends. 

Bar soaps are very eco-friendly and sustainably made to cleanse dirt completely from the body, basic bar soap should be everyone’s shower soulmate. If you need skin hydration, serious exfoliation, or acne treatment during the shower, a body wash might be the better choice