Bar Soap vs. Body Wash: Which Is Right for You?

bar soap vs body wash

When it comes to body care, today, there are different types of body cleansers, and there's an age-old debate between bar soap vs body wash. While traditional bar soap reigned supreme in the 19th and much of the 20th century, by the late 1980s, it started getting tough competition from its liquid alternatives known as body washes. But which cleanser is right for you?

Bar Soap vs. Body Wash: Which Is Better for Your Skin?

Bar soap is a solid cleanser. It's traditionally made by mixing vegetable oil base, water, and an alkali (lye), which triggers a chemical process called saponification. This process results in soap, a mixture of the salts of fatty acids and glycerin, which acts as a softening agent.

But the problem is that most of the bars of soap manufactured by big brands you can buy at the store are not technically soap. In fact, they are syndet bars made from synthetic surfactants. Consumers call these syndet bars soap, but they are often marketed as "beauty bars" or "cleansing bars." Commercially manufactured "bar soaps" that contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates, synthetic fragrances, and dyes can make your skin dry and cause skin irritation. But all-natural bar soaps as we make at Botanie Soap, using a traditional cold-process method (with retained glycerin), will benefit your skin and the environment.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines body wash as "a liquid product for cleansing the body." Like bar soap, body wash works by binding to the dirt on the surface of your skin and rinsing it away. It's more thicker than traditional liquid soap, and what about the ingredients? Most body washes that you can see on the store shelves aren't formulated as true soaps. Commercially manufactured body washes use synthetic detergents, such as SLS, that can strip your body's natural oils and other surfactants derived from either petroleum or plant sources with added emollients and fragrances.

Your skin will thank you if you look for all-natural personal care products that are safe for your skin (and good for the environment), like those we make at Botanie Soap. We are committed to natural ingredients. Our body washes contain saponified oils of sunflower and coconut, vegetable glycerin, and shea butter and have moisturizing properties, so they are suitable for even sensitive skin. You may have already bought our products because some of the best skin-care brands outsource soap manufacturing to us and sell them as their own. You can buy our shea butter body washes here in bulk and save money.

Bar soaps formulated by natural manufacturers usually contain the active ingredients needed to clean your skin. Their formulas don't contain excess water and chemical preservatives. Solid bar soaps tend to be more cost-effective and eco-friendly.

Body washes are formulated to be gentler on the skin—they contain emollients that can fill in the micro-cracks in our skin, making it appear fuller and smoother. They tend to be more hygienic because you are squeezing or pumping out the product, but if you use washcloths or loofahs to create a lather, you should switch them out periodically to sanitize.

All soap products do the same job of cleansing your body, although they vary in chemical makeup. So choosing between "bar soap vs. body wash" for your cleansing needs is all about your preferences. But you should pay attention to the ingredients and look for sulfate-free body washes and bar soaps that don't contain other harsh chemicals that can harm your skin.

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