Is Body Wash Better than Bar Soap?: Benefits

Is Body Wash Better than Bar Soap Benefits

Cleansing the body with your favorite bar soap or body wash is enough to give a kickstart to the day and make it feel fresh throughout. While many people love reminiscing about the pleasant fragrance of bar soap that they have been using since childhood, others don’t feel really clean until using a loofah paired with body wash. 

But what’s better, is it your bar soap or the body wash?

As every product comes with its own set of pros and cons, here’s what you need to know while wondering about bar soap vs body wash. 

What’s The Difference Between Bar Soap Vs Body Wash?

Difference between bar soap vs body wash

While the function of both these cleansing products is the same- removing dirt and sweat from the skin, the two differ in the ingredients and mechanism. 

Our body produces oil naturally. Over time, the dirt combines with this oil as well as sweat and settles on the uppermost layer of the skin, allowing microbes to dwell and breed.  

  • Bar Soap: Dissolves the dirt on the skin’s surface by breaking the oily layer apart and, thus, removing microbes. 
  • Body wash: Removes dirt and sweat from the body in a similar manner; however, it may also treat common skin issues and provide moisturization. 

While bar soaps are designed just to remove dirt, most body washes are meant to combat skin minor skin conditions like-

  • Dry skin 
  • Flaky skin 
  • Clogged pores 

Additionally, there are certain ingredients in the body wash that stay gentle on the skin, ensuring the natural moisture of the skin won’t be stripped off. 

Here’s a table differentiating bar soap and body wash on different aspects-

AspectBar SoapBody Wash
FormSolid form, typically shaped as a rectangular bar.Liquid form, usually dispensed from a bottle or pump.
CompositionMade from a combination of fats or oils and alkali (e.g., sodium hydroxide).Contains water, surfactants, and various additives such as fragrances and moisturizers.
Cleansing MethodRequires lathering with water to create foam for cleansing.Produces lather easily upon contact with water.
Moisturizing EffectCan be drying due to its alkaline pH and may strip away natural oils from the skin.Usually formulated to include moisturizing ingredients, leaving skin feeling softer and hydrated.
ConvenienceSimple to use and can be more travel-friendly.Often comes in a variety of packaging options, including refillable bottles.
HygieneCan harbor bacteria if not allowed to dry properly between uses.Less likely to harbor bacteria due to its liquid form and packaging.
Environmental ImpactGenerallym, less eco-friendly due to packaging waste (e.g., plastic wrap).Packaging can be made from recyclable materials, and some brands offer refillable options, reducing waste.
Fragrance OptionsLimited range of scents available.Offers a wide variety of scents and formulations, including fragrance-free options.
Skin SensitivitySome formulations may be harsh for sensitive skin types.Can be formulated to be gentle and suitable for sensitive skin, with hypoallergenic options available.

When Should You Use Body Wash?

When should you use body wash

As the formulation and ingredients of most of the body wash are gentle, you can use them under the following situations-

With Dry Skin 

Since body wash contains gentle ingredients that retain the skin’s natural oil and moisture, it’s a good option for people with dry skin. Whether you feel dry and flaky skin due to its type or as a seasonal change, using body wash will keep it healthy and hydrated. 

With Certain Skin Conditions 

People with skin issues such as psoriasis, acne, and rosacea are often recommended to use gentle cleansing products, preferably prescribed by dermatologists. Additionally, you will need to look for each ingredient or chemical present in the body wash to rule out the chances of further skin irritation. 

To Exfoliate The Skin 

Usually, body wash comes with finely milled exfoliants that exfoliate the skin gently. Even though you may find exfoliants in the bar soap, too, they are not as grounded as in the body wash. It is the reason why skin may feel irritated after using soaps with exfoliants.  At the same time, body wash requires using a loofah or washcloths, which are not needed in bar soaps. Thus, using body wash ensures a great exfoliation session. 

When Should You Use Bar Soap?

Some people feel clean only after using bar soap. If you are among them, here are good reasons to make bar soaps win over body wash-


Bar soaps are more eco-friendly than body wash. Firstly, they usually come in paper packaging, whereas body wash may come packed in plastic bottles. Secondly, the microbeads present in body wash may contribute to pollution. 


Ingredients in bar soap are usually less than that of body wash. They rarely contain preservatives, making them free of parabens. Also, you can find plenty of herbal and Ayurvedic options in bar soap. 


Bar soaps were the only option of body cleansing many decades before. As the skin care industry evolved, body wash replaced bar soaps, marketing them to be gentler, hydrating, and moisturizing for the skin.  Even though it’s true in most cases, the fan following of bar soap is still not less.  Many people still prefer bar soap over body wash as the best way to clean the body and feel fresh. Also, they are convenient to use because there is no need for a loofah or washcloth.  If you are looking for a cleansing product to solve common skin conditions, go for body wash; however, for the sake of convenience and environment-friendly purposes, bar soap will be your best friend.

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