Is Bar Soap Or Body Wash Better For Getting Clean?

2022-08-20 00:55:53 By : Mr. Mark Shi

Americans seem to be split when it comes to bar soap versus body wash — at least according to a 2016 research report published by Mintel in which 55% of people voiced feelings that bar soap was more inconvenient than liquid shower products. Convenience aside, however, which product better serves us when it comes to getting clean? To find the answer, experts offer their thoughts about what to do when it comes to choosing bar soap or body wash.

While both products are skilled at removing dirt from the skin's surface, bar soap and body wash are made up of different ingredients and are of different consistencies (per Science Times). Skin experts explain via Consumer Reports that while bar soap takes the form of a solid, body wash is a liquid cleanser. Between the two, skin type can play a major role in which option is a better fit, particularly if the user has certain skin conditions.

The question of bar soap versus body wash isn't necessarily clean cut, so to speak. "An oily cleanser might be too harsh for dry skin, and a highly fragranced cleanser could irritate or set off an allergy in individuals who are susceptible," medical and cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco tells Women's Health. Because scented cleansers or soaps containing harsh chemicals may evoke a negative skin reaction in those with sensitive skin, it's important to take a closer look at the ingredients when it comes to choosing between the two products.

The major difference between bar soap and body wash is that you'll find more moisturizing ingredients in body wash, according to Consumer Reports. Usually of a creamier consistency, body wash can be effective in alleviating dryness, flaking, and clogged pores (via Science Times). In some cases, a doctor may also suggest the use of body wash for those with acne, psoriasis, or rosacea.

Bar soap, on the other hand, is geared more towards killing bacteria and pathogens that have set up camp on our skin's surface, reports Science Times. Bar soap is also able to effectively break down sweat, dirt, and oils. However, because bar soap often has a higher pH level compared to body wash, it can leave skin feeling tight and dry after the fact, per Consumer Reports.

While both products have benefits to offer, if you find yourself in the market for a new shower cleanser, consider the individual needs of your skin. If your choice between bar soap or body wash hinges on cleanliness, however, Dr. Maiysha Jones, principal scientist in the North American Personal Care Division at Procter & Gamble offers advice via Consumer Reports saying that traditional bar soap may be the best fit if you're simply looking to get squeaky clean.