Bar Soap vs. Body Wash: Which is Better?

Bar Soap vs. Body Wash: Which is Better?

Everyone has their preferences, and the same goes for how they like to get clean. There are so many different forms of cleanser; it can be hard to pick just one. There’s body wash, bath bombs, body gel, bar soap, body scrub, and more. We get it- it’s nice to have options, but it can be overwhelming to have that many choices. The most common types of body cleansers are bar soap and body wash, so we’ll stick to talking about those two. 

Neither one is bad or good because they both have their pros and cons. It’s really up to you to decide which pros make it worth it for you to use that specific product. If you want to make the switch from one to the other or are just curious about which one you should be using, keep reading. We’ve got the full scoop on both types of cleansers! So, bar soap or body wash, which is better? Let’s dive in and figure it out.  

Is There a Difference Between Bar Soap and Body Wash?

As we mentioned, there are two main types of cleansers. One is bar soap, and the other is body wash. We know what you’re probably thinking: Is there really a difference? And does it really matter if they both cleanse your body? There are actually some points you should know about when deciding which product you want to buy. Of course, there’s the obvious fact that bar soap is solid, and body wash is in a liquid form. 

Both turn into a lather when you use them on wet skin. If you have an issue with texture, you might have a product preference just based on that alone (i.e., thick and creamy body wash vs. thin and soapy bar soap). Besides the product form and texture, there are a few other distinctions to take note of. 

Bar Soap​ 

First, let’s talk about bar soap. This cleanser works by breaking down and dissolving the dirt on the surface level of your skin. If you get sweat or dirt on your skin, it will mix with your body’s natural oils. This will result in bacteria forming and getting trapped if it’s not cleansed away. Bar soap separates this oil layer and then removes the bacteria from your skin. If you are worried about hydration, it’s important to note that traditional store-bought soap is known to be more drying than body wash. 

Pros and Cons of Bar Soap

It’s definitely worth knowing the pros and cons of bar soap. It’s best to be informed about both products so that you know you are making the right choice for yourself. Here are the pros and cons of bar soap: 


  • Environmentally friendly: bar soap eventually just shrinks until there’s nothing left, which means there’s nothing to throw away and no lasting effect on the environment.
  • More natural: most bars of soap are made with fewer and more natural ingredients.
  • Better for sensitive skin: natural bar soap doesn’t need preservatives or ingredients like parabens. This might be better for people with sensitive skin. 


  • Higher risk for bacteria growth: if you don’t properly store your soap bar after using it, there is a chance it can grow bacteria. However, if stored in a dry place, there is a low risk. 
  • Not ideal for people with specific skin conditions: if you have rosacea or eczema (for example), your dermatologist will probably recommend a specific body wash, not a bar of soap. 
  • Harder to pair with a shower tool: it’s easier to apply body wash to a loofah or sponge rather than bar soap. 

If you are concerned about the environment, then there’s no question that bar soap is the better choice. Most natural soap bars will come in reusable packaging or just wrapped in tissue paper. 

Even if you do buy soap bars from the drugstore, they come in small cardboard boxes that can easily be recycled. And, if you are conscious about the ingredients that are in your shower routine, then natural soap bars are an excellent option for you. 

Body Wash​ 

Now, let’s chat about body wash. It actually works in the same way as bar soap does. However, it can address a much larger group of specific skin issues than bar soap. Body washes can have different ingredients that help to moisturize the skin. It can also target body acne, dryness, and other skin conditions.

If you have dry and irritated skin, then body wash might be a better option for you. Body wash often contains exfoliants and moisturizers, which will hydrate and smooth your skin. If you are experiencing skin troubles, just be cautious and check the ingredients to ensure the product doesn’t react with your skin. In the case of sensitive or reactive skin, natural bar soap could be the better choice for you.  

Pros and Cons of Body Wash 

Now that we know what exactly body wash and bar soap are and how they are different, we can talk about what makes each one great (and maybe not so great). Here are the pros and cons of body wash:


  • More sanitary: you never have to worry about bacteria growing with body wash because it is kept in a sealed container between uses. 
  • Lasts longer: even a smaller bottle of body wash lasts for a while. The standard-size body wash can easily last you for three months or longer. 
  • Cheap: the body wash you buy at a drugstore will probably only cost you around $5, give or take a little. 


  • Less natural: most body washes do not contain natural ingredients, or they contain a mix of natural and chemical ingredients. 
  • Not environmentally friendly: the plastic bottles that body wash comes in rarely get recycled and typically end up in landfills. 
  • Not always hypoallergenic: there are often many ingredients used in body wash, which can be reactive for people with sensitive skin.  

Overall, you can see that body wash might be better for people who have very particular skin issues that they are dealing with. If you have a skin condition, it’s always a good idea to go see your dermatologist and use the products that they recommend for you. That way, you know you are getting active ingredients that target the issue. Other than that, body wash is an inexpensive cleanser that is long-lasting and doesn’t form bacteria between uses. 

Which is Better?

Well, the truth is we can’t really say that one is better than the other. By now, you know there are a few pros and cons for both. It’s your job to figure out which product is better for you, not better overall. Body wash might just work better for some people, while bar soap might be preferable for others. 

If you prefer bar soap, then Bubbly Belle is about to be your new best friend. We have an amazing variety of all-natural bar soaps made with fresh ingredients. We have bright and fruity scents, neutral scents, and fun and unique scents. Plus, all of the bars are made with the cold process, ensuring higher quality soap bars with more natural ingredients. 

If you can’t decide on a scent, you can always try our self-care packs, which contain two scents for you to try. We have other duos and bundles as well so that you can try all of our delicious scents. If you end up loving all of the scents (which we know you will), then you can order the variety pack, which comes with all six of our scents. 

Final (Shower) Thoughts 

So, now you know that it’s up to you whether or not you think bar soap or body wash is better. Whatever works for your skin and makes you happy is the best choice. Personally, we love a good bar of natural soap. And the very best place to get natural bar soaps? Bubbly Belle, of course!

We have six great scents to choose from, and each bar of soap has a specific purpose. For example, the lavender bar can help you relax and unwind after a long day. Regardless of which one you use, they will all hydrate and moisturize your skin!


Bar Soap Vs. Body Wash: Which is Better for the Health of Your Skin? | Healthline  

How Body Wash Works | HowStuffWorks 

Body Wash, Shower Gel, or Bar Soap? How to Know Which Is Right for You | Real Simple  

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