The great shower debate! Bar soap versus liquid body wash. Which do you prefer?
Everyone has a preference for one or the other, so which is yours? There are many factors that may influence your decision. Let’s look at some positives to both.
Liquid body wash – positives
- Conveniently packaged
- Doesn’t go ‘mushy’
- Comes in a variety of scents
- Easy to use
Bar soap – positives
- Plastic free (Often comes with little to no packaging)
- Easily transportable
- Comes in a variety of scents
- Usually made with simple ingredients
Ok, so that’s a few to get you thinking. You can probably relate to some of the items listed here. I can say with 100% certainty that I have been a lover of both. We only ever had bar soap when I was growing up. I remember my mum had a favourite brand, so that’s what we used. It was quite exciting when liquid body wash came into the supermarkets as that meant more choice. It also meant it was something a bit different.
Right, now what about the negatives? There are some fairly dedicated lovers of liquid body wash. Likewise for bar soap. But which is better? Well that’s a matter of opinion.
Liquid body wash – negatives
- What’s in it? If you read the label, do you actually know what the ingredients are? Do they seem natural to you?
- Plastic. How many plastic bottles are you throwing away every year by using body wash?
- Quantity. Exactly how much liquid body wash do you need to get a good lather? Are you using too much?
Bar soap – negatives
- It can go mushy
- It can be drying on my skin
- I’m concerned about germs remaining on my soap bar
Well you can probably guess which camp I’m in when it comes to this debate. Bar soap all the way! Now don’t get me wrong, there are some liquid body washes that I like. However, for a few reasons, I always choose bar soap. My reasons are both environmental and health related. Let me explain.
- As a family we are really trying to reduce the amount of waste we create. Using bar soap is a great way to help reduce the plastic we’re throwing away.
- Ingredients – I know exactly what I’m putting on my skin, and most of the ingredients in my soap range are really nourishing for your skin, so no drying effects!
- It’s really easy to make your own liquid soap if that’s what you prefer to use.
- There are many scents available. You even have the choice between essential oils and fragrance oils, so your taste will be catered for somewhere.
- The mushy thing is not an issue if you store your soap in a good soap dish. It needs to be able to dry out. Just do not leave it sitting in water or it will go mushy!
- Lather – It’s easy to work up a good lather with bar soap. Also, a little goes a long way.
- Finally – germs. This is where some science comes in. Let me explain a bit about how bar soap works.
Bacteria on bar soap
Bar soap use – You wet your hands, then you lather the soap in your hands. Essentially, the soap binds to the dirt, then gets washed away when you rinse. That’s a really basic explanation. Here’s an excerpt from an article I found on this subject:
“So how can a bar of soap have bacteria on it and yet not spread germs? Simply, washing is a two step process. When you lather up the oil attracting end of the soap molecule picks up grease and oils on your skin. When you rinse, the water attracting end of the molecules follow the water, letting you rinse the soap molecules — and their attached impurities — away”. (Read the full article here: https://gogreenhongkong.com/2011/09/20/the-truth-bar-soap-vs-liquid-body-wash/)
The article insinuates that the move from bar soap to liquid soap is brought about by fear. Fear that bar soap is unhygienic, that bacteria are hiding on the surface of the soap.
In my humble opinion, I choose bar soap for the win. The positives far outweigh the negatives for me. Then again, I think I have a fix for (almost?) all of the negatives! I’ll leave it up to you to decide what’s best for you and your family.