Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Which Is Better?


Serious question…

Are you a bar soap guy?

Or a body wash guy?

Does it really matter?



soap vs body wash for men

Well if you’re like me…

You’ve been using the same cleanser your whole life.

Which is why I wanted to challenge the status quo.

Most men have used the same thing for 10 or 20 years…

But what if there’s a better option for you?

And you might benefit from switching products?

Time to find out…

Gentlemen, it’s time that we settle the debate of bar soap versus body wash.

I’m going to put these two in a showdown that’s made up of 10 rounds – with a point awarded to the winner of each round. They represent ten major factors which people consider when buying soap.

Let the battle begin…

1. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Cleansing Power

man in bathroom with bar of soap

Winner: Bar Soap

First round goes to bar soap, but remember both types are technically great cleaners (it’s their job to be).

Most bars of soap contain sodium lauryl sulfate and other antibacterial products. The terms may not stick in your mind – but just know they’re a little better at removing dirt and oil.

Tip: You can add a little grit to your bar soap using ingredients like coffee grounds, poppy seeds and ground oatmeal. These make the perfect exfoliants.

2. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Skin Care

body wash on bathroom shelf

Winner: Body Wash

Due to the lower pH level, men with sensitive skin would benefit more from body wash.

Many versions of body wash also have large amounts of petrolatum, a lubricating ingredient which moisturizes the skin. So while women might be more affected by it – we should all avoid getting dry skin.

Every time we shower, we lose most of our skin’s natural moisture. But the difference is with body wash – you can still retain about 30% of it.

3. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Fragrance

aromatic soap bars smelling awesome

Winner: Bar Soap

As nice as body washes smell, the smell normally wears off in a matter of hours. That’s not the case for bar soaps – their fragrances are meant to last.

A lot of bar soaps are also allergy-friendly. You’ll be able to find unscented or fragrance-free versions if certain ingredients irritate your skin.

Meanwhile fragrance-free body washes can be hard to find. Most body washes are likely to have fragrances or other additives that can aggravate sensitive skin.

Tip: Observe how your body responds to moisturizing ingredients or fragrances. If your skin reacts badly to them, you ought to use natural soap instead.

4. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Life Span

Winner: Both (1 point each)

When it comes down to it, how long either type lasts will depend on the way you use it. So it’s a draw.

Since bar soap comes in solid form, you have more control over how much you use up. But at the same time – it can shrink fast or turn mushy as it’s directly exposed to water. The solution here is to place it on a wire soap dish so it doesn’t degrade fast.

For body washes, there’s always a risk of using more liquid than what’s necessary – especially those inside easy-to-squeeze bottles. So if you want your body wash to last longer… try using smaller amounts efficiently.

5. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Hygiene

man holding bottle of organic body cleanser

Winner: Body Wash

Let’s face it – anything that’s been touched by many hands has more germs. That applies to bar soaps, even though they’re used for cleaning!

Studies show that levels of bacteria on previously used bar soaps are higher than the ones on unused soaps. These germs accumulate on wet surfaces – but there’s no way you can keep your soap fully dry after a shower.

And sometimes there’s body hair that gets stuck to the soap (which isn’t always yours) – not a great sight!

If you share a bathroom at home, it’s better for everyone to use body wash. It will harvest fewer bacteria. And because of the container, the remaining liquid stays protected from the air and physical contact.

6. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Easier To Use?

natural body wash

Winner: Body Wash

We’ve all had those experiences in the shower when the soap slips out of your hands. You’d have to bend over to pick it up every 5 minutes… and it’s frustrating!

Thankfully that doesn’t happen with body wash. All you need to do is squeeze the necessary amount onto a loofa or sponge – then scrub away.

Body wash liquid produces a thick lather, which some people prefer since it makes them feel thoroughly clean. This liquid is also easier to rinse off.

So imagine all the minutes you can spare by spending less time on scrubbing, rinsing… and ZERO time on picking something up!

7. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: More Eco-Friendly?

carefully packed bar of eco-friendly soap

Winner: Bar Soap

For those guys who are environmentally conscious, bar soaps are the way to go. They’re greener because of the paper/cardboard packaging. Not only are these recyclable – they can also break down more easily in landfills. They’re also less wasteful in the shower.

Body wash containers tend to take up more space in the landfill. However they also waste more water whenever the shower runs and you are:

  • Getting the container & opening the cap
  • Squeezing out the liquid
  • Making the loofa “foamy” enough before scrubbing
  • Closing the cap & putting back the container

I’d suggest that if you’re going to buy body wash, either choose one with a pump dispenser or transfer the liquid into a separate container with a pump. That’s how you can minimize any wasted soap or water.

8. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Price

Winner: Bar Soap

Bar soaps are always going to be cheaper. They come in single bars, packages, or they can be bought in bulk. Either way there’s no bottle or pump dispenser you have to pay for – which keeps the prices low.

Because of the packaging material, body washes have to be priced higher than bar soaps. You should take these factors into account whenever you compare both types or even different brands. If something costs a dollar more than the other… it doesn’t automatically mean it’s better.

9. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Convenience For Travel

man packing for travel

Winner: Body Wash

In terms of mobility, body washes are much less of a pain the butt.

If you’re traveling to different places for a couple of days – a small, reusable bottle of body wash comes in handy. You do NOT want to carry around a gloopy and sticky bar of soap. It’s nothing but trouble!

10. Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Appearance

Winner: Both (1 point each)

Finally, bar soaps and body washes are pretty even when it comes to appearance. There are two perspectives you can look at them from:

  • Bar soaps come in different attractive shapes, colors, and designs/markings. A new one that’s just been removed from its package can make a great accessory for a guest bathroom.
  • Body washes can be transferred into another container which matches the look and feel of your bathroom. The liquid itself doesn’t have to be seen at all. (The choice of container might be more of your wife’s decision, though)

Bar Soap Vs Body Wash: Final Tally

Bar Soap = 6 pts

Body Wash = 6 pts

It’s a tie.

So the message behind all this is pretty clear: either type of soap works fine. Each one has its pros and cons. At the end of the day, your goal is to make the right decision based on your own needs and preferences.


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