Skip to content

Body Wash vs. Soap: Which Is Actually Better for Your Skin?

When it comes to keeping your skin clean and healthy, is body wash or soap better? We compare the two to help you decide which is actually better for your skin

3 min read

In This Article

This post may contain affiliate links, please see our privacy policy for details.

We all know the drill—after a long day, we come home and immediately head to the bathroom to wash our hands and face. But what's the best way to wash? There are so many options these days, from bar soap to liquid soap to body wash. And then there's the ever-present debate of antimicrobial vs. non-antimicrobial soap. So what's a person to do?

The answer, as it turns out, depends on your skin type. If you have dry skin, you're probably better off using liquid soap or body wash, as bar soap can be drying. If you have sensitive skin, you'll want to steer clear of soap that contains harsh chemicals or fragrances. And if you're using soap on your face, be sure to choose a gentle option that won't strip your skin of its natural oils.

As for antimicrobial vs. non-antimicrobial soap, there isn't much evidence to suggest that one is better than the other—although some people prefer the extra protection that antimicrobial soap provides. Ultimately, the best way to keep your skin healthy is to practice good hygiene habits, like washing your hands regularly and keeping them clean.

Soap has been around for thousands of years, with the first recorded use dating back to 2800 BC in Ancient Babylon. But it wasn't until 1858 that English chemist John Willoughby patented the first true soap, made from animal fat and caustic soda (also known as lye). Since then, soap has undergone quite a transformation—and today, there are more choices than ever when it comes to cleaning products. But which is actually better for your skin: bar soap, liquid soap, or body wash? Let's take a closer look.

Bar Soap

Bar soap has been around longer than any other type of cleansing product—and there's a reason for that. It's inexpensive, easy to find, and effective at cleaning away dirt and bacteria. However, bar soap can also be drying; if your skin is on the dry side, you might want to opt for liquid soap or body wash instead.

Liquid Soap

Liquid soap offers many of the same benefits as bar soap—it's affordable and easy to find—but it's less likely to cause dryness and irritation. That's because most liquid soaps contain glycerin, which helps attract moisture to the skin (bar soaps often do not contain glycerin). Liquid hand soap is also available in antibacterial formulas, which can provide an extra level of protection against germs (more on that later).

Body Wash

The body wash is essentially liquid soap designed for use on larger areas of the body (hence the name). Like liquid hand soap, body wash typically contains glycerin—making it ideal for people with dry or sensitive skin—and it comes in both non-antibacterial and antibacterial formulas. One downside of body wash is that it can be pricier than both bar and liquid soaps; however, many brands offer coupons and discounts that make it more affordable.

Final Thoughts

When it comes time to choose a cleansing product—be it bar soap, liquid hand soap, or body wash—the best option for you depends on your individual skin type and needs. If you have dry or sensitive skin, you might want to opt for a product that contains glycerin (like liquid hand soap or body wash); if you're looking for an extra level of protection against germs, choose an antibacterial formula; and if you're on a budget, stick with classic bar soap. Whatever product you choose, just be sure to practice good hygiene habits like washing your hands regularly!

The Best Body Wash for Women: A Comprehensive Product Review
If you’re anything like us, you’re probably always on the lookout for the next best thing when it comes to body washes. So, we decided to put a few popular brands to the test. Keep reading to see which ones reign supreme!