Bar of Soap vs. Body Gel, or Body Cleanser, which one is right for you?

This question has been going on for quite some time because beauty companies always want to create new products for us to buy.

Some of you maybe already committed to a bar of soap, body gel, or a body cleanser.

It all boils down to personal preference.

However, you should know that not all body cleansers are created equal, and you can use a different cleanser for different seasons.

Here are the differences:

A bar of soap

There are a few different types of bar soaps; some are less drying than others. The translucent bar soaps, are made with glycerin, a humectant that draws moisture into the skin and counteracts the drying effect of the soap, says Dr. Frey. Superfatted soaps are also another kind. According to a study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, these are formulated with higher levels of lipids (fatty acids) like triglycerides, lanolin and stearic acid. These ingredients form a protective film over your skin. Finally, there are antibacterial bar soaps, which contain ingredients like triclosan to squash bacteria growth and odor. If you are concerned about bacteria hanging out in your bar of soap rinse off the bar in running water before lathering up to wash away the germy goop. And always store soap out of water (i.e., not in a wet bathtub), allowing it to dry between uses. That way, thereโ€™s no moist environment for germs to flock to in the first place. A bar of soap is best to use in the summer months unless it is a natural soap loaded with oils. I use Le Petit Marseillais, Savon Lait, which is rich in vegetable and milk oils. It leaves my skin ultra silky smooth like a baby.


Body Wash and Shower Gel

Body wash and shower gels are similar. Theyโ€™re both liquid cleansers that use mild surfactants to cleanse skin. The main difference lies in their texture. Body shower gel tends to have a thinner consistency, which makes it better for warmer climates. Best to use in spring and summer.

Body washes are slightly more moisturizing than shower gels (and much more hydrating than bar soaps). They usually contain emollients (a.k.a. skin-softeners). According to a study published in the journal Dermatologic Clinics, newer formulas feature technology that delivers emulsified petrolatum (a common skin ointment) to the skin while you cleanse, which helps improve dryness. Best to use during spring and summer.


When you use a body wash, or a shower gel with a sponge, hand towel, or a pouf you can also spread bacteria. Be sure to throw it in the laundry for proper disinfecting a couple of times a week.

If your skin is super delicate, dry, or eczema-prone, you might want to stick to a shower gel. Since shower gels are water-based, and theyโ€™re often enriched with extra calming and soothing ingredients.

Sending beauty vibes! ๐Ÿ’‹

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Photo credits: ย Google Images, Joe Malone and Pinterest





    1. IngridMadisonAve

      I โค๏ธ Le Petit Marseillais entire line. They finally began selling it here in New York last year and I am obsessed. Thank you for reading & commenting. Have a great day!

    1. IngridMadisonAve

      ๐Ÿ˜„ yeah, soap has gotten a bad rap, so gels and cleansers can sell. People have been using bars of soap for hundreds of years. xx

  1. ayrgalaxy

    Iโ€™ve been using some bar soaps with essential oils and I really like them, especially the lavender ones. Love those, and I tend to switch back and forth from bars and gels.

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