When it comes to body care, finding the right cleanser is crucial. After all, the skin is our body's largest organ, and our cleansers cover so much surface area.
So how should we really lather up? Let's get to the bottom of the bar soap versus body wash debate, so you can streamline your shower.
Bar soap pros and cons:
Sure bar soaps will tend to give you more bang from your buck. Some bars cost as little as $1 and can last for several weeks, whereas body washes tend to get used up more quickly.
When formulated by clean and natural manufacturers, bar soap usually just contains the active ingredients you need; because the formula doesn't include water, there's no need for any chemical preservatives to stop bacteria from breeding. What you're (often) left with is just a high concentration of pure ingredients.
Con: Breeds bacteria, unless you store it right.
Bar soap itself isn't unhygienic; rather, it's how you store the bar that matters (and what seems to give bar soaps their bad rap). If they stay moist (like, say, in a puddled soap dish), that's when the bacteria has a field day. If you use bar soap, you'll want to store it in a completely dry area and make sure you wash it before each use: "This reduces the amount of bacteria transferred back onto your body.
Con: Can dehydrate the skin.
Ever used a traditional bar soap and stepped out of the shower feeling tight and dry? It might be because your bar soap contains sodium lauryl sulfate, a harsh surfactant that can strip your body's natural oils. That's why your skin may feel tight post-shower, as those bar soaps can dehydrate the skin.
Body wash pros and cons:
Pro: Moisturises the skin.
Body washes are typically formulated to be more gentle and hydrating for the skin.
Unlike the squeaky-clean feeling you might get from a bar soap, body washes can replenish your skin's protective barrier leaving it soft and hydrated. Just be sure the body wash you're using is free of sulphates as well. If you have sensitive skin, eczema, or a history of any skin disease, please be sure that any body wash you use is sulphate- and artificial-fragrance-free. Sulphates give your body wash that familiar, soapy lather, but it can strip the skin of natural oils, leaving it a little parched (especially if it's already prone to dryness).
Pro: More hygienic (sort of).
Body washes tend to be naturally more hygienic since you are squeezing or pumping out the product. The cleanser isn't stagnant in a moist soap dish, which can mitigate the risk of bacterial growth.
But there's a catch: If you use loofahs or washcloths to get a foamy lather, you'll want to keep those scrubbers on your radar. Just because the formula itself won't breed bacteria doesn't mean you're totally in the clear. Make sure you're washing your loofahs and washcloths before each use, switching them out every few weeks.
Con: Can include iffy ingredients.
As with all cleansers, checking your labels is key. Liquid body washes may water, which means it requires a preservative in order to keep the formula bacteria-free (as water is a breeding ground for bacterial growth). You'll want to make sure your wash doesn't contain harsh chemicals like parabens or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. (Hint: we're paraben free).
The verdict? Whilst, it comes down to ingredients and reading labels, it's actually all about your skin and how it feels. Next time you jump in the shower, have a little think how your soap / wash makes your skin feel.
We're a little bias, but we can't look beyond a good quality body wash.
Naturally, as with all JE products, our Grapefruit & Bergamot Body Wash is sulphate free, additive free and paraben free (in other words it's just full of the good stuff to leave your skin clean, soft an super smooth).
Learn more about it here