The Big Skin Debate - Are Body Wash or Soap Better For Your Skin

Is Body Wash Or Soap Better For Your Skin?

 Are you using a Body Wash or Soapright now?

Have you ever wondered which one is better for your skin and the planet?

When you think about how much your skin is in contact with these cleansers each day its worth looking at the pros and cons of both.

Both our Natural Soap Bars and Body Washes are effective cleansers and are kind to your skin and the planet.

 When making a choice it comes down to your skin type & personal preferences.

 Soap is the winner for lower cost, fewer and more simple ingredients and less packaging which is better for the planet.

 Whereas, body wash tends to be more hygienic, hydrating, contain more specialised ingredients & is more portable.

Read on to learn more ….

1.Which Body Cleanser Is Best for Sensitive Skin?

Body wash typically softens and cleans your skin without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

They tend to be formulated with ingredients like emollients that are gentler and more hydrating for your skin. They lock in moisture and help protect your skin from damage.

Not all soaps strip your skin of its natural oils though.

Natural Cleansing bars like our range of saponified soaps, contain beautiful natural ingredients that seal moisture into your skin.

Like glycerine which is a plant-based cleanser & moisturising oils, such as coconut and olive oils which have additional skin-softening properties.

Plus, pure essential oils like lemon myrtle, rose geranium, lavender and sandalwood which are a delight for your senses whilst providing many skin benefits.

Verdict - Both natural cleansing bars and body washes can hydrate your skin. However, body wash tends to be more gentle and coat and seal in the moisture more effectively.  Therefore I would reach for a gentle, hydrating body wash for sensitive skin. 

Like our Natural Hydrating Body Wash with Lavender, Bergamot & Sandalwood, pictured below.

Lavender Hydrating Body Wash

2. Are Soaps Or Body Washes Kinder To Your Skin?

 Natural Soap Bars tend to have minimal, purer ingredients.

They usually contain only the active ingredients you need so you are left with a high concentration of pure ingredients.

Our Natural Cleansing Bars have a very short list of ingredients. For example our Lavender soap simply contains – Coconut & Olive oils,  distilled water, Pure Lavender essential oil & lavender petals.

Lavender Soap

On the other hand, body washes can contain more sophisticated ingredients like vitamin E and can better address skin concerns like dryness, flaking and clogged pores.

Verdict – Both can be kind to your skin, but soaps have fewer ingredients, making them more pure, simple & reducing the chance of allergens.

 3. Which Body Cleanser Is Most Hydrating?

If you find your skin feels dry after a shower, then a body wash would likely be better for your skin due to it’s moisturising effect.

Body wash, typically contains hydrating ingredients that coat your skin and seal in moisture. This is especially important for more mature or dry & dehydrated skin.

Verdict - A gentle, moisturising body washes can build skin health over time, making it smoother, softer and healthier.

 4. Are Soaps or Body Washes Better For The Planet?

If you’re focus is on eco-friendly and sustainability, then soap is the winner.  Soap typically has less packaging than body wash.

It tends to come packaged in a recyclable box or wrap, and once you’re done with using the soap, there’s nothing left to throw away. 

That said, you can recycle all of our bottles. Simply remove the pump and put in your recycle bin. The pump can be reused on another bottle.

Verdict – Soaps are the most ecofriendly as they tend to have less plastic packaging.

5. Soaps Versus Body Wash - Which Is More Hygienic & Portable?

 Body Wash is the winner here.🏆

 Bar soap itself isn't unhygienic, it all comes down to how you store it. 

 If they stay moist (like, say, in a puddled soap dish), then bacteria has a field day. It is important to keep your bar soap completely dry between uses to reduces the amount of bacteria transferred back onto your body.

Our exfoliating soap bags are not only great for glowing, smooth skin but also for storing your soap, as it hangs in the shower and allows your soap to dry and air out.

Another drawback for soap is that its difficult to take on holidays. Its not easily portable. Where as with body wash, every drop is fresh, untouched and unused and can be easily packed in your luggage.

Verdict – Body Wash is more hygienic to share amongst family members, is contained within a bottle so doesn’t breed bacteria and can be easily packed in your luggage

 6. Do Soaps Or Body Washes Work Out To Be Cheapest?

A soap bar typically costs a lot less than a body wash, so  bosy wash is more expensive up front. For example our soap bars retails at $7.95 versus $19.95 for one of our body washes.

 If you store your soap in our exfoliating bag it will extends its life and keep it in good healthy condition, making it good value for money.

Personally we go through about 2 soaps in the time that it takes to use a body wash, so the cost savings isn’t always as much as it seems.

Verdict – A soap bar is cheaper upfront but depending on how often you use them, how much you use and how effectively you store your soap, you may need more soaps versus a bottle of wash making the savings marginal.

 7. Do Soaps Clean Better Than Body Washes

Both soaps and washes give you an effective cleanse.

If you’ve been gardening then I find that our soap in a exfoliating sisal bag is great for removing heavy grime quickly and thoroughly.

But for day to day cleaning, both a soap and body wash work well.

Natural Soaps (like those pictured below) remove dirt from your skin’s by dissolving the dirt on the surface of your skin. 

As sweat and dirt mix with your body’s natural oils, it can settle on your skin and breed bacteria. Bar soaps break this oily layer apart and lift dirt and bacteria away from your skin.

Body wash uses the same cleansing mechanism to get dirt off your skin, but often contains a mixture of ingredients meant to help treat common skin conditions. 

Verdict- For soil, grease or heavy grime use a soap in a sisal bag otherwise both soaps and washes cleanse effectively.

Natural Soaps

Other Considerations

Whether you decide on a bar soap or a body wash, its advisable to go for a natural, vegan & cruelty free option every time.

Have you heard the saying, "what you put on your body is as important as what you put in your body"?

That's because your skin is your largest organ, and it absorbs between 60% to 100% of the products you put on it. Studies show that it only takes 26 seconds for your skin to absorb cosmetic creams.

The scary part is that you may be shocked to learn how many toxic, health-threatening ingredients mainstream skincare uses. 

So its always best to check the ingredients. Here are 3 toxins commonly found in soaps & washes that its best to avoid

  • Synthetic fragrances – linked to dermatitis, respiratory distress, skin allergen & Cancer reproductivity
  • Parabens – linked to hormone disruption
  • Triclosan – linked to hormone disruption

I hope you have found this blog helpful in choosing your shower soul mate 💕

Is it the bar soap or a body wash? I’d love to hear your favourite in the comments below.

Loretta is passionate about promoting confidence and looking your best at every age. She believes that beauty is not about perfection. Beauty is what you reveal when you feel good on the inside – when you smile, when you treat yourself and others gently. When you have confidence in yourself, and when you truly embrace who you are.

Loretta is the founder of rawbeauty skincare - a natural, Vegan, cruelty -free range of Australian Skincare. rawbeauty skincare was created from a need to find gentle, effective skincare that her son with allergies & eczema could also use.


  • Noelen Vassallo

    I use both alternatively. I must be using too much of the body wash when in shower I pump onto a face washer a few times to lather it. Should I just be rubbing directly onto my skin, not using a washer to apply? Your article was very informative, as I am in older age group and dry skin becomes an issue, I do enjoy the moisturising feel of the body wash.

  • Christine Chappell

    I enjoy using both your soaps and body wash cleansers,like you I alternate the two,because your products are all natural I know that they are both safe and cleansing for my sensitive skin and they smell divine.

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