Bar Soap Vs. Body Wash: What’s The Difference?

man washing with body wash in shower

Bar soap vs. body wash - which product is better to use? 

Don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the first person to ponder this. After all, with the right cleansing product in your shower, you can nourish your skin, improve your hygiene, and get more bang for your buck. What’s not to love?

So, bar soap vs. body wash - what’s the difference? And what should you be using? In this article, we’ve covered the differences between these popular products and their key benefits - check it out!

What Is Body Wash 

3 in 1 body wash in the shower

First off, let’s kick things off with the fundamentals - what is a body wash?

Body wash is a liquid cleansing product, used to wash the body in the shower - sounds simple enough, right? These formulas are typically designed to wash off any dirt, sweat, or excess oil from the skin

Though it doesn’t stop there - body wash can also be used to unclog the pores, treat dry skin, and wash away any lingering odours. 

The Benefits Of Body Wash 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of body wash, let's dive into the good stuff - what are the pros and cons of using a body wash in the shower? 

Better Hygiene

Bar soaps tend to be much less hygienic than body wash. Though we may not like to think about it, bar soaps tend to be shared between people or are often left on the shower floors to gather bacteria - no thanks! 

With a body wash, this simply isn’t an issue. This liquid cleanser is safely stored in its own container with a one-way dispensing system. With each pump, you don’t need to worry about sharing with others. 

Good for Dry Skin

One of the best things about body wash is that it can be very nourishing for dry skin. These products typically contain a hydrating element, which can help to lock-in the moisture as you cleanse. Of course, not all body washes are built this way. To determine if your body wash is good for this purpose look for moisturisers (also called "humectants") like glycerine, sorbitol, vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, sodium lactate, lactic acid or glycol. 

A body wash with this kind of moisturising formulation can dramatically improve the shower experience for any blokes dealing with dry, flaky, or tight-feeling skin. 


Compared to bars of soap, body washes can last a seriously long time - specifically since these products are typically packed into much larger bottles. With the right product, you can get a better bang for your buck. Not only that, but in many cases, as the bar of soap wears down, it eventually becomes too small to usefully handle and is discarded before it's completely used. 

Spend less time shopping for soap, and more time doing the things that really matter. 

Easier to apply

Ever dropped a bar of soap in the shower? It can sometimes look like a circus as you hopelessly chase the slippery bar around the floor as it escapes your grasp every time you try to pick it up. Not only that, the bar itself requires more time to work through the hands and get a lather.

Body wash is way easier to apply. Simply pump it out and lather it directly on the skin. There's no need to work it through your hands first and there's no game of chasey should you drop your bottle.

The Cons 

What Does It Contain?

Over the years, commercial body washes have gotten a bad reputation for containing questionable ingredients.

That being said, avoiding these bad ingredients is as simple as reading the ingredients list. If you’re worried about what’s in your body wash, you can simply steer towards a product with better ingredients. These days there are many brands that are working hard to bring products that are packed with botanicals and avoid using things associated with toxicity or negative environmental impacts.

Always opt for elements that are going to nourish your skin.

What Is Bar Soap?

man using bar soap

Now, we move onto bar soap - what is it and how does it work?

Just like with body wash, bar soap is a cleansing product used in the shower - used to wash away any dirt, oil, or sweat lingering on the skin. Though, as the name suggests, bar soaps come in a solid-state 

Unlike body washes, the average body soap doesn’t typically contain additional ingredients to help treat common skin conditions - such as dryness. 

The Benefits of Bar Soap

Effective Cleansers

If bar soaps are good at one thing, it’s effectively cleansing the skin. These products seamlessly cut through any excess oil and dirt to leave behind a clean, fresh complexion. 

They’re Cheap

Another benefit of bar soaps is that they’re extremely affordable - for example, you can grab a generic bar of soap for as little as $1. Not to mention, they can last many weeks with regular use. 

That’ll make the wallet feel good! 

The Cons of Bar Soap

Dries Out The Skin

Bar soaps are very handy when it comes to cleansing away dirt and sweat - although their ability to strip away dirt and grime can also lead to a stripping of your skin's natural moisture. This effect is exacerbated by the typically high pH of soaps which is detrimental to your skin's defence from wind and sun. For any blokes with a dry skin type, body washes may be a more suitable option.

Requires Proper Storage

One of the main pitfalls of bar soap is that it demands proper storage. Without it, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria - which isn’t too handy when you’re trying to clean your skin.

When it comes to storing bar soap, you’ll need to keep them dry between showers. This will help them last longer and will help to minimise bacteria production.

Bar Soap Vs. Body Wash: Which Is Better? 

So, bar soap vs. body wash - which product is better to use in the shower? In our humble opinion, we think body wash is a clear winner. 

Compared to bar soap, body wash is much easier to use, it lasts longer, and is even able to treat conditions like dry skin. Not to mention, they're so much more hygienic - especially since there’s no sharing involved. Each pump is your own. 

Though we might seem a little biased, we think that you simply can’t overlook all these benefits of using body wash. 

Milkman 3-in-1 Body Wash 

bearded man with milkman 3 in 1 body wash

Whiskey and Dry Scent Body Wash

Are you on the hunt for a premium body wash? Check out this 3-In-1 Whisky & Dry Body Wash by Milkman. 

The formula works to make your skin feel soft and supple, creating a gentle lather without being too harsh on the skin. When it’s applied to the hair, the gel transforms into a thicker foam to remove any built-up sweat, dirt, or styling product. 

Unlike other multi-purpose products, this 3-in-1 body wash won’t dry out your hair. Instead, it pulls moisture into the follicles to condition and strengthen. 

Gin and Tonic Scent Body Wash

If whiskey isn't your thing you might be interest in one of Milkman's latest offerings. The novel Gin & Tonic "Boozy Body Wash" is all about getting washed, not sloshed. It still contains the same wonderfully botanical base recipe as the Whiskey and Dry body wash but the all natural scent has an amazing story.

To capture the essence of Gin, Milkman have teamed up with Devils Thumb distillery to obtain real Gin that doesn't quite make the cut for sale in bottle shops and bars as the final finished product. Rich and fragrant, this Gin base is combined in the body wash with natural extracts of juniper, tangerine & cucumber to give a delightfully refreshing bathing experience. The natural green colour (from chlorophyll derived from leaves) captures visually, what the fragrance depicts to provide a sensorial feeling like no other.

gin and tonic scent 3 in 1 body wash by Milkman


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published