The Grooming Manual
When it comes to liquid body wash versus traditional soap bars, chances are you already have a preference - and you’ve probably stuck to your go-to for awhile.
That said, it’s important that you have all the facts and that you know which form of soap is best for certain situations or skin conditions. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of liquid body wash and when it might be a better choice than traditional soap bars.
Liquid Body Wash is More Moisturizing
Bar soaps leave a squeaky-clean feeling fresh out of the shower. While some people like this extra-clean feel, others have noticed that it can also be stripping and overly drying for the skin.
There is some truth here. Many bar soaps on the market contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a surfactant that can strip away the body’s natural oils. Plus, they usually have a high pH - around 9-10 - while the body’s pH is usually slightly acidic, resting at around a pH of 5-6.
This combination of harsh chemicals and high pH can change the skin’s texture and cause irritation as your skin tries to battle its way back to its comfortable pH - not great.
These are concerns that liquid soap has an easier time avoiding. A liquid soap allows for a better pH for your skin and for the incorporation of healthier, natural ingredients like moisturizing glycerin, jojoba, and aloe vera. This makes liquid body wash a better option if you live in a dry climate, have dry skin, or deal with sensitive skin.
Body Wash Provides a Luxurious Lather
Liquid body washes tend to lather much more than their bar form alternatives. A lot of men love this because it offers a more relaxing and comprehensive clean (you can read about more ways to upgrade your shower experience here).
Of course, it's not worth using a product with questionable ingredients just to get a good lather. A natural wash is always a better option - skip the surfactants and harsh detergents. You want to get clean, not cover yourself in a bubble bath's worth of lather.
Body Wash Is Travel-Friendly
Barring an extreme slip-up (yes, body wash could theoretically explode in your luggage and leave a sticky, fresh-smelling mess), body wash is much easier to travel with. That's especially true if you have a well designed Dopp kit or toiletry travel bag.
Yes, there are some ways to travel with a soap bar. It can be done. But why? It's nearly impossible to fully dry off your soap before stowing it. A wet, creamy bar in your carry-on is terrible. And above all... it's just plain unnecessary when you could pack a travel-size bottle of body wash instead. Simple.
Body Wash Is More Hygienic
This comes down to storage methods. Bar soaps are usually stored in the shower - a high-moisture environment that encourages bacteria to accumulate and then get transferred onto your body when you start to “wash”. This can lead to acne, irritation, and even body odor.
To avoid this, store your bar of soap in a completely dry place - or better yet, switch to body wash.
That said, body wash is not perfect and comes with its own concerns. If you use a loofah or body cloth, make sure you replace it regularly. A loofah that goes for weeks without washing is a bacterial breeding ground.
Body Wash Lasts Longer
Soap bars - especially if they're stored in the corner of your shower, are exposed to splashes and standing water that will consistently diminish their size. It can literally disappear before your eyes.
When it comes to body wash, you get to use every last drop. You also have a lot of control over how much you squirt onto your loofah or body cloth. For that reason, body wash is typically the smarter buy.