Get the dirt: The pros and cons of using bar soap

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By: Behind the Mirror


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Growing up there was always bar soap in the shower. I wasn't a fan. For several reasons. The first being I hate to do laundry and all the wash cloths over and over again add up. The second being that it just didn't lather up as nicely as a body wash did. In retrospect, my mother always bought Irish Spring, which smelled amazing. I've never asked why she bought the bar soap, but some highly respected ladies of beauty use bar soaps. So, I decided to give bar soaps another try. However, I am nothing if not thorough so I gathered up quite a large collection and got to work. A lot of years have gone by since I last used bar soap, and I expected things had changed quite a bit. The thing with bar soaps are they work just as nicely with a loofa as a body wash does. That took care of 'not being a fan' reason number one and reason number two. And, it only took me about 2 seconds to figure that out. The other thing I figured out was no two bar soaps are the same. Each soap was unique from the others, but I found some common pros and cons between all of them.


Pros:

Fragrance.

While many body washes I've used over the years smelled amazing, the smell usually wears off within a couple hours. All day I found myself smelling fresh and clean. Bar soaps contain fragrance, which helps the smell last longer. Most liquid soaps on the other hand are scented, but you can still find fragrance-free or unscented soaps if this irritates your skin.

Appearance.

The packaging and appearance of the soaps (especially for a guest bathroom) are so pretty! I loved all the different shapes, colors, and smells.

Calms Breakouts.

Bar soaps containing glycerin are good for people with sensitive skin, eczema and psoriasis as this ingredient has healing properties as well as the ability to attract water to the skin, leaving it feeling soft and hydrated.

Long Lasting.

While liquid soap isn't as messy in the shower, I learned that I might be using too much each time. It's easy to pump more than what is necessary into the loofa. Where as with bar soaps, I only use what is needed.

Price.

Drug store bar soaps are definitely less expensive than body wash. However, I found myself splurging on fancy bar soaps so in the end there wasn't much of a price difference.


Cons:

Messy.

Without a proper bar soap holder in the shower, it melted away faster than I could use it. It also left a lot of slim on the bar soap holder in the shower.

Dry.

I could tell after the first day that even the "moisturizing" soaps were going to leave my skin dryer than I like. Liquid soap contains a lower ph level than bar soap and is therefore gentler and suitable for people with sensitive skin because it is also able to retain more than 30% of the skin's natural moisture.

Cleanliness.

Because bar soap is left exposed to moisture, it is more likely to grow small amounts of bacteria. While the risk of getting a disease from the soap is probably not very high, I wouldn't share it with a large amount of people.

Here are some revitalizing DIY bar soaps:

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DIY Soap Bars
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So, which is better? Do you have a preference? Bar soap or Body wash?

Watch John Popper's opinion:

John Popper: Bar Soap Vs. Liquid Soap!


More from Behind the Mirror:
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