What Should You Use to Wash Yourself in the Shower?

When you step into the shower, your goal is straightforward: get clean. Yet, when faced with a multitude of choices, from soaps to body washes, the decision can suddenly seem a bit more complex. So, what should you really be using to wash yourself in the shower? Let’s dive into the details.

The Battle of Bar Soap vs. Body Wash

Both bar soap and body wash are effective at cleaning the body, but they come with different benefits and drawbacks that might sway your choice.

Bar Soap: Traditional and Trustworthy

Bar soap is the classic choice. Typically less expensive than body wash, it’s known for its simplicity and eco-friendliness due to minimal packaging. If you’re aiming for a low-waste lifestyle, bar soap is a champion. However, some bar soaps can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness. It’s important to choose a bar soap with moisturizing ingredients if you have dry or sensitive skin.

Body Wash: Luxurious and Moisturizing

Body wash, on the other hand, often comes enriched with moisturizers that leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. It’s a great option for those with dry skin or for anyone who enjoys a more pampering shower experience. Plus, the liquid form allows for a combination of cleansing agents, which can be tailored to various skin types and needs. The downside? It’s usually more expensive and less environmentally friendly than bar soap due to its plastic packaging.

Enhancing Your Routine with a Washcloth

Adding a washcloth to your shower routine can enhance the effectiveness of both bar soaps and body washes. Here’s how:

Benefits of Using a Washcloth

  • Exfoliation: A washcloth can help exfoliate the skin by removing dead skin cells, which promotes smoother, clearer skin.
  • Improved Lather: Using a washcloth can help generate more lather and distribute the soap or body wash evenly across your body.
  • Precision Cleaning: A washcloth allows for targeted cleaning, which can be especially useful for areas like the underarms or behind the knees.

Considerations When Using a Washcloth

  • Hygiene: It’s important to rinse your washcloth thoroughly after each use and allow it to dry completely to prevent bacterial growth. Replace or wash it frequently.
  • Skin Sensitivity: For those with sensitive skin, use a soft washcloth and gentle motions to avoid irritation.

Other Considerations

For Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to look for products labeled “fragrance-free” and “hypoallergenic.” Both bar soaps and body washes can meet these criteria, but you’ll often find more specialized options in the body wash aisle.

For Acne-Prone Skin

For those managing body acne, a body wash containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can be beneficial. These ingredients help to clear pores and reduce acne outbreaks. Bar soaps with these ingredients are less common but are also available.

For Eco-Conscious Consumers

For environmentally conscious consumers, consider bar soaps with organic and natural ingredients that are packaged in biodegradable or recyclable materials. There are also eco-friendly body washes that use sustainable packaging and environmentally safe ingredients.


1. Can using the wrong product affect my skin health?

Yes, using a product that doesn’t match your skin type can lead to dryness, irritation, or breakouts. It’s crucial to choose products that suit your skin’s specific needs.

2. Is there a difference in how bar soap and body wash clean?

Both bar soap and body wash are effective cleansers, but they work slightly differently due to their formulation. Body washes may contain milder surfactants compared to the more straightforward detergents in bar soaps, which can be harsher on your skin.

3. How often should I replace my bar soap or body wash?

Replace your bar soap once it becomes too small to use comfortably. For body wash, it’s best to follow the expiration date on the packaging, but it typically lasts longer than bar soap.


Ultimately, whether you choose bar soap or body wash comes down to personal preference and skin type. Both options can provide a clean and refreshing experience in the shower. Consider your skin’s needs, your environmental impact, and your budget when making your choice. By selecting the right product, you can ensure that your shower not only cleanses but also cares for your skin.

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