Share: do you prefer using body wash or bar soap?

Hey VivaBellas! What do you have in your bathroom for bathing? Is it a bar soap or a body wash? I don’t know about other countries but in Singapore. I’ve noticed that body washes outnumber bar soaps at any toiletry sections these days. In fact, my family uses body washes and right now, we don’t have a bar soap in our bathroom.

In terms of aesthetics, I would say that body washes are more attractive in their packaging. A bar soap can start out looking very pretty but it will most definitely look unsightly after a few washes. And with some of the fancy handmade soaps, they literally melt after frequent contact with water.

In terms of price, many soaps containing natural herbal or botanical ingredients aren’t cheap and so I wouldn’t exactly say they’re more cost effective. While there could be wastage with body washes, but if they are used wisely, are pretty economical.

In terms of product efficacy, I believe both cleanses well but soaps have a tendency to provide that squeaky clean feeling – even those handmade ones. However, I personally dislike this squeaky clean feeling and prefer the moisturizing benefits from using a body wash.

My preference
So yes, my preference is to use body wash over bar soap. I find them convenient, easy to use as well as aesthetically and functionally more appealing. But that doesn’t mean I won’t purchase a bar soap. I might buy them because they look pretty or because they look interesting.

What about you? What is your preference? Bar soap or body wash?


  1. jozefin says:

    I prefer body washes as I have eczema. I do use bar soaps whenever I feel grubby and want a good squeaky clean wash down. ? Nothing beats body scrubs though!

  2. fabulouslyfrugirl says:

    I used to prefer body wash, but I still feel like I get more bang for my buck with bar soaps. After I finish using up my stash of body wash, I am going back for the bar soap! Though I like using the bar soap with a wash cloth for gentle exfoliation.
    fabulouslyfrugirl last post is: Group Trip Expenses

  3. Alexandra says:

    It’s been awhile since I last use a bar of soap and this post comes in timely. Lately, I’m interested in bar soaps again and unsure again if I should give it a try.* fickle* My first preference would be body wash because it’s more hygienic and keeps my skin moisturised. On the other hand, I don’t mind going back to the nostalgic road again of using a good old bar soap.
    Alexandra last post is: Review: EO Everyday Shampoo and EO Soothing Shower Gel

  4. karen says:

    i prefer body wash too.. soap just make me feel not that hygienic. And quite ugly after a few wash..

  5. Carrie says:

    My personal preference is body wash, however my mom is used to bar saops and somehow she has negatvie assumptions about body washes, thinking they contain too many chemicals. So in the mean time I am using a body wash (free gift I recieved from online purchase) and my mom’s still sticking to the old-fashioned way of applying bar soaps.

  6. espenine says:

    Body Wash. Because bar soaps are unhygienic & I am a clean freak.

  7. Lore says:

    I prefer soap and a shower glove. I like the squeaky clean feeling ?
    I’ve tried gels because of the properties they have (moisturizing, exfoliating, etc.) but I feel kind of sticky afterwards.
    I have to admit they do look ugly after some time, but it’s kept in the shower and no one else goes in there, so I don’t mind

  8. deepti says:

    I prefer body wash as it makes my skin soft and smooth ..they are amazing in their fragrance as well..

  9. sesame says:

    Yes, the precise reason why I like them too.

  10. sesame says:

    I guess I’m kind of anal with the aesthetic as it’s not a big issue. ?

  11. sesame says:

    Oh they are unhygenic? I never thought of them that way. You know when I was younger, my family shared bar soaps.

  12. sesame says:

    Haha…that’s cute. So now I know why body washes appeal to the younger generation.

  13. sesame says:

    You also don’t like bar soap for the same reason like Espenine. I’m just particular that they look ugly and sometimes soggy.

  14. sesame says:

    It’s okay to revert to bar soap once in a while. Actually I miss Lush soaps.

  15. sesame says:

    Those bar soaps I buy are not that cost effective cos they get used up pretty quickly. Those of the yesteryears are better.

  16. sesame says:

    I think there are good bar soaps good for your skin conditions too. Not sure where you are based but in Asia, we have Yuan soaps. They’re pretty good. I’ve reviewed them here:

  17. Soos says:

    A gf gave me some wonderful-smelling soap, but it was sooo drying. I have a selection of body gels and washes.
    Soos last post is: Part Two: What’s up with THAT?

  18. flym says:

    I’m switching to bar soaps. Trying to be more environmentally friendly. Will use bath washes when collection of plastic containers for recycling in my housing estate actually happens ?

  19. sesame says:

    Okay, I gotta admit I’m not so environmentally conscious. I usually just throw away the bottles without much thoughts about them.

  20. sesame says:

    Some of them are drying. I tried one with olive and it’s very nice though but it was so ex.

  21. Chris says:

    I use bar soaps. Aside from them being cheaper and lasting longer (I’m a poor college student. I need all my pennies, haha), I have oily skin. I find that body washes are TOO moisturizing for me.
    Chris last post is: Reader Request:OPI Russian Navy and N.Y.C Skin Tight Denim Creme

  22. sesame says:

    I see. I used to love bar soaps too but my preference have changed although I still like trying out some bar soaps if they look interesting enough.

  23. Fiona says:

    I always use body wash, somehow I never liked bar soap, they’re a bit icky. I don’t even like barsoap as handsoap as I don’t like the idea of sharing it with others (well, technically they would come in contact with the soap). I don’t like it when they stick to their plate, or when I forgot to take of my rings and I had parts of barsoap stuck within my rings, or sometimes under my fingernails. So I always choose bodywash.

  24. sesame says:

    Haha…you really don’t like bar soaps. Have you come across those that turn so soggy that they literally disintegrate in the soap dish? Not pretty!

  25. karen says:

    yes, it will look so deformed hahaa.. and if i using other body wash at the same time. The soap will have some dust sticking on it too. and i will need to run the soap under the tap first before using it.

  26. babysaffron says:

    Hi…..Prefer body wash…. I’m a body wash addict..but sometimes, i used those soaps with oatmeal for some exfoliation if i’m in a hurry… other wise…i can do the whole nine yard….

  27. sesame says:

    Deformed! Hahaha…what a word. ?

  28. sesame says:

    Oh I do like those soap with oatmeal too but I don’t buy a lot of them. Some of them are really moisturizing too and pleasant to use.

  29. fwy says:

    It’s been awhile since I last use body soaps. I bought those from The Body Shop in the past & they were more affordable back then. I used body wash nowadays.

  30. chenyze says:

    Liquid anything over soap! Pretty much the same reasons as Fiona. I don’t want someone else’s dirt, germs, or hair (yuck!) sticking onto the bar soap. Makes me feel icky, just thinking about that. If I have to use bar soap, I would always need to ‘rub’ it clean a few times before I would use it on myself, and yet I would still feel kinda paranoid.

  31. sesame says:

    Ya, same here. I used to love soaps but given that there are more choices with body washes, naturally my preference turned to them.

  32. sesame says:

    You do? I’ve never felt that way even as a kid, sharing with the whole family. I just thought well, wash it first before using. ?

  33. dar says:

    I used to prefer body washes but I find it hard using them alone (without a sponge or a loofah), and using them with a sponge purportedly spreads warts. I’m not sure if that’s true but I’ve seen switched to bar soaps and I’m loving the classic Dove soaps right now. ?
    dar last post is: Etude House Pre-Holiday Sale

  34. Hong says:

    I have been using handmade bar soaps for almost three years now. I use liquid soap as hand cleaner only. It is more natural, more environmental friendly, and somehow kinder for my skin. It seems that I am just allergic to any kind of surfactants, even the mild ones ended with -glucoside or -betaine, they make my skin itchy. Since I was small, we never share bar soaps with other members of my family. Each person has his/her own bar soap ?
    Over the years, I have found very good ones. If you prefer all natural soaps without any synthetic fragrances or colorants, I recommend Korean made, which also use exotic Asians herbs, and Japanese made If you are fine with some synthetic fragrances, these two etsy shops: Sweetcreekherbs and Dreamseeds, make fabulous soaps too, though both sellers also offer many selection of essential oils soaps. If you have super dry skin like mine, be sure to find soaps that have butters in them (shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, avocado butter, etc).

  35. sesame says:

    If you use a sponge, you need to air it really well. Another alternative is using a small towel that you can wash and air dry easily.

  36. sesame says:

    Oh Etsy has very nice handmade soaps…but they do cost a bit to ship over cos of the weight. I’ll take a look at those you mentioned. Thanks for sharing them.

  37. Swati says:

    economically the body washes are better but I prefer bars if only I have to use it otherwise I find it hygienically distressing if I have to share my bathroom with someone else (living apart from family)!!!
    Swati last post is: Secret of perfect skin {Skin Care}

  38. sesame says:

    I don’t think I mind sharing it with my family…just wash it before use. ?

  39. Abby says:

    I used soap until year 9 when I got a really terrible allergic reaction to all kinds of soap (conventional ones, not organic soap coz I’ve never tried :P). I got itchy rash all over my body, even my face and head. I stopped using soap since then. Now I can use a bit of soap to wash my hands but never to wash my body. Even thinking about taking shower with soap makes me feel itchy. I guess I’m scarred for life lol

  40. Hong says:

    Fyi, there are shipping options from USA to international destinations that are flat rate. I usually have my orders shipped via Priority Mail International Flat Rate Envelope, or Small Flat Rate Box, or Flat Rate Video Box, which can fit items up to 2 kgs, and cost USD 13 – 14 to Singapore. Such flat rate options can ship 7 – 12 pieces of soaps, depends on the dimensions of the soaps. Shipping from Korea cost about USD 8 for package up to 1 kg, which already include insurance and tracking number.

  41. Susan says:

    I prefer bar soaps – for some reason I feel cleaner with them than I do with a body wash… however, I’m currently using a body wash :p
    Susan last post is: Fix for Split Fingernails

  42. TD says:

    Bar soap (Dr. Bronners). I’m no eco-saint, but I try to avoid extra (esp. plastic) packaging as much as possible.

  43. sesame says:

    I see…flat rate is good and the cost is reasonable. I’ll have a look but probably will not order so soon. Have tons of body washes to finish up. LOL.

  44. sesame says:

    Probably the scrubbing with the bar soap sort of makes you feel cleaner and also the squeaky clean feeling.

  45. sesame says:

    Ah, I tried that soap and it was okay. Do not mind buying it again.

  46. Fiona says:

    Disintegrate? That bad? I can’t say I’ve come across one that bad though. If I see that I may never touch a barsoap ever again. Haha. On the other hand, I like shaped barsoaps as decorations and sometimes for gifts.
    Fiona last post is: Pedestrians vs Drivers

  47. sesame says:

    Yes, I bought a selection of handmade soaps once and a few of them were like that when they came into contact with water after some time. It was probably the ingredients.

  48. Swati says:

    oh…I meant anyone except the family…I know sounds weird but happened with me once when I forgot to carry my toilette, I had to share at my friends and it was a horrible experience ?
    Swati last post is: Himjoli Apricot Scrub {Product Review}

  49. sesame says:

    Oh I see…I can understand how you feel about sharing with pple outside your family. I’ll feel weird too.

  50. Ms. Blacklace says:

    I prefer body washes. Whenever I use bar soaps, they tend to dry my skin out [without me knowing it]. Once I used it for a few years, my skin didn’t feel dry. But I had a bad burning rash that never seemed to go away. Once I switched dove body wash it immediately stopped.

  51. sesame says:

    Dove is pretty moisturizing but it’s a bit too much for me back when I was tried it first…wonder how I’ll feel about it now.

  52. Siew Ying says:

    I prefer bar soaps as they are gentler and has less chemicals compared to commercial body washes. Some soaps can be drying, so I pick those that are moisturising enough. I’m not picky about soaps, but I try out more expensive ones from time to time (I usually just use the cheap LUX soaps). SIMPLE soaps are nice, very moisturising.

  53. Sesame says:

    Oh I used to use Lux soaps…my fave was Zest! Love the smell…

  54. Jocelyn says:

    It is good to use a product because it is better for you rather then how it looks. With lots of referrences to ‘Body wash’, I have not heard the word liquid soap, so please check and make sure it is Liquid soap that you are using and not body wash. Body Wash may belong to the SYNDET group meaning SYDthetic DETergent bar or body wash. They came about during world war I when animal fat was not available for making of soap, so they turn to petrolleum by product, add synthetic detergent few other nasties, and a new product is born. It has remain in our market even though there is no necessities as we have plenty of vegetable oils to make soap. I am a solid soap person and very particular about the ingredients that goes into my product. With liquid there is always a need to preservative and I think a little less of extra anti-germ agent in our soap is great, cos when we do fall sick we don’t need an extra strong antibiotic to fight off the germs. Shower with a normal soap is plenty clean. Soap Bar Team go!

  55. Sesame says:

    Many of the body wash today are free of harsh detergents but they still include some synthetics. We don’t have that many liquid soap options here…closest one we have here is Dr Bronner’s I believe. As for soaps, they okay if they don’t dry out the skin. I’m using one right one actually.

  56. Grette says:

    Jozefin perhaps that is why you have exzema because of body wash a good natural olive or goats milk is more natural an only use a tiny bit just wipe bar over wet body an rinse body washes are not natural they are detergent which is an altered soap

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