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Body Soap or Bar Soap-How Do You Choose?

Updated on September 24, 2008
radgirl profile image

Sunshine is a wife, mother of four, a relationship expert, a journalist, a photographer, a public speaker, and author.

The average person goes through more than 200 bottles of liquid soap
The average person goes through more than 200 bottles of liquid soap

Body wash, or bar soap? That is the question, or so we thought. With the average person tossing out over 200 bottles of liquid soap in their life time, the question becomes ‘which is more green, liquid or bar soap'. Standing in the soap aisle can be intimidating. Do you go with what you've heard on the commercials, do you try something new, or do you stick with old faithful? Let me help you by shining some light on the plight of soap purchasing consumers everywhere.

What it comes down to is knowledge. In the 21st century, you have more to think about than the difference between bar soap or liquid soap. What are the ingredients? There are components in most shower gels that take 800 years to disappear from our water system. We choose what we put in our bodies carefully, eating organic vegetables and free-range meat, but we don't think twice about what we put on our bodies.

Skin is our largest organ
Skin is our largest organ

Skin covers up to 20 square feet of your body, is your largest organ. It's your first line of defense against toxins and when you slather it with sweet smelling commercial body soap, you're waging war on your skin with toxic biological weapons. Not only does your skin secrete waste, but it absorbs substances such as vitamin D from the sun, and essential oil. It also absorbs every product you put on it and sends it to your organs, and even your cells. How do you find products that work and are good for you? The answer is research. Look at the ingredients. There are both bar and bottled soaps that contain only natural ingredients and a lot of them smell amazing.


Not only do we have to think about what we put on our bodies, but we have to think about how it effects our environment. Are the bottles recycled? Are they recyclable? Is there excess packaging that will go to waste in a landfill somewhere? You can look at the bottom of a bottle, and if it can be recycled, there is a recycling stamp on it. Most labels will tell you if the packaging is made from recycled materials, and some will even tell you what percentage. Are you going to recycle packaging? Is the packaging around your bar of soap something you can recycle? Most all-natural bar soap comes with a cardboard or paper packaging that can easily be tossed into your recycle bin.


Now that you've considered ingredients and packaging, it comes down to personal preference. If you use a puff sponge, and you like the lather of liquid soap, then liquid soap is the choice for you. If you use shower gloves because you like to exfoliate, bar soap is a better choice to use. It's up to you, but in the age of ‘going green', being aware that even the soap you choose can have a negative effect on your body and the environment.


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    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Kate Swanson 7 years ago from Sydney

      I just stumbled across this Hub when I was looking for links to add to a Hub I wrote about green living. I was already feeling guilty about continuing to use my body wash - now you've convinced me I need to make a change.

      I agree with Relache, I've never found a soap that couldn't be made to lather with a puff sponge. The thing is, even if you find a body wash that's natural, what about the bottle?

    • radgirl profile image

      radgirl 10 years ago from Somewhere in outer space

      I was trying to focus more on environmental issues, and educating on the toxicity of otc soap than what every kind of soap contains. I planned on doing a series of articles about soaps, and this was just the tip of the ice berg. You're right about bar soap working well with puffs, but not most otc bar soap, and there are some really great lathery liquid soaps that are all natural too, and as I said, it all comes down to personal preference on what you like better, but you, unlike most of the world understand what it is you're putting on your body, so you can focus more on specifics. I just want people to start by picking up their bottles and looking at the ingredients, seeing the recycle sign, and maybe stretching that arm to the recycle bin instead of the bathroom garbage pail. Thanks for reading though!!

    • relache profile image

      Raye 10 years ago from Seattle, WA

      At my house, my sister learned soap-making so now we make all our own. I disagree with your comment above that a liquid soap is the best choice for using a puff sponge. I use one with a bar all the time and it works great. If you like lather, you want a soap that contains coconut oil as that's the main quality that oil imparts.