Dirt, oil and sweat are often known as the enemies in the skincare world and may make you feel unclean. While showers may help you relax and stay clean, as you lather up with your favorite soap or body wash.
But when was the last time you thought or questioned using them? Yes, it may seem a little silly to even think about such a basic thing. After all, who doesn’t know how to use a soap or body wash?
However, even with all the experience, you may have accumulated over the years, there may be a few tips and tricks that you were probably not aware of. Curious to find them? Read on as this guide explains the difference between bar soap and body wash, the benefits of using body wash, and how to use body wash so that you get the most out of every shower while feeling exceptionally clean and fresh every single time.
Bar Soap vs. Body Wash – What’s the Difference?
Regardless of which mild soap or body wash you choose; they are going to function the same – remove dirt from your skin. So, what’s the difference?
The difference lies in the ingredients as well as the mechanism used to remove the dirt.
The accumulated dirt and sweat mix with your body’s natural oils and further trigger bacteria production. Using bar soap will remove this dirt by dissolving it on your skin surface. It breaks the oily layer and removes the pathogens from your skin.
On the other hand, body wash similarly removes the dirt, however, additionally, it contains a mixture of ingredients that assist in treating common skin issues like dryness, skin flaking and clogged pores. The ingredients also help to restore your skin moisture.
Why Consider Body Wash Over A Bar Soap?
Selecting a body wash over a bar soap has its benefits. These include:
Using bar soaps will normally leave you with a sharp-clean feeling. While some may like this, others have noticed that it can be stripping and overly drying for skin. Well, it’s true in a way as if you’re using a bar soap that contains sodium lauryl sulfate, it can strip away your body’s natural oils. Additionally, they have a high pH level of around 9-10. The combination of harsh chemicals and high pH causes irritation and even changes your skin texture.
On the other hand, body wash has controlled pH levels and also incorporates healthier ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba, and moisturizing glycerin. Using a moisturizing body wash will keep your body nice and soft. It’s best for people that struggle with dry, itchy skin or sensitive skin.
The hygiene factor is basically related to storage. Bar soaps are open once used and are generally stored in the shower. This means it is open to a high-moisture environment that promotes bacterial growth. So, when you wash yourself using bar soap, you tend to transfer those bacteria onto your body which can further lead to skin issues like acne and irritation.
Alternatively, considering a body wash removes all the bacteria concerns as it is a liquid body wash packed in a bottle. However, if you’re using a loofah or a body cloth, be sure to wash them regularly or replace them at short intervals or they too can turn into a bacterial breeding ground.
Body wash tends to lather much more than the traditional bar soaps. This, in turn, offers enhanced relaxation and a comprehensive clean.
This factor will depend on what product you choose but, in general, with body wash, you need to simply squirt out the quantity you need. On the other hand, using bar soap will lead to more wastage as it is at the mercy of shower splash. Waiting for the required lather to form will eventually diminish its size whether you’re using it or not.
Body Wash and Your Skin Type
While there are many benefits of using a body wash, it is important to find one that suits your skin. There are four common skin types – normal, sensitive, oily, and dry. You can identify your skin type and which body wash is right for you by trying out a few samples.
Overall, using body wash is best for the following skin types:
When you Have Dry Skin
If you find your skin stripped, flaky, or dry after a shower, use body wash. It contains hydrating ingredients that coat your skin while leaving it moisturized.
When You Want to Exfoliate
The body wash contains exfoliating ingredients which can be found in bar soap too. However, they are not as finely crushed as they are in a body wash. It’s best to use a washcloth, loofah, or sea sponge to apply as these tools enhance the exfoliation process.
When You Have a Chronic Skin Disorder
It’s best to speak to a dermatologist if you’re facing persistent skin conditions like psoriasis, rosacea or acne. Your doctor is the best bet here as they will prescribe you a shower gel or a body cleanser that is recommended just for you. They can further guide you with the ingredients to look for as well as avoid while choosing a body wash.
When You've Experienced Allergic Reactions
Again, your dermatologist can guide you here and prescribe an antiseptic body wash that can help ease your allergy symptoms. Generally, these types of body washes are shampoo-like, and you’ll just need a little quantity to apply to the whole body.
When Your Skin is Sensitive
If you have sensitive skin, be extra careful while selecting a body wash. While it may be fascinating to choose flavors and fragrances, it may contribute to your skin issues. It’s best to use an organic, natural body wash with a natural fragrance in this case.
When You Want to Prevent Premature Aging Signs
Many moisturizing body washes contain useful ingredients like vitamin E that give more nutrients to the skin. Using them can help you prevent wrinkles and fine lines.
By now, you know the difference between bar soap and body wash, why it is beneficial to use body wash, and what skin types should consider using it. The next and the important thing to discuss is how to use body wash properly.
How to Use Body Wash Properly
Right from choosing the body wash to using it and maintaining a routine, this stepwise guide has everything that you need to know.
Step 1: Select the Body Wash
Choose one that comes with hydrating ingredients: For this, see the packaging to check the ingredients. It’s best to get body wash with hydrating oils like argan or coconut oil as it will keep your skin soft and moisturized. Even shea butter and coconut butter are considered great for hydrating your skin. However, avoid body washes that contain additives, chemicals and other harsh ingredients.
Choose one that is sulfate-free and fragrance-free: Sulfates tend to strip the natural oils while fragrance can dry out and irritate your skin. Selecting a body wash that is organic and free from these two things will aid in maintaining your overall skin health.
Avoid a body wash that creates a lot of lather: Lathering can also strip the natural oils while making your skin dry. It’s recommended to choose a body wash that forms less lather.
Step 2: Apply the Body Wash
Squeeze less amount of body wash: Use only a small amount, preferably a dime-sized amount of body wash as you won’t need much to clean your body. Avoid using too much body wash at once as this too can irritate your skin or contribute to dryness. Wet your body and apply the body wash so that you can clean your body properly.
Use loofah or washcloth to apply the body wash: Wet your washcloth, squeeze the body wash onto it, and gently rub from head to toe. This will help remove the dead skin cells. Do rinse the washcloth or loofah at regular intervals to prevent bacteria and germs from accumulating.
Don’t use body wash to clean your face: Limit the use of body wash to your body and use a facial cleanser for your face or else it can increase the risk of developing skin irritation as well as dry patches.
Rinse it off with warm water: Don’t use hot water once you have cleaned your body. Instead, rinse it off with warm water. Make sure to remove all the soap residue or else it can again irritate or dry your skin.
Pat your body dry: Don’t rub your body. Pat gently until it is completely dry, or else it can irritate your skin.
Step 3: Maintain a Good Body Wash Routine
Moisturize your skin post-shower: Once you have dried off from your shower, moisturize your skin to prevent dry patches. Use a moisturizer or moisturizing body oil that has hydrating ingredients like coconut butter, shea butter or oats. If not the whole body, at least moisturize the areas that tend to get dry easily like, elbows, feet, knees, and hands.
Change your body wash if it doesn’t suit your skin: If you feel that your body wash is contributing to dry patches or irritated skin, it’s best to switch to another body wash that is typically made for sensitive skin. Go with organic options that have natural and hydrating ingredients.
Reach out to a dermatologist in case of skin issues: If you see persistent skin issues, it’s best to seek your dermatologist’s advice. There are chances of you being allergic to particular ingredients in a body wash.
Remember, a healthier shower routine requires a healthier body wash especially if you want it for skin hydration, exfoliation, or acne treatment. Choose one that is free of synthetic chemicals and helps to restore balance to your skin. Last, follow the above-mentioned steps to ensure that you get the most out of your shower routine.
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