Liquid Soap Vs. Bar Soap

The Great Soap Debate

The great soap debate lingers on: Which is better, liquid soap or bar soap? The verdict is in: When it comes to personal hygiene, both liquid and bar soap are up to the task and get the job done. However, neither the proponents of liquid soap nor the supporters of bar soap have an open-shut case since both soaps have their pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, pluses and minuses. What's the bottom line? It's up to you, the consumer, to decide which type of soap offers the most benefits in your situation and for your personal skin type. To help you gain some clarity on this 'sudsy' issue and to decide where you stand in the liquid soap versus bar soap debate, here are some of the facts to consider and some of the pros and cons to weigh.

Liquid Soap Pros

•- Liquid soap's low pH level makes it gentle and mild (retaining at least 30% of the skin's natural moisture) and thus especially suited for people with dry skin

•- Liquid soap dispensers are hygienic as soap is pumped directly from the dispenser, preventing public sharing/touching of soap, and thereby limiting exchange of germs between users

•- Liquid soap dispensers prevent the buildup of bacteria associated with wet bar soaps

•- Liquid soap lathers up faster than bar soap

•- Liquid soap refills allowing you to simply refill your empty soap dispenser without buying a new container

•- Liquid soap is preferable in public bathrooms and showers

•- Liquid soap is fun and convenient to use

•- Liquid soap comes in fancy soap dispensers, which can be selected to compliment your existing bathroom décor or bathroom theme

Liquid Soap Cons

•- Many liquid soaps are heavily scented/fragranced, which can irritate sensitive skin

•- It is easier to waste soap by pumping too much at once with a liquid soap dispenser

•- Liquid soap is used up faster since people underestimate how much soap comes out of the dispenser

•- People tend to wash ineffectively by taking globs of liquid soap and then immediately rinsing the soap down the drain, instead of rubbing hands together and working up a lather

•- Liquid soaps offer fewer choices than bar soaps for special types of skin and skin sensitivities

Bar Soap Pros

•- Bar soaps are available in more fragrance-free varieties than liquid soap

•- Today's expanded selection of bar soaps features soaps for specific skin types, including bar soaps containing glycerin and natural moisturizers which offer healing properties beneficial for sensitive skin, eczema, and other skin conditions

•- There is very little waste with bar soaps, as only the amount needed is used

•- Bar soap is less expensive than liquid soap

•- Bar soap has a longer life than liquid soap

•- The rubbing action of bar soap directly on the body increases the level of exfoliation (the removal of dirt and dead skin cells from the skin)

Bar Soap Cons

•- Bar soaps that sit in a wet 'puddle' of water become slimy, slippery, and are more likely to grow bacteria

•- The public sharing of bar soap can pose a health risk

•- Bar soaps leave a scum in the shower, necessitating more bathtub cleaning

How to Choose Between Liquid Soap and Bar Soap

Now that you have gathered and weighed the evidence, how do you choose between bar soap and liquid soap?

In actuality, there is no right or wrong answer. Which type of soap you use is a personal choice based on your skin type, on your skin's reactions to certain additives (i.e., moisturizers and fragrances), and on your knowledge of the pros and cons of liquid soap versus bar soap.

Cost is another determining factor, as liquid soap is substantially more expensive than bar soap. If money is an issue, consider placing a liquid soap dispenser in public areas - for both decorative and hygienic purposes - and using a bar soap when you bathe or shower.

Finally, you can minimize the health concerns associated with bar soap by purchasing a wire soap dish or a soap dish with a "drain'" where excess water can fall. In addition, rinsing off a bar of soap after each use decreased the buildup of germs and bacteria.