Shower Gel vs Soap: Which is Better?

Sunday, 13 March 2022  |  Admin

When it comes to personal hygiene, most people have a preference for one type of product over the other. Some people swear by soap, while others prefer shower gel. So which is better? Let's take a look at the pros and cons of each product.

What is shower gel and what is soap?

Shower gel is a type of product that is used to cleanse the body. It is typically made up of ingredients like water, glycerin, and soap. It usually comes in a single use plastic bottle and is mainly made up of synthetic ingredients.

Soap, on the other hand, is a natural product that is made up of fats and oils. It has been used for centuries as a means of cleansing the body. Soap usually comes in a bar form and can include a wide range of ingredients.

Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages, but from a natural eco perspective, a bar of natural body wash soap is usually better than a single-use plastic bottle full of synthetic shower gel. But let's dive deep!

The market has been confused recently with the advent of new products like shower gel blocks, which are essentially shower gel in solid soap form? Is this the way forward?

How do they work?

Shower gel is designed to foam and lather almost instantly using ingredients like sodium laureth sulfate, while soap does not typically have this property. Shower gel also tends to be more fragrant than soap usually filled with synthetic fragrances.

When it comes to cleansing the body, both shower gel and soap are effective. Shower gel is more convenient because it does not need to be lathered up like soap does. Soap also has the advantage of being more natural and eco-friendly.

Which one is better for your skin

A natural organic soap bar will always be better for your skin! Shower gel is often filled with synthetic ingredients that can be harsh on your skin. Soap bars are made with natural ingredients and oils that will cleanse and hydrate your skin.

Overall, soap is the better option when it comes to personal hygiene products. It is more natural, eco-friendly, and better for your skin! If you are looking for a more convenient option, however, shower gel is a good choice. Just make sure that it does not contain any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.

How to choose the right product for you

The best way to choose the right product for you is to read the labels carefully. If you are looking for a natural and eco-friendly option, choose soap. If you are looking for a more convenient option, choose shower gel. Just make sure that it does not contain any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances.

If you are looking to go zero waste or live a more sustainable lifestyle then switching out the shower gel to a body wash bar is one of the easier plastic free changes you can make.

Ease of use

Both soap bars and liquid shower gels are fairly easy to use. However, how many times have you squirted the shower gel to have it run away down the drain? A bar soap can be hung on the shower and you will only use the amount you need, with little wastage.

As long as you keep soap dried in between uses it will be ready to go for the next time. The best way to do this is probably to use a soap saver bag, and the benefit of these is that you have an in built exfoliator!


Soap is often wrapped in recyclable paper or cardboard, but shower gel almost always comes in a single-use plastic bottle.

When it comes to waste, soap is the better option as it nothing is wasted. Shower gel almost always come in a single-use plastic bottle which ends up in landfill.

Effect on Skin

A moisturizing body wash may seem like the ideal combination between a body cleanser and a moisturiser, however you really need to look at the ingredients in liquid body wash. Many will strip the body's natural oils away whilst a traditional bar soap will often give you a hydrating body wash, remove dead skin cells and give you deep skin hydration from the natural ingredients.

Whilst traditional soaps strip skin, especially mass produced cheap soap, a natural organic soap bar is ideal for body washes as it will contain natural oils like coconut oil or shea butter and be combined with essential oils. Body washes tend to made from synthetic ingredients, often many with toxic harmful ingredients.

If you have sensitive skin or dry skin, you are much better opting for moisturing body wash from bar soaps. Even very oily skin will be better with advanced bar soap formulations, just look for a bar of soap containing ingredients that will suit your skin type. For drier or mature skin go for one full of shea butter or vitamin e, for oily or combination skin go for something with tea tree oil in to give you better skin health.


A solid soap can be hung in a soap bag, and this is best in the shower to ensure that it dries out between uses.

Liquid cleansers need to be in bottles, which are usually single use plastic bottles that can pile up in the bathroom.


If you are flying, then its definitely less hassle to travel with soap bars, we recommend getting a soap case to travel with. You won't need to put these into plastic bags to get through airport security! Also, how many times have liquids leaked in your toiletry bags! Yeah, been there done that... I only travel with a soap bar and a shampoo bar these days!

Personal Preference

Of course, much of the battle of the bar soap vs liquid body wash comes down to personal preference. If you like the gel like consistency which most liquid body was is typically formulated to be, then it might be that liquid body wash works for you.

However, solid bar soaps will soon work into a foamy lather and make ideal bar cleansers without all the chemical preservatives and sodium lauryl sulfate that is found in shower gels. We've done a detailed guide to the best ingredients to look for in body wash.

Take Away

If you are serious about wanting a more sustainable, zero waste lifestyle then a solid body bar soap is the natural choice for showers. We recommend choosing bar soap that is suitable for your skin type (read our guide to choosing the best soap for you), and you will find the wide range of solid body wash bar soap we stock will suit all skin types. The main difference between solid body wash and liquid body wash is the plastic waste the latter produces.

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