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    Soap VS Body Wash

    Soap VS Body Wash

    HI! It’s Monique here! Soap VS Body Wash. What do you prefer? There’s always a huge debate when I talk about this online and it seems to be a polarising topic! 

    For years I was a body wash kind of gal because as a kid I was always forced to use the same white bar soap all the time and just got really BORED! My amazing mother Helena quite rightly pointed out that as we had white hand basins, a plain white soap left less mess in the bathroom and while I tend to agree, what about when you have a bath or shower? Isn’t the mix of gorgeous aromas and colours designed to delight your senses and take you on some sort of adventure as you bathe? Why are kids allowed to have fun bath wash and soaps when we tend to choose something a little plainer? I guess that’s why I’m leading a new trend of not keeping that ‘gift soap’ for a special occasion.  Everyday should be a special occasion and regardless of whether we love or hate our jobs, or whatever else is going on in our lives, surely the divine experience of cleansing with something that makes your skin feel amazing, is a pocket of time in your day which is all about you! It should be AWESOME! AM I RIGHT? Ok, sermon over. Let’s talk about the differences.

    The difference between Soap and Body Wash

    Soap, depending on the ingredients, can provide a better cleansing effect than body wash. Most soaps contains alkaline ingredients which is helpful to clean our body’s pores, wash off the sweat, skin grease, dust and the outermost layer of the epidermis where all the dead skin cells accumulate.

    However, depending on the product, your skin may become quite dry, so trying some gentle plant-based soaps which can cleanse and nourish your skin without removing the natural protective oils is a winning formula.

    Body wash is normally marketed as being more moisturising than soap. After using body wash, the skin is generally softer – again depending on the product – because the surface of the active agents react with calcium and magnesium in the water and become water film on the surface of our skin. Pretty magical right?

    However, have you ever noticed that after using body wash, your skin feels ‘squeaky clean’? Similar to freshly washed dishes? That’s because many body washes contain a compound similar to dish soap which is designed to strip dirt from our skin, which can also remove the oils and essential nutrients from our skin as well. If you do a comparison in your own home, you may notice a difference in the amount of lather or suds produced from each.  While both products contain ‘surfactants’ which are designed to produce a lather to help you clean yourself, the chemical compounds for each type of product are different and most often the chemicals in body wash (sodium laureate and sodium laurel sulphate), while in small amounts, can long term cause irritation, as they strip away those all important oils and nutrients. Some soaps may also cause irritation, but again it comes down to the quality of the product and the ingredients.

    Similarly fragrance (particularly when use around your private regions) can be particularly harsh or cause irritation, so where possible always opt for products that have a mild o gentle fragrance or take their aromas from natural sources. Chemicals have no place on your lovely bits!

    So the answer is: Choose what works for you!

    Most importantly, the rule of thumb is go with what works for you.

    • For dry skin you want something hydrating. Really bubbly lathers probably won’t work well for you.  
    • For normal skin, you need something that can deliver a neutral PH and is gentle.
    • For oily skin a combination of mild soap and refreshing body wash that cuts through the excess oils will work for you.
    • For combination skin: go for what you know you’ll actually use.

    Remember too: Soap can be harder to travel with unless you have a portable soap case however, it can potentially be more cost effective as you are only washing targeted areas!  Best practice is to always wash the soap off once you’re done with it (particularly if you’re sharing with someone else) and leave it to dry in an area where it can drain properly. Soaps that contain Manuka honey or propolis may also have antibacterial, antiseptic and anti fungal properties so make a good option if you’re sharing, as well as smelling divine and adding moisture to your skin.

    Body wash can be awkward to use in the shower if you have to unscrew a lid or pump into your hand, unless you have an adequately stable surface to rest it on. It can also wash off pretty quickly if you’re not careful as it’s less targeted, meaning you may need to use twice as much as required. However for those who love that lathered, bubbly experience it may work for you.  Just be mindful that those detergent qualities can be quite drying so opt for a product that promises maximum moisture and hydration.

    If you are used to using soap, you may feel unclean when using shower gel. On the flip side, some people prefer body wash as they feel it’s more convenient.

    At the end of the day, it really is all about personal preference, so research your ingredients and find the best product that’s most suitable to your skin for the best results!


    Products I Recommend

    Here’s the soap I LOVE. It’s from a New Zealand company called ‘BE’ – which stands for ‘Blue Echo’.  Their range is made from natural ingredients, with gentle natural fragrances and I love the aromatherapy effects it has when I have a shower!

    There’s 2 ranges:

    One range is specifically designed for the body and the other range I actually use on my face as it contains our potent NZ Volcanic Clay, which has so many skin benefits!  Take a look here.

    And if you want to see them in action, check out my show here:

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    Hi I'm Monique Bradley.

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