Bar soap vs bath gel. what is the difference between them? if I asked a chemist this question, they would give me a dumb look. However, as not all of us know the answer, I am here to give it to You.
One main difference between the two is that Bar soap is Solid and Bath Gel is liquid in nature.duh!
Another thing that differentiates them is the method of preparation, Bar soaps are prepared by Saponification. This is a process where fatty acid is mixed with an alkali substance, mainly Sodium hydroxide. Bar soap with its basic ingredients is naturally drying to the skin. But other ingredients like Glycerin, honey, antibacterials can be added in order to suit different skin types and varying functions. Those with honey and glycerin come in clear forms, and they help to retain the skin’s moisture. Those with Antibacterial like Triclosan are made to inhibit the growth of Bacteria and other germs.
Bath/shower gel, on the other hand, is made of water, potassium hydroxide (an alkaline) and mostly Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) as basic ingredients. Although SLS is not harmful, it may not suit those with Sensitive skin. Therefore, it is advisable to do a skin patch test before using any skin care product if You have sensitive skin.
If You have dry skin, then use of Bath gel is highly recommended because of its moisturizing properties. It is also better to use Bath gels that do not contain soap if Your skin is eczema-prone. Furthermore, Bath gel will be more appropriate for Winter or Harmattan periods where the skin is prone to dryness. Bar soaps are more skin friendly during hot season when the skin is oily.
Other not-so-important differences are; Soap, when shared has a higher tendency to transfer germs between or among users than Bath gels. So, if You are sharing, it is better to use Bath or shower gels.