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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Eva Simmons-O’Brien

Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

disco body wash beats soap

Body Wash vs. Soap: Which is Better and Why

Body Wash vs. Soap: Which is Better and Why

 

by

There’s usually one main reason why men find this particular article: they’ve got a skin issue they don’t want to discuss with their bros. Bringing up your itchy back or flaky leg skin doesn’t usually flow into male conversations, but thankfully, it does with us.  

Your itchy, dry, irritated skin needs attention. It’s uncomfortable and not sexy. When body lotion just doesn’t seem to help, it’s time to turn your attention to the shower. The real culprit could be what you’re using to wash with, and if so, you’ve definitely got better options. 

Disco knows men’s skin. Our entire skincare line is formulated to work synergistically with the pH balance of a man’s skin (between 5.5 and 6.5 on the pH scale). It has taken our experts countless hours to choose the perfect, naturally derived ingredients to add to our products so they work better than any other you’ll try. 

When it comes to the soap versus body wash debate, we choose body wash every time. 

The purpose of any soap or body wash is to remove dirt from the surface of your skin, but most of the time, the soap clocks out after dirt removal. Body wash has the power to do more: restore, repair, and hydrate the skin and leave it smoother and softer. 

Here’s the shakedown on soap and body wash, so you can decide for yourself which is better and why.

The Argument for Soap

That golden yellow bar of soap has taken up residency in your shower for decades. It’s what you grew up with. No one ever taught you any different, so your reason for using soap is likely just habit, not because you think it’s any more or less effective than a body wash. 

All bar soap isn’t bad for you, it’s just that aside from cleansing, it doesn’t usually do much else. Here’s why soap has reigned our shower rituals for so long. 

Easy To Use

It doesn’t get much easier than a bar of soap. It doesn’t require a sponge, it lathers easily, and you don’t have to twist open a cap or squeeze a bottle. It literally goes from shower ledge to body and back again. 

The problem with this ease of use? Bacteria. Bars of soap can harbor tons of bacteria, which can hang out for hours and even days. When you use soap on your body, bacteria transfers to the bar, and then sits in a humid, damp shower for hours on end. It’s a bacterial breeding ground. 

While the bacteria on a bar of soap won’t likely make you sick, it’s definitely sick to think about rubbing it all over your body once it’s contaminated. 

It’s Cheap

Soap is cost effective. If you’re in a particularly low cash flow season, it’s definitely within budget. It also lasts a long time, however there is a caveat. Once soap becomes less than a half inch thin, it breaks easily and will have to be tossed. 

Your personal mileage may vary, but once the bar breaks you’ll have to replace it.

Environmentally Friendly (Mostly)

There’s typically not much left behind when you use a bar of soap. If you’re using a quality brand, the packaging is likely recycled and can be further recycled. That’s an environmental win. 

However, the production of soap can be taxing on land use. Many bar soaps contain vegetable oils which require land use for crops. If those crops aren’t sustainably farmed, the environment suffers. 

If you’re going to use bar soap, check the ingredients label and become familiar with the brand to make sure they’re doing their part to protect and preserve what they’re using. 

Effective

Soap does its job. It dissolves dirt and oil and washes it away. The problem is, it can sometimes do its job a little too well. 

Soap can be extremely drying, especially if it contains harsh ingredients. Most name brand bar soaps you buy at a big box store are going to contain ingredients like parabens, toxins, and ingredients that dehydrate the skin. 

Ingredients

Here’s where things get tricky. Soap may be effective, easy, and cheap but the ingredients aren’t always safe for use. At the very least, the ingredients in soap can be drying and leave your skin feeling itchy and flaky. 

Some soaps contain sodium hydroxide, which is extremely dehydrating to the skin. This is also sometimes labeled as “lye.”

Many soaps (and even some body washes) contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). This sudsing agent is rated 3 by Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep’s website, making it a moderately dangerous, potentially toxic ingredient. SLS has been linked to organ system toxicity, and irritation to skin, lungs, and eyes. 

Soap is also notorious for containing “mystery fragrance.” This is essentially a brand’s proprietary fragrance blend. The FDA does not require a company to release proprietary fragrance ingredients on the label, so you never really know what’s inside. 

The Argument for Body Wash

Soap may be the O.G. body cleanser, but body wash is definitely superior in terms of taking care of your skin. Body wash works like soap to eliminate dirt and bacteria that could cause body odor, but it also contains ingredients to help certain skin conditions. 

Dry skin, blemish-prone, irritated, or itchy skin can all benefit from a body wash. 

Easy To Use

Okay, you’ll have to flip a cap on the bottle, but we have faith you’re up for the task. Body wash can be lathered onto a sponge or directly into your hand for use. As a bonus: It won’t leave soap scum on your shower shelf or collect bacteria. 

Price

Body wash is slightly more expensive than bar soap, but it does way more heavy lifting. Body wash includes more nourishing ingredients and does more for your skin than bar soap. 

Also, you won’t have to toss out the last little bit of product like you do with bar soap. You’ll be able to use it to the last drop.

Environmentally Safe

Body wash can definitely be environmentally safe, but note that not all body washes are created equally. Some won’t be safe for the environment. Bottles should be recyclable and should contain sustainably and responsibly sourced ingredients. 

Just so you know, Disco’s products are all environmentally friendly. Our natural ingredients are sustainably sourced and our products don’t contain environmental toxins.

Effective (Incredibly)

Soap gets the job done, but body wash does it with finesse. Body washes leave you clean by removing odor causing bacteria and dirt. It also helps to fight dry, irritated skin by nourishing it and hydrating it with moisturizing ingredients. 

Body washes can also include skin condition-specific ingredients to further help your overall skin health. 

Ingredients

You’ll find more ingredients in body wash that are intended to help and heal, but be careful --  some body washes can contain ingredients like parabens and SLS, just like their dirty bar soap cousins. 

The safest and surest way to get high quality body wash is to choose all natural washes from a brand you trust to keep you safe from toxic, irritating ingredients. 

The Verdict

Body wash by a landslide. 

Soap just can’t give you the same benefits that body wash can. If you're hellbent on using a bar of soap, lighten up and try a body wash. Seriously, you won’t regret it. 

Let’s Disco

You can grab a body wash practically anywhere, but if you want the best of the best, our Invigorating Body Wash delivers. 

Our wash keeps you fresh and clean with natural ingredients that won’t strip your skin and leave you feeling itchy. Here’s what’s inside:

  • Chamomile. Derived from the Matricaria Recutita plant species, chamomile holds antioxidant properties that soothe skin and protect from further free radical damage.
  • Horsetail. This plant-based extract has powerful antioxidants and skin-smoothing properties. It helps to wash away dead skin cells and promote new skin cell generation. 

    Horsetail is full of silica, which helps support your skin’s natural collagen production. Collagen helps keep your skin feeling and looking healthful and youthful. 
  • Aloe. Aloe is a plant extract that also has antioxidants, but helps moisturize the skin and repair and restore skin that is irritated. Aloe is incredibly soothing, so skin that is blemish prone or severely irritated can get relief. 

Our body wash, just like every other product we carry, is vegan, cruelty free, contains no parabens or unnatural fragrances, and is dermatologist formulated and tested. 

Soap versus body wash? Now you know the answer -- no need to bring it up with your homies in the middle of that pickup game. Grab a body wash and get on with your clean self. 

 

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8264434/

https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/706089-SODIUM_LAURETH_SULFATE/

https://www.conservationmagazine.org/2013/05/bar-soap-vs-liquid-soap/

Invigorating Body Wash
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 21 reviews

10.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Smell good. Look good. Feel good. Kick off this magical self-confidence combination with a soothing hot shower. Formulated with all-natural ingredients like restorative Aloe and Papaya, soothing Horsetail, and anti-oxidant Chamomile, the Disco Body Wash will have you feeling so fresh and so clean (clean.)
----- Hydrating and refreshing spa-scented, luxurious body wash. It's time to upgrade from your middle school bar of soap.

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Natural Deodorant
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 18 reviews

2.6 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Damn, you smell good. Reserve a spot on the bathroom shelf and gym bag for this aluminum-free, all-natural, highly-effective stank-fightin' deodorant—your skin and shirts will thank you. Best of all, it's aluminum-free and all-natural, with simple ingredients like odor-neutralizing Eucalyptus, antibacterial Tea Tree Oil, and moisturizing Aloe.

----- Aluminum-free deodorant that fights off BO and odor using a powerful trio of all-natural ingredients.

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Charcoal Face Cleanser Stick
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 52 reviews

2.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Cleanse your face of the day’s muck with a powerful combination of moisturizing coconut oil, exfoliating Phytic Acid, and detoxifying charcoal. Simple is sexy: our unique Face Cleanser Stick cleans deep beneath the surface and nourishes your skin at the flick of the wrist.
----- Rids your face of dirt, toxins, and excess oil. Also makes for a great post-workout companion.

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Exfoliating Face Scrub
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 13 reviews

2.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Feel the soothing blend of aloe, apricot, chamomile, and papaya on your face while you clean daily muck build-up. Detoxify your complexion and promote the growth of robust skin with this gentle anti-inflammatory exfoliant by sloughing away dead skin cells.
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Hydrating Face Moisturizer
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 21 reviews

2.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Skincare is selfcare. Hydrate and lock in moisture with nourishing Vitamin E. Brighten up your complexion with antioxidant-rich Vitamin C. Keep your youthful charm with wrinkle-fighting Macadamia Oil. Future you will thank you for using this lightweight anti-aging Face Moisturizer.
----- Hydrates your money maker and keeps you looking young later in life. Moisturizing is important, guys.

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Repairing Eye Stick
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 160 reviews

0.4 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Bye-bye dark circles and puffy eye bags. If the eyes are the window to the soul, you gotta take care of your window frames. Use this powerhouse blend of depuffing caffeine, anti-oxidant brightening Pycnogenol, and anti-aging Niacinamide to combat fine lines, wrinkles, and crow's feet.
----- Our best-selling Repairing Eye Sticks fights dark circles and puffy under eye bags. We hear it also feels good to apply when you’re under the influence. Just a rumor though.

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Rejuvenating Face Mask
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 16 reviews

3.5 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

The verdict is in: skincare is sexy. The Disco Face Mask is the MVP for healthier skin and is carefully formulated with organic, earthy ingredients like restorative mineral-rich Bentonite Clay, detoxifying and impurity-busting Charcoal, and soothing Willow Bark Extract. Put your best face forward, one face mask at a time.
----- Powerful mixture of acne and inflammation fighting ingredients. Did we mention it's also incredibly relaxing? Treat yo self.

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Basics Set
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Based on 8 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This Moisturizer-Face Cleanser Stick-Body Wash Deodorant cleansing set is the formula for full-body wellness and a top-to-bottom clean. A balancing blend of essentials, this combo of must-haves keeps you cleansed, moisturized, refreshed, and smelling your best.

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Starter Set
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 24 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This mix of complexion-boosting must-haves is the foundation for a skincare routine that always reaches max potential. A Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Moisturizer combo cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes for your most well-rounded cleansing rituals to date.

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Anti-Aging Set
Rated 4.7 out of 5
Based on 15 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This purifying and illuminating Anti-Aging Set enhances your skincare routine with a boost of brightening essentials. Specially formulated to exfoliate and fight wrinkles, the Face Mask-Eye Stick combo is the natural, paraben-free answer to better brighter, younger-looking skin.

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Regimen Set
Rated 4.9 out of 5
Based on 26 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This full-fledged Regimen Set is the complete picture: a Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Mask-Face Moisturizer-Eye Stick mix made to up the ante on your skincare rituals. Discover a deeper clean with toxin-fighting exfoliation, complexion-purifying masking, and moisture-rich eye and complexion rejuvenation.

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Body Set
Rated 5.0 out of 5
Based on 7 reviews

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This Body Set is just what you need to feel--and smell--your most clean. Unlock your full-body refresh with the all-natural, paraben-free Body Wash-Deodorant combo that takes cleansing and purifying to another level of fresh.

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Vice Bundle

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

This mix of complexion-boosting must-haves is the foundation for a skincare routine that always reaches max potential. A Face Cleanser Stick-Face Scrub-Face Moisturizer combo cleanses, exfoliates, and moisturizes for your most well-rounded cleansing rituals to date.

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Body Wash Quad Bundle

10.1 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

Smell good. Look good. Feel good. Kick off this magical self-confidence combination with a soothing hot shower. Formulated with all-natural ingredients like restorative Aloe and Papaya, soothing Horsetail, and anti-oxidant Chamomile, the Disco Body Wash will have you feeling so fresh and so clean (clean.)
----- Hydrating and refreshing spa-scented, luxurious body wash. It's time to upgrade from your middle school bar of soap.
$60.00
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Anti-Fatigue Set

0.0 oz | 2 Month Supply | Made in Made in USA Flag Icon

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