Think you know everything there is to know about body wash? Think again! We’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about body wash — from how much body wash to use to how it differs from soap and shower gel. 

Bar Soap vs. Body Wash: How Are They Different?

Many people think of bar soap and body wash as two separate types of cleansers, but that’s not entirely true. Body wash is typically perceived as being gentler and more moisturizing than soap, and some soaps (dish soap, in particular) use harsher ingredients that are far more drying than those found in body wash. However, many of today’s bar soaps and body washes are formulated with overlapping ingredients that cleanse the skin similarly — just in different packaging to suit your needs. At Desert Essence, we carry a mix of body washes and bar soaps to give you the best of both worlds.

Is Body Wash Better Than Soap?

Generally speaking, the choice between body wash and soap ultimately comes down to your personal preferences. Traditional bar soaps have a reputation for being harsher on the skin than body wash and shower gels. Fortunately, our bar soaps are formulated with natural, skin-loving ingredients that cleanse, soothe and soften your skin without the need for abrasive ingredients. Some people prefer body wash because it’s less messy and comes in a bottle, while others appreciate the simplicity of a bar of soap awaiting them in the shower. The bottom line? Choose whichever formula works best for you!

Is Shower Gel Body Wash?

Shower gel and body wash are basically the same, although they may look slightly different. Shower gel tends to look more like liquid soap and is typically more lightweight, while body wash is oftentimes thicker and creamier in its consistency. Shower gel is also designed to work for “normal” skin types, whereas body wash is typically targeted toward specific skincare needs (think dry, parched skin). But when it comes to cleansing properties, they essentially work the same. 

Just compare different formulas to find the best one for your skin type and seasonal needs. For instance, many people love the lightweight feel of a shower gel in the spring and summer but then switch to a richer body wash to help alleviate dry winter skin.

Can I Use Body Wash as Shampoo?

Body wash and shampoo are both formulated with different ingredients and pH levels, so it’s best to use them separately unless the product is specifically geared to do both. At Desert Essence, we carry several botanical-powered shampoos and conditioners to complement your body wash with clean, refreshing scents.

Can You Use Body Wash on Your Face?

We recommend sticking to facial cleansers when you’re washing your face. Body wash and face wash use different formulations with different ingredients, and the skin on our faces is generally more sensitive than the skin on the rest of our bodies. That being said, our Tea Tree Oil Liquid Castile Soap is a rare exception. Made with premium-quality olive oil, coconut oil and pure, potent Eco-Harvest® tea tree oil, this versatile formula works equally well on your hands, face and body.

How to Use Body Wash

When it comes to how much body wash to use, it’s generally best to take a less-is-more approach. A quarter-sized amount is generally all you need, and using too much product can actually strip your skin of its natural oils. It’s also best to rinse your skin with warm or lukewarm water rather than hot water, which can be drying. Taking extra time each week to exfoliate your skin in the shower and applying body lotion immediately after will help boost your skin’s hydration and overall glow. Using a washcloth or loofah to apply your body wash can help slough off dead skin, as well.

How to Choose the Best Body Wash for You

At Desert Essence, we make it easy to clean up well with a variety of natural body washes formulated to suit your skincare needs. Made with nourishing botanicals, our body cleansers are cruelty-free, gentle on your skin and kind to your senses. Whether you’re looking for moisturizing formulas, invigorating scents or fragrance-free options, our collection of plant-derived body cleansers is bursting with moisture-rich botanicals to remove impurities in a refreshingly gentle way.