What is the Difference Between Hand Soap and Body Wash?

What is the Difference Between Hand Soap and Body Wash?

This post answers the question "What is the difference between hand soap and body wash?"

Understanding the difference between hand soap and body wash is essential for making informed choices about your personal hygiene products.

While both hand soap and body wash are designed to cleanse the skin, their formulations, uses, and benefits can vary significantly, impacting not just cleanliness but also skin health.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the key distinctions between hand soap and body wash, examining their unique ingredients, pH levels, and intended uses. We'll explore how each product is formulated to meet different skincare needs, from removing germs and bacteria to providing hydration and nourishment.

Whether you're looking to maintain healthy skin, address specific skin concerns, or simply want to know more about the products in your bathroom so you can make an informed decision on which products are right for you, our comprehensive guide will provide the insights you need.

Discover how choosing the right product can enhance your daily hygiene routine and support your overall skin health. 

What is the Difference Between Hand Soap and Body Wash?

What is the Difference Between Hand Soap and Body Wash?

Is body wash and soap the same thing? Is body wash stronger than hand soap?

Body wash (or shower gel) and soap serve similar purposes—cleaning the skin—but they differ in formulation and usage.

Here are the key differences in formulation:

  • Body Wash:

    • Liquid Form: Body wash is a liquid cleanser, typically packaged in a body wash bottle.

    • Ingredient List: It often contains surfactants (cleansing agents), moisturizing agents (like glycerin or oils), and additional ingredients such as fragrances and skin conditioners.

    • pH Levels: Body washes are generally formulated to have a pH level closer to the skin’s natural pH (around 5.5), making them less likely to disrupt the skin barrier.

  • Soap:

    • Solid Form: Traditional soap is solid, often found in bars, like our amazing bar goat milk soap!

    • Ingredient List: Soap is made through saponification, where fats or oils react with an alkali (like sodium hydroxide) to form soap and glycerin. It may also contain additional ingredients for fragrance, color, and added moisturizing properties. (Side note: Here at Faith Farms, we do not use any added color or dyes, which can be toxic and very harmful to the skin.)

    • pH Levels: Traditional soap tends to have a higher pH range (usually between 9 and 10), which can be more drying and potentially cause skin irritation for a sensitive skin type.


Is it OK to use body wash as hand soap?

It's okay to use body wash for your hands. Here are the key differences in usage of the two:

Body Wash:

    • Designed primarily for use on the entire body.

    • Often contains moisturizing agents, making it suitable for daily use, especially for those with dry or sensitive skin.

    • Can be used with a loofah, sponge, or directly applied to the skin.

  • Soap:

    • Can be used for both the body and hands.

    • Traditional soap bars can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness if used frequently, particularly on sensitive or dry skin areas. However, our bar soap is formulated with goat milk so it will not strip the skin of its' oils! 🙌🏼

    • Bar soap is often preferred for handwashing and can also be used with a washcloth or directly on the skin.


Is there a difference between hand wash and soap?

Yes, it is generally okay to use body wash as hand soap. Both body wash and hand soap are formulated to clean the skin, and using body wash to wash your hands occasionally won't cause any harm.

Here are some points to consider:

1. Ingredients: Body washes and hand washes typically contain similar cleansing agents, but many companies formulate their body washes with additional moisturizing ingredients to cater to the larger surface area of the body and the skin's needs.

However, here at Faith Farms, we intentionally formulate both our bars of soap and our liquid hand soap with goat's milk, which has tons of nourishing and moisturizing benefits for your skin. Therefore, our soaps can be used interchangeably for both the hands and body!

2. Effectiveness: While body wash can effectively clean your hands, it might not be as potent as hand soap in terms of antibacterial properties. If you are concerned about germs, especially during cold and flu season or after handling raw food, you might prefer an antibacterial hand soap.

However, since both our bars of soap and foaming hand soaps are made with goat's milk, which is incredibly antibacterial, you are safe to use either to clean your hands!

3. Scent and Residue: Body washes often have stronger fragrances and may leave a residue if not rinsed thoroughly. This might be noticeable on your hands and could be a consideration based on your preference for scent and feel.

Thankfully, both Faith Farms bars of soap and foaming hand soaps are made with very gentle, natural fragrance (many are made with only essential oils), so they will not leave any extremely potent/synthetic-smelling scent on your hands; rather, simply a nice, subtle, natural aroma. ☺️

4. Cost and Convenience: Using body wash as hand soap can be a convenient and cost-effective option if you run out of hand soap. However, with many companies, body wash can be more expensive than hand soap on a per-use basis, so it might not be the most economical choice for regular use.



Can I use any soap to wash my hands?

It's your life. We won't stop you. 🤪 However, we don't recommend using any 'ole soap for your hands. Many soaps are made with water as their base, which is extremely drying.

Here at Faith Farms, we use goat milk as the base of our soaps, instead of water. This is because goat milk is extremely moisturizing, and contains SO MANY other benefits for your skin.



You can learn all about the difference between "regular" soap vs. goat milk soap here!

In addition to the soap base, many soaps are full of harmful toxins such as parabens, phthalates, and lauryl sulfate, that are both dangerous and can cause all kinds of skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. We use none of these toxins, and only natural ingredients, in our soaps at Faith Farms!

Our soaps are even natural enough to be used as your everyday dish soap!


Is bar soap or hand soap better to wash babies?

Our customers use both our bars of soap and foaming soaps to wash their babies! However, sometimes using the foaming soap can be easier for a squiggly baby or toddler!

We highly recommend using our lavender products for your baby, due to its' soothing and calming effects!



So, should I use hand soap or body wash?

When it comes down to it, it's all about personal preference whether you choose to use body wash or bar soap for your body and/or hands.

We use both our natural soap options at Faith Farms interchangeably. We keep both at our kitchen sink and in our shower!



This post answered the question "What is the difference between hand soap and body wash?"

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