Consider this Bar Soap Myth Debunked RSS

Posted December 2021
Written by Jamie Barrows

Sometimes trends can inhibit the truth behind proper skincare. If you lived through the 1980s or 90s, you’d likely recall the sudden and overwhelming explosion of body washes on the market. Whether you preferred those iconic shower gels with the build-in bottle hook or delighted in cotton candy-scented brands from your local drug store, chances are, you felt fancy. During this time, overly-scented, “luxurious” body washes pushed our friend bar soap aside. Today, we know better.

Bar soap is now making a massive comeback as consumers increasingly realize the error of their ways. The modern skincare audience now sees that what they thought they knew about bar soap was not valid. In fact, there are many environmental and skincare advantages to bar soap over body wash. Below, we debunk one major myth, once and for all. 

MYTH: Bar Soap is Loaded with Germs

While the market grew for liquid formats, bar soap began to get a bad reputation. Marketers for most of these body wash brands positioned their products as more hygienic because they were in bottles, and consumers used only what they needed, leaving the rest untouched by germs. The reality is that the majority of body wash is water, and water provides a perfect environment for germs to thrive, which is why they contain preservatives. The cap of a body wash bottle can harbor unwanted germs. Because bar soap only contains a small amount of water, it cannot harbor bacteria on its surface. Therefore, preservatives are not required or used. Where water is present, the concentrated soap will break down the germs and bacteria.

According to Bradford’s Director of Research & Development, Dave Raymond, “Over the years, Bradford has challenge tested many bar soap formulations. Challenge testing involves exposing the surface to bacteria and fungi. All bar soap formulations tested have passed challenge testing and showed no microbial growth. Microbes cannot survive in soap’s high pH, low moisture environment.” So despite the myth, bar soap is actually more resistant to bacteria than liquid soap.

While it is unlikely to harbor bacteria, we do recommend allowing your bar soap to dry between uses. Keeping it on a well-draining surface will prevent it from swelling or becoming too soft in the shower. Your soap will be germ-free, visually pleasing, and free from excess water and packaging with the proper care.

Check back into our blog from time to time for more bar soap myths debunked.