When you look at a bar of soap, it might seem to be pretty simple -- you just add water, soap up and rinse off. But hidden inside that innocuous lump are a few advantages just waiting to bubble free when you lather up.
First off, soap bars can be excellent at getting your skin clean. They lather up well, allowing the soap and water to spread across the skin and attach to the dirt and oil, and the ingredients tend to be stronger than those in non-soap bars, so they generally do a better job at removing dirt, oil, makeup and any other impurities [source: P&G Beauty and Grooming]. However, because those ingredients are so strong, they often remove too much oil from the skin, stripping away its moisture barrier and leading to dryness. This can also irritate sensitive skin and further aggravate certain preexisting skin conditions. So, if you prefer to stick to soap bars, many health experts recommend following up with a moisturizer to add back that necessary moisture.
Cost might be another plus that soap bars have going for them. Soap bars are generally less expensive than those made with synthetic ingredients [source: Oakley]. Also, soaps have been made for centuries using natural ingredients, and many people choose to make their own at home, which might lower the cost even further.
Although soap is hard to beat in these categories, non-soap bars have advantages of their own. Read on to find out what they have to offer you.