Sure, there was a time when a bar of soap might do the trick. But today's skin cleansers range from bar soap to liquid body wash, and which is right for you depends on your skin type. The trick is to find the gentlest cleanser for your skin.
If your skin is oily, look for body cleanser that's water-based rather than packed with oils. You should also look for one that's noncomedogenic, which means it won't clog your pores.
If you have dry skin, keep in mind that bar soap is generally a bit more alkaline than body wash. This means it's more likely to contribute to dry skin than the soap-free liquid cleansers, which often contain moisturizing ingredients. If you have dry skin, choose cleansers that are packed with hydrating elements such as natural oils and petroleum-based ingredients.
Sensitive skin sufferers should look for cleansers that are soap-free, and they should also try to avoid products that contain fragrance and preservatives because both can cause allergic reactions.