How Body Soap Works

Liquid Body Soap

Another common type of body soap is the liquid variety. Liquid soaps come in many forms, including hand soaps, facial soaps, gels and body washes.

Liquid body soaps are not necessarily better or worse than bar soaps, so choosing one over the other is mostly a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer liquid soaps for the hands and face because they are generally milder and less irritating to sensitive skin than some types of bar soaps. Or if bar soap tends to leave your entire body feeling dry and itchy, a liquid body wash that contains moisturizers might be your ticket to silky, smooth skin. If you're thinking of giving liquid body soap a try, here are some things you should consider.

Get a liquid body soap that contains ingredients to help seal and lock in the skin's natural moisture levels. A body wash that contains glycerin or humectants such as sunflower oil and soybean oil might soothe itchy, dry skin [source: Bruno]. Moisturizing body washes can also work for the hands and face and for people with sensitive skin.

If you have oily skin that is prone to breakouts, liquid soaps that contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can help [source: Bruno]. These ingredients can exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores to promote clean and healthy skin.

If you're looking for added exfoliating power to remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth, consider getting a body scrub with beads, sugars or fruits. It's best to gently rub these soaps onto your skin instead of forcefully scouring yourself clean.

If you think choosing between bar soap and liquid soap is a piece of cake, there are still specialty soaps to consider. Keep reading to see whether any of them might be for you.