First of all bar soaps can harvest bacteria as you touch the same surface every time you use it and it is often left sitting on a wet surface after use. These bacteria can be spread onto your skin the next time you use the soap. Studies have shown that the bacteria risks if you have your own soap are slightly higher on bar soaps than on liquid soaps, but on shared soap it is significantly higher – kind of gross right? Most bar soaps have a higher pH level than liquid soaps which can lead to drying of the skin. Bar soaps also can contain a lot of chemicals to make the bar bind together. These chemicals give the bar soap shape, and provide the bulk of the bar – making it cost effective. Some bars claim to have added moisture – but do beware because almost all of them still contain these skin irritating and drying chemicals. You may think that you need to moisturize your hands or body frequently because you are washing them frequently – but it could actually be what you are washing them with that are making them dry!
There are some advantages to bar soaps – they are generally quite cheap and can smell quite good, or be unscented if you prefer. They also can last quite a long time and one bar goes quite far.
It does come down to personal preference but most dermatologists will recommend using liquid soap formulated for your skin type on your face and any other problem or easily irritated areas. If your skin is tough and you don’t notice any extra dryness or irritation it probably won’t be a problem to continue to use bar soap on your body – just don’t share to keep the bacteria factor way down!