It happens, sometimes we run out of body wash and bar soap. Or we may be traveling and realize that there aren’t many options on hand. So, can you use hand soap as a body wash?
Read on to learn more about the potential effects of using hand soap as a body wash so you know what to expect!
Table of Contents
- Can I Use Hand Soap Instead of Body Wash or Bar Soap?
- The Anatomy of Hand Soap Vs. Body Wash
- What Happens if You Use Hand Soap as Body Wash?
- What Can I Use if I Run Out of Body Wash?
- Can Face Wash Be Used as Body Wash?
- Final Thoughts
Can I Use Hand Soap Instead of Body Wash or Bar Soap?
Here’s the thing; body wash and hand soap are both cleansing agents.
They both have surfactants, which are molecules that lower the surface tension of water so that it can more easily interact with dirt and oil.
However, while body wash and hand soap both have cleansing properties, there are a few key differences. Body washes tend to have a lower pH than hand soaps.
This means that they are less likely to irritate your skin. Body washes also usually contain fragrances and other ingredients that can help to moisturize your skin.
On the other hand, (no pun intended) hand soaps tend to have a higher pH. This means that they can be more drying and irritating to your skin.
Hand soaps also usually don’t contain as many moisturizing ingredients as body washes.
Let’s dig in a bit deeper into the ingredients of both products to better understand how they interact with your skin:
The Anatomy of Hand Soap Vs. Body Wash
Here is a list of some common ingredients found in hand soaps:
- Antibacterial agents
- Citrus extracts
- Petroleum jelly
These soaps usually contain a blend of lye, sodium hydroxide, and fats such as palm oil. These help to keep the bar solid at room temperature.
They don’t lather as much as body washes because they have a higher pH. This can cause them to be more drying and irritating to your skin.
Now, let’s take a look at some common body wash ingredients:
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Aloe vera
- Coconut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Sunflower oil
- Vitamin E
As you can see, in body wash, there is often a focus on including more moisturizing ingredients.
This is because body washes have a lower pH and are less likely to dry out your skin.
What Happens if You Use Hand Soap as Body Wash?
Because hand soap has a higher pH, it can be more drying and irritating to your skin. It can also strip away the natural oils that protect your skin.
This can leave your skin feeling tight, dry, and itchy. If you have sensitive skin, using hand soap as a body wash is probably not a good idea.
If you do decide to use hand soap as a body wash, make sure to follow up with a moisturizer.
This will help to replenish the natural oils that were stripped away by the soap. You may also want to consider using less soap since it will be more drying.
If your skin isn’t sensitive, you may be able to get away with using hand soap as a body wash. You can use it similarly to how you would use any other body wash.
Just make sure to follow up with a good moisturizer to keep your skin healthy!
What Can I Use if I Run Out of Body Wash?
Here are some suitable alternatives to body wash:
Did you know that shampoo can double as a body wash? It’s true!
The shampoo is designed to cleanse your hair, but it can also be used to cleanse your body.
It suds easily, which helps to remove dirt and oil from your skin. It also has a lot of the same ingredients as body wash, so it can be just as effective.
Just make sure to use a shampoo that is gentle on your skin and free of harsh chemicals.
Castile soap is a type of vegetable-based soap. It’s made with natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.
This makes it ideal for people with sensitive skin. Castile soap can be used as a body wash, shampoo, or even laundry detergent!
It’s great to keep around for a variety of home cleaning and hygiene options and usually comes in a concentrated form, so a little goes a long way.
Baking soda is a great alternative to body wash because it’s gentle and non-irritating. It’s also great for people with sensitive skin.
To use, just add some baking soda to a damp washcloth and rub it over your skin. Rinse with warm water and follow up with a moisturizer.
Not only will baking soda leave your skin feeling soft and smooth, but it will help to gently remove any odors.
Oatmeal is another great alternative for people with sensitive skin. It’s gentle and non-irritating, and it can help to soothe dry, itchy skin.
To use oatmeal as a body wash, just add some to a damp washcloth and rub it over your skin. Rinse with warm water and follow up with a moisturizer.
Be careful to avoid clogging your drain when using oatmeal as a body wash. You can do this by investing in a bath strainer or just using less oatmeal.
The face wash is a good solution for both a body wash and shampoo alternative. It’s designed to be gentle on your skin and will leave you feeling refreshed.
Just make sure to use a face wash that is free of harsh chemicals.
In a pinch, you can use dish soap as a body wash. Dish soap is designed to remove grease and dirt, so it’s great for getting rid of any built-up dirt on your skin.
It will foam well like liquid soap and certain dish soaps have natural ingredients such as essential oils and citrus.
If you’re looking for a quick way to disinfect and deodorize your skin when you’re out of body wash soap, hand sanitizer is a good solution.
However, most hand sanitizers use alcohol, which is very drying to your skin.
Only use a small amount and you don’t need to use it on your entire body, especially if there are sensitive areas.
If you have the time, an all-natural scrub is a great way to cleanse your body. Sugar scrubs, salt scrubs, and coffee scrubs are all great choices.
Just make sure to use a fine salt or sugar so it doesn’t irritate your skin type.
You can also make your own scrub with ingredients like salt, olive oil, and honey.
Adding salt will help to kill bacteria while oil will moisturize your dry skin and helps with removing dirt.
Cleansing oils are another great alternative for people with dry skin. Just like castile soap, it’s made with natural ingredients and won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.
Cleansing oils can be used as a body wash, shampoo, or even makeup remover! Liquid fats not only clean and disinfect the skin but provide a barrier to lock in moisture.
Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil are all great choices for cleansing oils. Just make sure to choose an oil that is right for your skin type.
To use, just apply a small amount to your damp skin and massage it in. Rinse with warm water and follow up with a moisturizer.
You can actually use this solution long-term and eventually replace your shower gel with oil. Your skin’s natural biome will adjust and you won’t need to use as much oil each time.
Instead of using liquid hand soap, consider using a dry brush. Dry brushing is great for exfoliating your skin and can help to improve circulation.
Just make sure to use a soft brush so you don’t irritate your skin.
To dry brush, just start at your feet and work your way up. Use gentle, circular motions as you move the brush across your skin.
When you’re finished, take a shower to remove any dead skin cells.
Can Face Wash Be Used as Body Wash?
Yes, you can use face wash as a body wash. It is usually pH balanced and can have similar ingredients as shower gel.
There are many different types of face wash, so it is important to find one that suits your needs.
Many of them are sulfate-free, meaning that they won’t make as many bubbles as a foaming handsoap or certain bar soaps. This means that they won’t strip your skin of its natural oils as much.
Just make sure to avoid using a face wash with harsh chemicals, like those found in acne treatments.
Those can dry out your skin and irritate it since the active ingredient in these formulas is meant to prevent oil production.
To use face wash as body wash, just apply it to a wet washcloth or loofah and massage it over your body. Rinse with warm water or hot water and follow up with a moisturizer.
It’s not going to hurt you to use hand soap instead of body wash if you use it once or twice.
However, it’s not a good long-term solution and you should still use body wash most of the time.
It’s also important to find a hand soap that is gentle and doesn’t have harsh chemicals.
Remember that there are plenty of additional options if you find yourself without body wash. All-natural scrubs, cleansing oils, and dry brushing are all great alternatives.
And if you’re really in a pinch, you can always use face wash as a body wash.
What do you think? Will you be trying any of these alternative solutions the next time you run out of body wash? Let us know in the comments below!