Can you shower with your hand soap? Probably the first thought that comes to our mind when we realize we've run out of shower gel in the middle of a relaxing session in the bathtub. This interruption of the bathing ritual can sometimes be very inconvenient.

But is it safe to use the hand wash as your shower gel? Let's find out.


How Is Body Wash Different from Hand Soap?

Although both shower gel and hand soap serve the purpose of cleaning and removing dirt and soil, they differ in their effects and the ingredients used in their formulation.

1- Ingredients

The ingredients are the main difference between a body wash and a hand soap. Some companies use slightly stronger chemicals in their hand soap than in body wash. These potent chemicals can be a mixture of sodium hydroxide and other solid fats. It allows the soap to remove dirt and soil and retain shape at different temperatures.

On the other hand, body washes usually contain a mixture of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), which produces more lather while remove dirt and soil. While this ingredient can also be used in a bar of hand soap, it just makes the product a little more expensive. A body wash containing SLS dissipates the oil and dirt from your body in water, causing it to lather well and cleanse your skin adequately.

2- Effects

The effects of hand soap and body wash differ depending on their core ingredients. Hand soaps usually contain Sodium Hydroxide in their composition. It is the ingredient responsible for saponifying oils to form soap. While traces of this chemical are beneficial for maintaining the pH of the skin, soaps that comprise too much of it become basic. As the pH of the skin is slightly acidic, these soaps can strip your skin of its natural oils and cause irritation and drying. 

On the other hand, a body wash is a liquid cleanser containing oils and chemicals that thoroughly cleans your skin while soothing it. Because of its liquid form and way of manufacturing, pH can be adjusted to fit the one of the skin. This makes body wash a little milder than a bar of hand soap. Body washes are not only made for deeply cleaning your body but also prevent skin damage and dryness with the conditioning agent they usually contain.

Can You Shower with Hand Soap?

Hands holding a soap bar

Source: iStock

 

If you're thinking about showering with hand soap, it's important to read its ingredients. Using any random soap is not advisable for your body as it can cause dryness or damage your skin in the long run.

In case your hand soap doesn't contain Sodium Hydroxide or only a small percentage, you can use it for showering. This is because Sodium Hydroxide makes your soap naturally acidic. This acidic soap strips off all the natural oils from your body and leaves it dull and dry. 

Some companies on the market don't disclose the percentage of their ingredients. In this case, you should ensure that Sodium Hydroxide isn't among the first three ingredients on the ingredient list. We recommend opting for a shower gel to help keep your skin safe and moisturized. However, if you're confused, look at the ingredients.

 

How to Choose a Good Hand Soap?

Even though your hands have much tougher skin than your body, you should still choose a hand soap that doesn't dry out your skin and contains nourishing ingredients. It would be helpful if you always tried to choose a non-toxic and biodegradable soap. This is not only good for your skin but also for the environment.

A good non-toxic hand soap uses natural ingredients like butter and vegetable oil. It should also contain a cleansing agent like potassium sorbate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate. These chemicals not only remove grease and dirt from your skin cells but also protect the hand soap from microorganisms. 

It would be best to avoid hand soaps containing artificial colours or strong fragrances and chemicals. These not only rip off all oils from your skin but also harm the environment. 

Myni hand soaps are made locally in Canada. These foaming soaps thoroughly cleanse your skin cells, leaving them hydrated, moisturized, and baby soft. Our hand soaps come in three different fragrance options. If you prefer a hand soap without odours or fragrances, you can also choose the unscented version. 


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