Product Focus

Shower Gel vs Soap: Which One Should You Use?

By Kira Kemlo


Soaps and shower gels are both great options to keep yourself fresh and clean. But which one is better for you? The shower gel vs soap debate is ongoing. Whether you're drawn to the convenience of shower gel or traditional bar soap, we’re here to help you make the right choice.

Shower gel vs a bar of soap

Both shower gel and soap can be used to effectively cleanse your skin, but they do have a few distinct differences. Shower gels are liquid and typically come in plastic containers. They have different textures, and can be targeted to help a specific skin concern like dryness. 

Soap comes in a solid bar. It’s usually made with vegetable or animal fat and scented with essential oils. Often bar soap will include nourishing ingredients like glycerin, which helps lock in your skin’s natural moisture. 

Shower gels are dispensed from their container either by squeezing or a pump. Soap however is massaged directly onto wet skin. Bar soaps are more environmentally friendly. They often come in cardboard packaging rather than plastic. So, once you’re finished with it there’s nothing left to throw away. 

Let’s explore the benefits of both shower gel and bar soap. We’ll talk about convenience, formulas and more.

Benefits of shower gel

Shower gels in bottles are quick and easy to use. With a squeeze, you can lather up quickly, making it perfect for those rushed mornings. The sealed bottles help keep the product hygienic and safe.

You can shop shower gels according to your skin’s needs very easily. Whether your concern is dry or sensitive, oily or combination – there’s a shower gel out there to help. From moisturising formula to gentle exfoliants, the options are endless. 

While shower gels are convenient, we have to consider their impact on the planet. Everything we do is inspired by our island home. Our vision and ethos is so deeply rooted in nature, we want to take care of it as well as we can. 

We promote sustainability by providing refill bottles for all of our shower gels. You can easily replenish your favourite bath and body products at home without additional packaging. This means you can enjoy the benefits of our shower gels while minimising your carbon footprint. 

Don’t miss our Glenashdale Bath & Shower Gel for a revitalising zing of citrus, perfect for sluggish mornings. Our bestselling After the Rain range also smells delicious, made with juicy lime and warm sandalwood. It’s formulated with essential oils and pro-vitamin B to encourage healthy, supple skin.

Benefits of soap

Cleansing with a solid bar of soap can feel comforting and simple. Perhaps more natural in a sense than cracking open a bottle of shower gel. It’s a very tactile sensation, to hold a bar of soap and feel it gently cleanse your skin as it creates a soft, fluffy lather.

Compared to shower gels, bar soaps can last a lot longer when stored properly. A bottle of shower gel will last for different lengths of time, depending on how much you use. With bar soaps, you may get more washes for your money. They often start off at a lower price point and can last for many weeks.

Buying fewer products isn’t just good news for your wallet – it also does wonders for the environment. Bar soaps will stand alone, without any need for plastic containers at all.

The amount of soap options available can be dizzying though. There are moisturising, antibacterial and superfatted soaps to list just a few. Whatever your skin needs, there’s a bar soap tailored to you. 

Here at ARRAN, we are committed to using great quality, natural ingredients. Our range of luxurious natural bar soaps is no different. Try our Apothecary Lavender & Tea Tree Soap for the ultimate pamper evening. If you’re in need of a little refresh, our Uplift Bergamot & Grapefruit Soap Bar will give you the kick you need to start the day. Our natural soaps are vegetable based and triple milled to deliver a delightful bathing experience, all while taking good care of your skin.

Are natural soaps actually better?

Natural soaps are usually plant-based and very gentle, which is great if you have sensitive skin. Many are made with nourishing oils and plant extracts that hydrate and soften your skin. 

One myth surrounding natural soaps is that they don’t clean as well as conventional ones. When formulated with the right ingredients, natural soaps are just as effective at cleansing – without using harsh chemicals.

It’s also said that natural soaps have a shorter shelf life compared to conventional soaps. It’s true that if a soap contains a lot of perishable ingredients, it may not last as long. However, many natural soaps, especially those that are triple milled, will last much longer. 

It's important to choose natural soaps from trusted brands who use great ingredients. All of our luxury bar soaps are made with the highest quality natural ingredients, and are triple milled to last much longer and create a beautifully decadent lather.

What lasts longer – shower gel or a bar of soap?

When comparing shower gel against soap in terms of how long each lasts, soap usually wins. It’s a more concentrated formula with far less waste during use.

On average, bar soap tends to be more cost-effective. A single bar of soap can last for several weeks, depending on how often you use it. A bottle of shower gel however, might run out quite fast, especially if used daily. And thanks to their convenience, they usually are.

Storing bar soap in a dry, well-drained soap dish between uses will help it to last longer. Don’t leave it sitting in water, as it will dissolve faster. Slicing the bar into smaller pieces can also help with longevity.

To make shower gel last as long as possible, use a smaller amount of product. A little goes a long way and you can always add more if needed. Making sure the bottle is properly sealed after you’re done can help to avoid any drying out or evaporation.

Is it better to use shower gel or soap?

Think about your skin type, lifestyle and any concerns you have when deciding between shower gel and soap. If you often find yourself pressed for time, shower gel may be the better choice. If it’s their effect on the environment that concerns you, use refills. This allows you to cut down on single use containers while still enjoying the benefits of shower gel. 

If you prefer natural ingredients, then soap might be for you. Generally it lasts much longer, and can be formulated to address many different skin types and conditions. Natural soaps are also made without the use of any harsh chemicals, making them kinder to both your skin and the planet.

Discover ARRAN’s range of shower gels and soaps

Whether you prefer quick and easy shower gels or the simplicity of bar soaps, we have a product perfect for you. Embrace our rich coastal heritage with each lather, and get lost in the soothing scents of our bath and body care range. 

Explore our range of luxurious shower gels and soaps, and treat yourself to the ultimate bathing experience. 

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