What should be something quite simple – taking a shower – lately has been surrounded by complex claims, trends, and heated discussions. Most of this surrounds the battle of bar soap vs. liquid soap from an environmental perspective.

First, although both products help us clean up, that’s where the similarity stops. Soap is made from the combination of fats or oils, water, and an alkali; body wash is usually a detergent with extra chemicals called surfactants. Here’s a simple test you can do to see what you are really getting. If the label doesn’t actually say “soap,” it’s likely a detergent.

Now that you know the difference, which one should you buy? Luckily, scientists have poured research into answering this question, and we have a clear winner: bar soap.

Why bar soap is better?
  1. It takes a lot more energy to produce liquid soaps (er, detergents, technically) — about five times more.
  2. Liquid soaps can come with up to 20 times more packaging than bar soap.
  3. Liquid soap contains a lot of water, which means those bulky plastic bottles are heavier and much less efficient to ship, making its carbon footprint larger.
  4. Once you have the bottle in your bathrooms, you tend to use more than you need – about seven times more per washing.

And let’s not forget what’s actually in liquid soap. Detergents are usually petroleum-based. Then manufacturers add questionable (health wise)chemicals, including parabens and other preservatives (suspected hormone disruptors), surfactants(some pollute our waterways), and phthalates (hormones again). Simple soaps look a lot purer in comparison.

Shugar and Venezia soaps are made in a sustainable factory here in the USA. They contain only natural ingredients and no added chemicals or hormones. And, the are certified vegan and cruelty-free.

So, which would you rather use?