It May Be Time To Switch Back To Bar Soap

Contributing Health Writer By Gretchen Lidicker, M.S.
Contributing Health Writer
Gretchen Lidicker earned her master’s degree in physiology with a focus on alternative medicine from Georgetown University. She is the author of “CBD Oil Everyday Secrets” and “Magnesium Everyday Secrets.”

Image by Guille Faingold / Stocksy

Not so long ago, many of us started abandoning simple bars of soap for easy-lathering, mess-free body washes. And it didn't take long for these liquid soaps to take over the market. Sadly, though, bar soap is a perfectly healthy and much more sustainable option than bottled soaps. Luckily, it seems people are finally catching on to this fact because according to data research by Kantar Worldpanel, bar soap sales are growing faster than those of liquid soaps and shower products. In fact, they're up by 3 percent in the past year.

Bar soap is often thought of as germy or gross, but in reality, research has shown that the bacteria on soap aren't transferred during hand washing, and major government agencies and hospitals don't feel it necessary to note any safety differences between washing your hands with liquid soap or a bar of soap. In other words, they're pretty much the same cleanliness-wise.

Liquid soap is, admittedly, very convenient. But that positive is canceled out by a handful of negative environmental consequences. But is switching soaps really enough to actually make a difference to the health of the planet? According to Emma Loewe, our sustainability editor here at mindbodygreen, yes.

"Liquid soap's plastic packaging is a large driver of its impact (Americans now cycle through roughly 270 million liquid soap bottles every year), but the contents that lie inside can also cause problems. Liquid soaps tend to weigh more and therefore take more energy to transport, plus it's easier to cycle through it quickly, leading us to go back to the store again and again for a new bottle," she wrote. In fact, one investigation found that a bar of soap's average carbon footprint is 25 percent lower than liquid soap's. That's a big deal.

We don't know about you, but we think it's time to buy ourselves a nice soap tray for the bathroom, shower, and kitchen and pick up a few bars of soap—in honor of our health and the health of the planet.

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