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Can You Use Hand Soap As Body Wash

What happens when you have to take a shower and realize that your favorite bottle of body wash has run out and you are not in a position to dash out to buy another bottle? Or if you’re in transit and realize that the only cleanser available to you is hand soap? Can you use it to replace your body wash?

There are many people who use hand soap as a body wash. In this guide, we will discuss the things that you should remember in case you use hand soap instead of body wash.

Can Hand Soap Replace Body Wash?

Soap and body wash are two of the most common bathroom products you’ll use. But they can be a little confusing. Hand soaps are meant to be used on the hands, while body washes are designed for use in the shower.

So, can you use hand soap as a body wash? The short answer to that would be yes, but it depends on what kind of soap you’re using. Both are cleansers, but hand soaps are likely to leave your skin dry and even irritate it. Body washes contain ingredients that help cleanse your skin and remove dirt, oil, and sweat from your pores. They also contain ingredients that condition skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth.

Hand Soap and Body Wash: What’s the Difference?

Hand soap and body wash are two different products, but they are also similar in many ways. The two have different properties, and that’s what makes them different. Hand soap is made up of a soap base and fragrance, whereas body wash has a different combination of ingredients.

Let us look at these ingredients.

Hand Soap

The most important thing to know about hand soap is that it can contain a wide range of ingredients. Many of these ingredients are designed to cleanse the skin and remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. Other hand soaps contain ingredients that can disinfect or deodorize the hands. Hand soap also may contain moisturizers and fragrances to give your hands a nice scent after washing.

  • Glycerin
  • Triclosan
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Parabens
  • Citrus extracts
  • Antibacterial agents
  • Alcohols
  • Fragrance

Body Wash

For the most part, body washes are just like any other soap. They contain a lot of water, some surfactants, and fragrance. In fact, most body washes are actually not very different from hand soaps in terms of their ingredients. The primary difference is that most body washes have about twice as much water as a bar of regular bar soap does.

  • Glycerin
  • Aloe Vera
  • Almond oil/ Jojoba oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Ultimately, body washes are formulated with a lower PH compared to hand soaps. This is because they are designed to moisturize skin. Therefore, they are unlikely to strip your skin of its natural oils.

What if I Use Hand Soap as Body Wash?

You can use hand soap as a body wash. It’s just not the best option for you. Why? For the simple reason that hand soap is designed to be a light cleaner and a gentle exfoliator. It does not have the same ingredients as body cleansers, which are designed to cleanse your skin thoroughly while being gentle and hydrating.

Soap is also alkaline, which means it will strip your skin of its natural balance of acidic minerals. This can lead to dryness, scaling, and flaking.

So, what should you do if you opt to use hand soap in place of body wash? Well, the first thing you should do is not to make it a habit. In fact, you should only do this as a last resort. If you decide to use hand soap as a body wash, you may need to dilute it with water to reduce its abrasive effects. Another thing is that you should slather your body with moisturizer after using the hand soap.

This will help seal in moisture and make them feel softer after washing them. You can also add some conditioner if you want an extra boost in softness.

Common Body Wash Substitutes

We’ll be blunt: if your body washes run out, you’re probably going to have a bad time. However, there are some substitutes you can use in place of it, including:

Castile soap

You can also use castile soap as body wash, but it’s not as effective. Castile soap is just plain old soap that comes from plants, such as olive oil and coconut oil. It’s much gentler than regular body wash. As such, it won’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Moreover, castile soap doesn’t have any dyes or perfumes added to it.

As such, it is perfect for individuals with delicate skin who need something gentler than what traditional body washes are made with.


If you run out of body wash, try using shampoo. Just make sure that you avoid using too much and dilute it with water before applying it to your body. You can also add essential oils and different fragrances to make your shampoo smell better and feel more luxurious.


It might sound funny, but oatmeal is an excellent substitute for body wash. You can even use it in place of shaving gel and moisturizer to keep your skin soft and hydrated. Just mix two tablespoons of oatmeal with 1 cup of water, pour into a glass jar, and shake well until the mixture forms a lather (like you’d do with soap). Apply this lather all over your body, rinse off, and pat dry. It feels great on the skin, smells delicious, and cleans your skin without drying it out, as some other products do.

Baking soda

Baking soda is a pretty good substitute for body wash, especially if you want to make your own at home. It is a non-toxic alternative to store-bought body wash and can be used in place of the actual soap on your skin.

All you need to do is make a paste with baking soda and water. Then rub it onto your skin and finish by a warm water rinse. The baking soda won’t sting or burn either, so you don’t have to deal with irritation or redness from this DIY body wash hack.