Well, the most important topic that we all ran through during the COVID season is the topic of hand washing. And if you’re one of those people who always run out of hand soap because you get suspicious of everything you touch or because you have too many family members using the hand soap at least ten times a day, then a 500 ml hand soap will run out in just a week! So the biggest question that stood up was: can shower gel be used as a hand soap?
Well, before we dig into that, there are other things to consider. Depending on the formulation, the shower gel can or cannot be used in place of hand soap. And another fact to consider is: will a body wash work as well as a hand wash to remove germs? So let us see if we can use a shower gel or body as a substitute for hand soap.
What are Hand Soaps?
Well, let us start with the basics of hand soap. Simply put, they are surfactants and disinfectants that are used to wash your hands. These products are used on the kitchen counter, in the sink, and anywhere else you might need to wash your hands.
There are mostly two different kinds of hand soaps, bar soaps, and liquid soaps. Regardless of price, the ingredients of the hand soap must be the most important factor. So let’s delve a little deeper into the ingredients
The most common ingredient for these is water. They are listed as “aqua” or “Eau.” These are the most common kinds of solvents. Water-based hand soaps are affordable, and they are the most common kind. If you are concerned about the ingredient list, including moisturizing terms and how it might affect dry skin, you should look into the oils and glycerine used as soap solvents.
Cocamide MEA, jasmine oil, and tea tree oil are the three most common oils used. Then there is also fragrance, but it is mostly a mild chemical or soapy smell. However, when you buy a specific type of liquid hand soap, it smells like that. Flowers and fruity smells are good examples. The majority of liquid hand soaps contain synthetic soap with dyes and fragrances.
Bar hand soap
The soap in the bar version is the solid version of the soap, and they are mostly made of sodium hydroxide and lye. The fats, oils, and surfactants are all in a solid state, and as the hand soap bar comes into contact with water and your skin surface, they turn to liquid. Bar soaps can also be used as body soaps and are effective at removing dirt when used with warm water.
These products are solid at room temperature and will form a richer lather when they are used. The bar hand soaps are harsher than the liquid soap but are comparatively cheaper and can be used on a regular basis.
What are Shower Gels?
Shower gels are the first things that spring to mind when considering a replacement for hand soap. The shower gel is solely used for body washing and is kept on the bathroom rack adjacent to the shower. It is mainly used on the skin, therefore they will find their way to the most sensitive skin on the body, such as the chest and neck. These are essential elements of having a shower and generally have a pleasant aroma and can be used on a regular basis.
Ingredients in shower gel
Water is the most prevalent element in a shower gel. This is the fundamental component of any liquid soap. Oil or glycerine, in addition to water, can be used as a solvent. The emulsifier comes next. The consistency of liquid hand soap is comparable to shower gel but for bar soaps, the consistency is more comparable when you lather it on your skin.
They thicken it while also dissolving the other elements. Surfactants were the cleaning components since they were responsible for the gel’s foam. These will keep the gel safe and will not allow any kind of contamination or microbial growth. Lastly, the shower gel consists of fragrances that are basically from fruits or essential oils.
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What Is the Purpose of Shower Gels?
Shower gels are used so much around the world because they provide a good clean on the body. Most regular soaps, like bar soap, might still contain the same cleaning terms and fragrances, but they might leave the skin feeling too dry. And when you have sensitive and already dry skin, this would be an inconvenience. So the best alternative would be the shower gel. Here are some reasons why you use shower gel:
This is not on all kinds of shower gel out there. But some of the products include small beads that will burst into the skin or just run over the skin. These will get the dirt out of the pores of the body. And thus, the skin is all cleared up, and even the deeply settled dirt will be cleared. Exfoliation will clean up the skin surface properly, and it also tends to get rid of dead skin cells, leaving a soft and clean surface.
The next reason why shower gels are used is that they tend to put a layer of moisture on top of the skin. And many shower gels or hand soaps will not do that. The main reason for using a shower gel might be cleaning, but you will not want the skin to feel tight. Shower gels will solve this problem and leave your skin moisturized even after a long shower.
Apart from regular surfactants, shower gel is less moisturizing on the skin because it uses more aggressive ingredients. But this aggressiveness can help kill the germs on your body better than other products. That is why if you want to kill germs on your hands, shower gel would be a good alternative to disinfecting hand soap.
Shower Gel vs. Hand Soap
The shower gel and hand soap are nearly identical in composition. Both hand soap and shower gell kill germs and will get rid of dirt from the skin. With hand soap, they are harsher, and they lack smell. And they are not very hydrating. They are basically just soap with germ-killing power.
And on the other hand, the shower gel has to meet a lot of criteria. One of the most important would be to avoid dehydrating the skin. It might use harsher chemicals to get rid of dirt, but the shower gel should ensure that your skin is not drying out. Another thing that has to be added is that our hands will touch a lot of things that contain infectious agents. However, our bodies have their own build-up that needs to be cleaned. So shower gel is usually less harmful than hand soap.
When you are about to compare two products or find similarities between two products, you may want to have a good understanding of them. But which one works and which doesn’t mostly lie in the differences between these two products. The shower gel and the hand soap might look like the same thing, but there are some differences between them. And here we are, including them:
Can Body Wash Be Used as Hand Soap
Unlike shower gel which uses harsher ingredients that may dry out the skin on your body, body wash is a much gentler option. This is particularly better on more sensitive skin and effectively cleans out the dirt off your body. However, it would not be able to kill germs on the body because it’s more moisturizing than being able to kill germs.
As a hand soap, body wash is good to keep your hand more moisturized and can be used for sensitive skin. Because of the body wash’s gentle nature, it will not be able to kill the germs off your hands, but it would be able to keep your hand clean. If you want to use body wash to clean your hands, then it would be a good alternative to hand soap. But if you want to replace your antibacterial hand soap, body wash would not do anything about that.
It depends on what you want to use it as. If you want to clean your hands of dirt, regular soap is good enough. But if you to get rid of germs, antibacterial soaps are the best. In general, liquid soaps are better as they are gentler and more moisturizing.
It depends on the detergent used in the soap. The body wash is supposed to be more gentle on the skin while hand soap tends to be a bit harsher to get rid of dirt and germs.
Natural ingredients that don’t irritate the skin, and can both clean and kill germs makes for a good hand wash.
When you are able to find a product that will serve a dual purpose as both a shower gel and a hand soap, then you are in luck. Instead of buying different products, when you invest in one that will work both ways, you are almost saving a lot of money. Finding a product that works both as a body wash and a hand soap is unique. For example, when using a good hand soap, you do not want your body’s skin to be stripped of its natural oil and moisture. And using a shower gel as a hand soap might just work that way too! So you should just buy a shower gel or a body wash and a hand soap separately unless you find these two-in-one products that will work in every way.