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Men naturally sweat more than women, especially active men, making body odor a challenge to keep under control. Hardworking men will have an especially hard time during long, hot summers when higher activity levels require more sweat to remain relatively cool.
The best soap for men in the hotter, sweatier summer season would be an old-fashioned soap bar instead of body wash. You can’t go wrong with brands like Cetaphil, Jack Black, or Dr. Squatch, but there are numerous types available on the market. The soap bar is generally a deeper-cleaning, longer-lasting, and less wasteful body product overall.
Sweat serves to cool us down and, although virtually odorless by itself, can cause the rapid multiplication of bacteria in a hot and humid environment. This article will look at how to choose the best soap and offer a list of recommended soap bars for the summer season.
The Soap Bar vs. Liquid Soap
Liquid soap and body wash has become increasingly popular over the years. Thanks largely to clever marketing, many individuals use bar soap throughout their childhood and then move on to liquid soap or body wash instead.
However, when considering the baseline differences between bar soap and liquid soap, bar soap has numerous advantages. It stands just a little ahead of liquid soap or body wash in cleanliness and usefulness, but miles ahead when you consider the environmental and waste impact.
Bar Soap Provides A Deeper Clean
If your sole purpose in selecting soap is cleanliness, both bar soap and liquid soap will serve essentially the same purpose as both are effective in removing dirt, grime, and bacteria.
However, if you’re using a bar of soap, the mere friction of rubbing it against your hands and body can be more effective at removing visible debris.
Additionally, a bar of soap can be exfoliating when rubbed against the skin, and it will also build up a thicker and better lather, which is the key for ridding your skin of harmful pollutants.
To properly kill bacteria and viruses that may be living on your hands and skin, you should lather for at least 20 seconds. In this regard, bar soap frequently comes out as a better option.
Bar Soap Is Longer-Lasting
On average, a bar of soap will last longer and with less mess and waste than liquid soap.
If you consider the usage, the average person will use six times more liquid soap on a per-volume basis than a bar of soap. This is because you squirt liquid soap into your hands, whereas you rub the bar of soap between your hands or against your skin to get the necessary lather.
You will spend much more on liquid soap than bar soap as you will constantly have to restock your supply of liquid soap, whereas a bar of soap can easily last for months on end, depending on the number of people who use it.
There’s Virtually No Waste
When comparing bar soap and liquid soap, bar soap emerges as the clear winner when we consider the environmental impact and waste factor.
In this regard, a bar of soap is greener than body wash because you can buy it as a stand-alone item in a body shop merely wrapped in recyclable paper. Such individually-wrapped bars of soap are particularly common in artisanal stores.
For the most part, even mass-produced soap bars are packaged in recyclable paper or cardboard. Additionally, one uses a bar of soap until the last crumb melts away. Once you have disposed of the recyclable packaging, a bar of soap disappears from your life on its own.
Liquid soap is packaged in mass-produced, single-use plastic that is currently an immense problem for our environment. The mass-production of plastics furthers climate change and pollution.
The making of soap has recently become an artisan craft and, therefore, they often contain many natural ingredients as well as recyclable packaging.
This is why a bar of soap marketed as exfoliating tends to contain granules of sugar or salt to exfoliate the body. These natural products aren’t harmful to the environment and are actually good for your skin.
Body wash or liquid soap marketed as exfoliating generally uses disposable plastic beads or microscopic beads because they look good when suspended in the liquid soap and encourage the consumer to buy the product.
However, these beads filter through our man-made plumbing and end up in the ocean, polluting our seas and harming marine life.
As a final feather in the cap for our humble bar of soap, a soap bar only requires one-fifth of the energy it takes to make liquid soap. It also uses 20 times the energy to package liquid soap than it does bar soap.
Once you consider these factors, bar soap is the clear choice for a cleansing body product that treads lightly on our fragile planet.
The Role of Antiperspirant
There is no question that soap is essential for cleanliness and, especially for men who sweat, bar soap is possibly the best product for banishing body odor. However, if you have hyperhidrosis or want to prevent sweating, you need to finish your routine with an antiperspirant.
While soaps work to destroy the bacteria that cause body odor, and colognes or aftershaves mask the smell, antiperspirants block the sweat production.
Antiperspirants might be well-suited for the office worker who doesn’t want the competition to see him sweat but, for men who regularly work out in the hot summer sun, antiperspirants are not ideal because they need the sweat to aid the body’s natural cooling process.
Antiperspirants work to block your pores and contain ingredients that counter bacteria to make your body odor less pungent. These features make antiperspirants ideal for those who have hyperhidrosis or who work in enclosed spaces.
Recently, antiperspirants have also included active ingredients in time-release polymer enclosures so that the product lasts longer. The companies that make these products have also started using additives that specifically block the action of bacterial enzymes that are responsible for turning odorless sweat smelly.
Therefore, even though sweating is a completely normal human function, should you wish to banish it along with the associated body odor, following your soap scrub with a proper antiperspirant is key.
The Best Soap for Men Who Sweat
When you sweat, the way you manage your body sweat and the inevitable body odor will affect the body products you use. You also need to select the correct soap for your skin type and level of activity, while understanding how your clothing and diet affect your sweat and smell factor.
Choose the Right Soap
Hyperhidrosis is the term used for excessive sweating. Men are more likely to suffer from hyperhidrosis and, if this is the case, choosing the correct soap is critical for living a comfortable life.
Sweat by itself is virtually odorless, but bacteria in and on your skin can turn it into an unpleasant smell by breaking it down. If you want to combat body odor or you simply sweat more than others, it is best to use antibacterial soap for your entire body.
Those with hyperhidrosis sweat all over their body, not just from their armpits, and you should wash your entire body with antibacterial soap.
An antibacterial soap works to destroy the bacteria and germs that break down odorless sweat into a smelly byproduct. Selecting one with antibacterial properties should be your first choice.
Avoid Artificial Fragrances
Soap bars that aren’t pH-balanced but are perfumed, artificially fragranced, or contain alcohol should be avoided. These can irritate skin or exacerbate existing skin problems, causing breakouts if you are prone to sweating. It can even cause hyperhidrosis in extreme cases, so it is best to avoid them.
Consider Your Diet
Additionally, if you are sweat-prone or suffer from hyperhidrosis, your diet can affect how smelly you get.
Caffeine and alcohol can cause you to sweat more, and certain pungent foods such as onions and garlic can negatively affect body odor. It is best to choose clean and fresh foods if you want to smell clean and fresh.
How to Choose the Best Soap for Me
If you are looking for the best soap for yourself, consider your skin type and activity level, not to mention the actual label on the soap itself or its list of ingredients if no such label is available.
Skin types to take into consideration include dry skin, oily skin, and combination. Once you’ve determined your skin type, it’s important to look at the label or ingredients of your soap bar to make the right choice.
For dry skin, it is essential to note that some bar soap can be dehydrating, so ensure that the label states that it is a gentle cleanser without any harsh chemicals or additives and contains no alcohol.
For dry skin, your best choice would be a gentle soap that incorporates a naturally hydrating product such as shea butter and natural oils. It is also a good idea to avoid taking too many baths while limiting your shower time as prolonged exposure to water can remove necessary oils and dry out your skin.
Taking excessively hot baths or showers will definitely remove too much of your body’s natural oils, leaving your skin prone to rashes and other skin problems.
If you have oily skin, you may be prone to breakouts and should avoid excessively oily or creamy soaps. Additionally, it is in your best interest to opt for a foaming cleanser that will strip away excess oil and choose a soap bar with natural exfoliating properties that incorporates sugar or salt to brighten your skin.
Combination skin is often confused with oily skin and, often, people use excessively dehydrating products, which can cause breakouts or skin problems. You should choose a gentle cleanser with hydrating properties without additional creams or oils, and choose one that is gently exfoliating to help slough off dead skin cells.
Handmade or Artisanal
When selecting your soap, handmade or artisanal soap is often a better choice than opting for a mass-produced bar from your local supermarket. This is because handmade or artisanal soaps use better ingredients, like hydrating vegetable oils and glycerin, to help hydrate and replenish your skin.
If you are shopping for soap, keep one thing in mind — glycerin. This is vital when choosing soap. Glycerin is one of the best ingredients as it is natural, non-toxic, and non-irritating.
Those of us with sensitive skin or who get rashes or irritations from regular soaps can use glycerin to beat the itch.
The reason why glycerin is such a sought-after ingredient in soap is that it is a humectant — it draws moisture into the skin. Therefore, if you have dry skin or skin prone to irritation, opting for glycerin as the key ingredient is critical. Also, a study that was performed shows glycerin not only helps your skin look better but it has a therapeutic value also.
Choosing a soap that contains natural ingredients, like natural butters and oils, will always be the better choice for your skin. They are more nourishing and less dehydrating and irritating than mass-produced products that often contain artificial colors, perfumes, and alcohol.
If you have hyperhidrosis or if you have a high level of activity that causes you to sweat a lot, it is best to opt for ingredients with natural antibacterial properties to ban body odor.
When looking at the ingredients or label of your bar of soap, keep a keen eye open for tea tree oil and eucalyptus.
A paper that was published has shown that Tea tree oil is antibacterial and antiseptic, as well as containing anti-inflammatory properties, which is a solid option for those with dry skin or skin prone to irritation.
Tea tree oil is one of the best natural remedies for cutaneous infections, so if you suffer from skin trouble, tea tree oil is your go-to ingredient.
Eucalyptus oil is also antimicrobial, antiseptic, and antibacterial, and it has the added benefit of soothing the skin. Antibacterial soaps that contain eucalyptus will leave you smelling fresh while banishing bacteria that cause body odor.
Top 5 Soaps for Men
We know that there are so many body products out there that it can be overwhelming to make your choice, but if you know your skin type and activity level, you can make a better decision. To help you, we’ve put together a list of the five best soaps for men.
Exfoliation: Baxter of California Men’s Exfoliating Body Bar
Baxter’s body bar is such an excellent exfoliator that it eliminates the need for a loofah. Additionally, it works up a nice thick lather, which is important for cleansing and has a masculine scent of cedarwood and oakmoss. This soap has gotten some very good reviews on Amazon so go check it out for yourself.
Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar
Cetaphil’s Antibacterial Gentle Cleansing Bar is especially good for sensitive skin, hyperhidrosis, or severe body odor. It is gentle enough and cleansing enough to help those who suffer from acne, and it will eliminate any odor-causing bacteria.
The soap is also gentle enough to use it on your face and body, which makes it a budget-friendly option to boot.
Novelty: Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap
Jack Black’s Massaging Soap bar with Charcoal is a fun body product that makes the cleansing process so much more enjoyable for men. The Jack Black charcoal body bar has raised nubs that gently massage sore muscles, making it perfect for athletes or men who have a very physical job.
As a bonus, the charcoal properties of the soap will cleanse your skin and exfoliate your entire body.
All Natural: Dr. Squatch Cedar Citrus Natural Bar Soap
Dr. Squatch cedar citrus soap bar is natural and handmade, which is what you want and, as a bonus, it has the fresh and clean smell of a citrus orchard.
This soap contains five natural oils, so it is best for those with dry skin, and it is hydrating, moisturizing, and contains no harsh chemicals, so it will leave you feeling refreshed instead of itchy and dehydrated.
Budget: Tiege Hanley Wash Body Bar
Tiege Hanley’s soap bar is not only exfoliating and suitable for those with sensitive skin, but it also contains natural ingredients and won’t make a dent in your wallet – a win-win on every front! It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used on any skin type, so if you are truly looking for a budget bar – this is it.
Active men require effective soap, especially in the summer, when the weather allows for hard work or sport. The best soap for men in the summer season will be a bar of soap with antibacterial properties to combat body odor.
The best soap to choose will depend largely on your skin type, but your best bet would be a soap that contains natural ingredients, has glycerin, and is free from alcohol, artificial colors, and artificial scents.