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Bar soap also brings up the question of bacteria. While it's not an issue for liquid washes, bar soaps can and do harbor bacteria on their surface and in the sludge they leave behind, says Ward. But unless you have a compromised immune system—which, as a transplant recipient, I actually do—it shouldn't pose a problem if you're cautious.

Like your razor, "soap should be left in a well-ventilated area or in its own box," says Engelman. "And rinse the soap before you use it." Remember that argument between Joey and Chandler on Friends, in which Chandler claims soap is okay to share because "soap is soap; it's self-cleaning"? That's not really true. Ward recommends borrowing or lending it only if you have zero other options.

If you're into something with a citrusy scent and foamy lather that can wake you up in the A.M., you might want to opt for body wash. But if you're looking for no-frills cleansing, a bar soap may be your best bet. I'll never soap up with one myself, but I guess I understand a little bit better why you (and Pei) might. A little.