When I grew up we used bars of soap. Soap bars for bathing (mostly Lifebuoy), soap bars (Sunlight) for handwashing.
They used to get slimey if you didn’t have a decent soap dish, and when you were left with different slivers, you would smoosh the leftovers together to make another soap bar. My mother had some kind of mould where she made soap from leftovers.
In later years I have only used shower gel and liquid hand soap. If I receive soap bars as gifts I unwrap them and put them in my underwear drawer so everything smells nice. They also dry out a little so that they last longer. But I find I never use them. I end up using them to wash my undies.
I have noticed that soap bars are becoming more popular now – soap bars, shampoo bars, conditioner bars, massage bars. Beauty bars don’t contain water, and so cost less to transport, have little to no plastic packaging to dispose of, and last a long time. There are also different solutions to the storage problem. The system below allows each person in the family to have their own favourite soap, or for one person to have their shampoo, conditioner, soap and moisturising bars kept separately.
Lush was actually at the forefront of this movement years ago – see all their bars here. Their shampoo and moisturising bars are brilliant for travelling because they take up so little space. And they work really well. Can recommend!