Why you shouldn’t use soap on your face

Apr 27, 2022 | skin

I see a lot of clients in my little natural eco salon who have come for facials and want advice on their skin problems.

What’s your facial regime?

The first thing I do when I’m doing the consultation form before the treatment is to ask my clients what their current facial regime is.  This is when I often find out that their skin issues have been caused by using soap bars to wash their face.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some soap bars especially formulated for use on the face.  These are fine, as they’ve been made with the right ingredients for use on the face.

Cleansers need to be hydrating and gentle

However, most soap bars shouldn’t be used on the face, as any cleanser you use on it needs to contain moisturising and hydrating ingredients.  The skin on our face is much more delicate than other areas of the body, so it really needs to be carefully looked-after using the right products.

Bar soaps usually have a more alkaline pH than our skin

Soaps are much more alkaline than our skins.  Our skin’s pH is usually more acidic between pH 4 and 6.5 and soap has a high alkaline contact.  This means using soap strips the skin of its natural oil barrier known as the acid mantle and dries it out.  Then you’re left with a tight, dry feeling, which many think is a sign that their skin is super clean.  However, this is not a good thing.

We need to maintain our acid mantle, as this protects our skin from drying out.  It keeps bacteria out and prevents the skin from becoming irritated.

If you use bar soap on your skin, you can suddenly find your skin becomes drier, irritated and has more lines and wrinkles.  You can even suffer breakouts of blemishes, acne, or if you already have spots, these can become worse.

So … what’s good to use?

You should always wash your face with a product specifically made for the face, such as a cleansing gel or milk, or light oil cleansers for normal or combination skin.  Cleansing creams or cleansers containing nourishing oils or other gentle cleansers for sensitive or dry skins are more suitable.  Face washes or gels are great for oily skins for example.    It’s possible to use oil cleansers with a cleansing cloth no matter which skin type you have – simply select the right types of oils for your skin.  For example light oils such as coconut, jojoba and hazlenut for oily to combination skin, argan, rosehip, avocado and tamanu oils for dry skin and coconut, grapeseed and calendula for sensitive skin really make a difference to the condition and health of your skin.

You can even try blending your own at home – there are lots of great recipes and tutorials out there, so give it a go!

Facial Cleansing Oils


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