Can You Use Soap On The Face?

The surfactants found in soaps can be harsh on your skin, leading to dryness and irritation. This makes choosing other facial cleansers over soaps a wiser choice.

New Delhi (India), March 5: The accumulation of dirt, grime, oil, and makeup on your face throughout the day makes cleansing a crucial part of any skincare routine. Without effective cleansing, you may encounter irritation, breakouts, redness and signs of skin ageing. However, the skin on your face is notably more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body, necessitating extra care in how you cleanse it. There are varied opinions regarding the use of soaps for facial cleansing. Here’s all you need to know about whether or not using soap on your face is a good idea.

How does Soap Work?

Soaps and other facial cleansers are formulated to eliminate oil and dirt from the skin. They achieve this through the action of chemicals known as surfactants, which:

  • Surround and dissolve oil and dirt, facilitating their removal by water.
  • Exfoliate dead skin cells from the outermost layer of skin.
  • Bind to and overly hydrate healthy proteins, causing them to swell with excess water.

This swelling enables the soap ingredients to penetrate more effectively into the skin’s deeper layers.

How to Choose the Right Soap for the Face?

Certain soaps may be milder on sensitive skin. However, it’s essential to ensure that any soap chosen for facial cleansing is specifically formulated for facial usage. Numerous skincare brands offer soaps suitable for facial cleansing, such as Dermadew Acne Soap. Look for soaps that are hypoallergenic and unscented, and contain high levels of moisturising ingredients such as glycerine, ceramides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. It’s advisable to steer clear of soaps containing ingredients like parabens, dyes, fragrances, formaldehyde, and lanolin.

Should I Use Soap on the Face?

Conventional soaps typically consist of long-chain fatty acid alkali salts with a pH ranging between 9 and 10, along with other common ingredients like detergents. While these effectively cleanse the skin, they can also elevate the skin’s pH, disrupting its natural balance. This disruption compromises the skin barrier, leading to dryness, irritation, flakiness, and redness. Consequently, it’s generally advisable to choose alternative facial cleansers over traditional soaps.

What are the Side Effects of Using Soap on the Face?

Some of the main drawbacks of using soap for facial cleansing include:

  • Dehydrates Skin and Causes Wrinkles: Soap-based surfactants can be detrimental to your skin, causing dryness, irritation, and redness. They strip away the skin’s natural moisturising factor (NMF) and compromise the skin’s natural barrier function. When the skin barrier is compromised, it allows bacteria, toxins, and other harmful substances to penetrate deeper into the skin, potentially causing long-term damage.
  • Disrupts the Skin Microbiome: Your skin naturally hosts a diverse array of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes, collectively known as skin microbiome. While some of these microbes are harmful, the majority are beneficial for healthy skin. Beneficial microbes help maintain the skin’s acidity, which keeps harmful microbes in check. However, surfactants in traditional soaps lower the skin’s acidity and eradicate many beneficial microbes, allowing harmful ones to thrive. Furthermore, beneficial microbes regulate immune system activity in the skin, but when depleted, the immune system may fail to respond effectively to infection, damage and inflammation. Essentially, when the skin microbiome is imbalanced, the skin’s ability to protect itself and heal is also compromised.
  • Aggravates Skin Conditions: Common skin conditions like eczema and acne may worsen when you wash your face with soap. The health of your skin microbiome plays a role in this, as well as other actions of soap-based surfactants.

What to Use on the Face Instead of Soap?

When it comes to facial cleansing, you have several options, but it’s crucial to select products specifically formulated for facial use. The ideal choice for you depends on your skin type and preferences. Here are some options to consider:

  • Foam Cleansers: These cleansers produce a foamy lather that effectively removes excess oil, making them suitable for oily or combination skin types.
  • Cream Cleansers: If you’re concerned about maintaining moisture levels, cream cleansers are an excellent option. These thick cleansers are gentle and contain moisturising ingredients, making them ideal for dry or sensitive skin.
  • Gel Cleansers: With a gel-like consistency, these cleansers excel at deep cleaning pores and removing oil, making them a suitable choice for acne-prone or oily skin.
  • Clay Cleansers: They are beneficial for clearing up acne as they absorb oil and cleanse pores effectively. They are suitable for oily, acne-prone, or combination skin.
  • Oil Cleansers: Gentle oil-based cleansers effectively unclog pores and remove makeup. They are typically formulated with skin-healthy oil like argan or tea tree oil, making them suitable for most skin types.
  • Micellar Cleansers: They have gained popularity for their ability to remove oil, makeup, and buildup from the skin. They are also convenient as they do not require rinsing off.

All in all, the majority of soaps aren’t suitable for use on your face as they tend to be too harsh and may cause irritation. Thankfully, there are numerous options available for facial cleansing. The best choice for you will be determined by your skin type and personal preferences. Regardless of your selection, it’s essential to opt for a cleanser specifically designed for facial use. Following a proper face washing routine, which includes using suitable cleansers, is crucial for maintaining healthy skin.

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