Bar Soap For Skin Care?

On occasions, my patient tell me that they are using “bar soap” as a cleansing routine for their face. Ask a man, its always bar soap. So, is this bad for your skin? In this blog, I’d like to address the concerns for using bar soap on the face & body.

To dig into this topic, you must first know how the bars are manufactured. The bars are salts made from combing animal or vegetable oils (acid) with Sodium hydroxide NaOH or Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)(base) . These salts are basic or alkaline with a pH value of about 9-11. Our skin is acidic with a pH between 5.6 and 5.8. Using bar soap on your skin increases the pH of our skin , causing the skin to “react”. Your skin can react by becoming excessively dry, overly oily, red, irritated, and breakout.

Besides the composition of the bar affecting the skin, you also have other ingredients that may cause an issue. Chelating Agents are detergents used in bar soaps to strip the skin clean. These detergents are detrimental to the balance of the skin because they strip the skin of the natural oils that hydrate and preserve the skins balance. If the bar dries out the skin, the skin will then over produce sebum to compensate for the dryness. Another ingredient that may cause an issue is fragrance. Typically, sensitive skin can not tolerate fragrance in their skin care routine. Thankfully, as the times change, production of bar soaps evolved. Now, companies are conscious of the harsh affects of detergents, salts, oils, fragrance, etc.

How do you decide on a safe soap? Pay attention to the ingredients.
-Glycerin soaps help your skin absorb the moisture in the air, keeping skin soft. Glycerin soaps are excellent for those with dry skin and sensitive skin and for those with conditions like Psoriasis. On the contrary, patients with oily skin should avoid glycerin soaps.
-Try a milder option. Look for “milk” or “lotion” in the ingredients. This indicates a mild cleansing that will avoid stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
-Avoid antibacterial soaps. They contain high amounts of alcohol & phenol. These ingredients dry out the skin. It has also been discovered that anti bacterial soaps may be the cause for creating viruses that are antibacterial resistant.
-Avoid synthetic fragrance. Stick to essential oils for your sweet smell. ☺

I prefer my patients to stick to pharmaceutical grade products, like ZO Skin Health & Medical, for their face and select a good quality soap for hands & body. But should you insist on using bar soap all over, I hope this blog will help you make an educated decision.

If you have any questions about what products are right for you, come on in! At Timeless Rx, I offer complementary skin consultations.

Your Esthetician,