Updated: Apr 20
Ever wondered what goes on behind those beauty room doors?
Here is where you will hear the truth about products, treatments and a true look inside the beauty industry.
As a Beauty Therapist, of 30 years, I have had hundreds of clients that have asked me why they can’t use soap on their face. It isn’t so I can sell you an expense cleanser on your way out of the salon, but to make sure that you don’t damage your body’s largest organ. So let me spell it out for you.
Reason 1: Our Skin is Acidic, While Soap is Alkaline-Based.
Confused about this scientific explanation? Let’s make this simple for you. Your skin’s natural barrier is made up of acid mantle. When the pH scale shows 7, it is neutral. Anything below that is acidic and above it is alkaline. Our skin’s pH balance is generally between 4 and 6.5, even when the skin is very oily. Soap, on the other hand, is extremely alkaline and goes towards the other extreme. So, if you use soap on your skin, it messes with its pH balance and acid mantle, causing it to make skin conditions worse. Hence, it is best to avoid using soap on your face.
Reason 2: Soap Makes your Skin Dehydrated
And no, even if your skin is oily, this does not justify you using soap on your face. Soap strips the skin of its natural oils and makes it tight and dehydrated. As soon as you strip the natural oils from this skin type the body goes into overdrive and produces more oil to give it back some protection. If you keep repeating this process of skin stripping, your body will get into a habit of producing oil at random.
Dehydrated skins often have an issues with blemishes, Acne and blackheads. As soap leaves the skins surface with an excess of flaky skin. It clogs the pores and stops them from being able to push normal & good oils to the surface of the skin. Your skin is left vulnerable to environmental factors like wind, heat, air pollutants etc. This skin is now fighting those issues instead of taking care of its regular routine of sloughing off old skin cells and producing new and better looking skin.
If you feel like your skin is very oily, use a facial cleanser especially suited for oily skin that will wash off the day’s dirt and grime from the surface of the skin, but will not disturb the skin’s delicate pH balance. Beware of cleansers that contain alcohol. Washing your face with soap is like washing it with dishwashing liquid or detergent.
Reason 3: Soap can Severely Damage your Skin
Washing your face with the wrong kind of products can leave it looking dull, haggard and wrinkled. And this includes soap. When you use a face wash suited for your skin type, you can be sure that it contains ingredients that are required to keep your skin looking its best. But with a soap, there are no different kinds. The harsh chemicals present in it are useful to clean the skin but not to protect it. While this maybe just okay for the rest of your body, the skin on your face is much more delicate and can easily start looking damaged. So, keep the soap away and use a good quality face wash instead.
Reason 4: All soaps are not created equal
This doesn’t that mean that all soaps are necessarily harmful for the skin. Some speciality soaps such as herb-based ones or those made specifically for the face have special ingredients to do a specific task. The good ones don’t contain ingredients that strip the skin of its protective barrier.
The industry is very aware of the damaging effects soap has on skin and have even used slogans to turn blur your understanding of soap. A good example is Dove - “doesn’t dry your skin like soap can”. So, what they are telling you is it still will dry your skin but not as bad as other brands of soap. Very true. As it contains a quarter of moisturising cream to help combat the drying effects of the soap. But 3 quarters drying ingredients can’t be counter balanced by 1 quarter of moisture. The scientific evidence is back at Reason 1.
So next time your therapist asks you “and what are you using on your face” you don’t have to see them cringed when they hear the word SOAP.