How many times have you been told to never use soap on your face? You were probably given that advice from your mother as a child, and she probably received the same advice from her mother. This is one beauty tip that has been passed through many generations, and it will continue to be passed because it is important. The huge market for gentle, exfoliating facial cleansers is a direct result of the damage soap can do to facial skin.
And you’ve always wondered why, what could be so bad in soap that you can’t use it on your face?
Reason 1: Soap and Your pH Balance
When you hear references to your skin’s pH balance, you are talking about the “potential hydrogen” in your skin. Facial skin naturally has a pH of 5.5 even when the skin is very oily, and the outer layers of your skin are slightly acidic. This acid naturally keeps many toxins from passing into deeper layers of your skin. You want to keep your skin’s pH balance in check while nourishing that natural acidity.
Soap is highly alkaline, so it doesn’t play well with the acidic outer layers of your facial skin. It will turn your skin’s balance more in the alkaline direction, and that can worsen any skin problems you are already experiencing. Rather than keeping your skin clean and clear, it can cause flare-ups with skin conditions you are trying to eliminate.
Reason 2: Soap Makes your Skin Dry
And no, even if your skin is oily, this does not justify you using soap on your face. Your skin needs some natural oil for that healthy, youthful glow that you want to achieve. Soap strips that oil from your skin, resulting in a dull, lifeless appearance. If your skin is too oily and causes breakouts, you may think that using a harsh soap will help fix the problem. Unfortunately, soap will dry out even the oiliest skin, exchanging one problem for another.
You wouldn’t wash your baby’s skin with dish detergent, and you shouldn’t wash your sensitive facial skin with any type of soap. It is simply too harsh to maintain the essential oils required for a healthy glow.
Reason 3: Soap can Severely Damage your Skin
No one wants to highlight the fine lines and wrinkles developing on their face, but that is exactly what soap often does. It leads to tight, dried out skin that illuminates every blemish. This is due to the harsh chemicals in the soap stripping away essential oils along with dead skin cells and dirt. If you select facial cleansers suitable for your skin type, you can keep the oils while getting rid of the dead cells, dirt and toxins.
When your mother told you to never use soap on your face, she was doing you a huge favor. The only exceptions to the rule are soaps created specifically for the face. Dove is a good example of a soap that includes extra moisturizers so that it is suitable for the entire body, including facial skin.
If you don’t want to switch to a soap that contains gentler ingredients for your face, use a separate cleanser for your face. Look for products that match your skin type or that are created for skin problems you are currently combating. This will ensure that your skin is well-nourished and moisturized for the glowing look of health you desire.