At any given consultation and appointment, we typically discuss with our clients their at-home skin care regimen and what products they use. We are not going to lie, when we hear someone say they use bar soap on their face, we cringe a little. Whether you use bar soap out of habit or convenience, let us explain why it does more damage than good.
You should avoid soap on your face because it is a harsh surfactant which indiscriminately removes good lipids as well as dirt and sebum. This causes the breakdown of the skin’s natural moisture barrier which results in water passing out of the skin more rapidly making it severely dry. Further, it lets materials into the skin such as irritants, allergens, and unfriendly micro-organisms which can provoke inflammation and the ultimate breakdown of key structural proteins and water-binding carbohydrates like hyaluronic acid. Soap is also very alkaline (increases the pH of the skin). This produces a surface that is hostile to the micro-organisms that are needed to maintain the skin’s immune system.
A true soap is made only of fats and an alkali (a form of salt) which in itself is harsh for our face. But most soaps contain synthetic, or man-made, ingredients too. Antibacterial soap is a synthetic soap with added antibacterial ingredients to kill germs and bacteria. Skin cleansing soaps come in various forms — liquid, scrub or bar — and address skin problems beyond removing dirt. Moisturizing soap may help your dry skin, but be wary of a body wash that strips away too many of the skin’s natural oils.
Using bar soap can damage the outer protective layer of the skin. This leads to accentuated wrinkles and pores, and can cause acne and inflammation, which makes breakouts worse.
Next time you wash your face, put down the bar soap and reach for a true facial cleanser instead. Your skin will thank you!
We recommend using PCA’s cleansing bar or liquid facials washes.
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