It’s one the oldest ground rules we’ve been given ever since we were growing up. Right from your first skin doctor, your mum, to your current dermatologist, everyone has advised you that whatever you do, you should never, ever apply soap on your face. And you’ve always wondered why. What could be so bad in soap that you can’t use it on your face?
Well, guess what. Your mother was right – and your dermat is right as well. There are few skincare mistakes you can make that are as grave as this one.
Wondering why? We demystify this phenomenon.
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 Dry
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 dry. If you feel like your skin is very oily, use a face wash especially suited for oily skin that will wash off the oils and dirt from the surface of the skin but will not disturb the skin’s delicate pH balance. Washing your face with soap is like washing it with dishwater 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 works perfectly well 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 invest in a good quality face wash instead.
This doesn’t that mean soaps are necessarily harmful for the skin. Some specialty soaps such as herb-based ones or those made specifically for the face like Dove have plenty of moisturising ingredients that will keep your skin soft and fresh. But consult your dermatologist about the different ones available in the market and go for something you know will keep your skin young and beautiful.