Is Washing Face with A Bar Of Soap Bad For Your Skin?

I harp a lot about facial cleansing. After all, it is the first step to every skincare regime. Popular beauty features like 10 Korean Beauty Secrets Every Girl Should Know and Double Cleansing: Is This The Secret To Flawless Skin? are prove that beauty starts with a clean face. In the past, our mothers and grandmothers used a bar of fragrant soap to wash their face. These days, facial bar soaps are slowly disappearing off toiletry shelves replaced by face washing liquids like cleansing foam, gel, cream and oil; all formulated to be gentler on skin and targets specific skin types.

Let’s face it: Bar soaps are pretty boring to market and sell. It is a bar block often differentiated by its color and smell. The problem with soap bars in the past is how it is made. Traditional soap bars tended to be alkaline with a higher pH disrupting the skin’s normal pH balance. An alkaline environment encourages the growth and spread of acne-causing bacteria on skin. Also, the higher pH disrupts the skin’s natural barrier function where water evaporates faster making dry skin even drier.  All common complains of bar soap users!

On the flip side, facial liquids are more versatile for beauty marketing. They can be marketed as a luxury product for multi-purpose use that comes in pretty bottles and smell heavenly. Trouble is they can also come with a very heavy price tag.

But it seems the world of facial cleansers is about to get a makeover. More and more skincare brands are starting to develop “beauty bars” – new generation soap bars with a fancier name given to exude a sense of exotic luxury and sophistication. They are formulated to be softer and kinder to skin using selected premium ingredients to target specific skin-related problems. New beauty bars are usually always 100% natural – unlike most facial liquids.

For many of us the switch from facial liquids to bar soap is a huge transition in our skincare regime. But if you are tight on budget yet want to keep to using natural organic skincare products, you might want to consider making this change seriously.

First, a bar of soap takes up less bathroom counter space. Second, it is more bang for your buck. Soap is not made with much water content (compared to facial liquids); thus, it can pack loads of active ingredients and concentrated goodness in one bar. Third, they can last a lot longer than facial liquid because it takes a little water to lather. Any excess lather on the soap dries quickly and can be used again. Lastly, it is also the greener choice reducing your consumptive waste of plastic bottles.

While using traditionally-manufactured soap bars may not be good for your skin, soap bars itself are effective cleansing agents. So, when is washing face with a bar of soap good for your skin? Read the label. Choose a gentle beauty bar that is made with only natural ingredients like shea butter, milk and honey. Some have added natural elements like clay, sea salt, mud, oatmeal and bamboo extract to give a more enhanced cleansing experience. Avoid any soaps that contain synthetic chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, perfume and petrolatum.

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