Why Bar Soaps Are Bad for Your Skin

Ever wondered why your skin feels dryer than normal after rinsing it with bar soap? Well, that’s because it is.

Bar soaps are made from certain chemicals that are not necessarily good for your face, despite what the Dove commercial might advertise. These chemicals can have adverse effects on your skin and even worsen an ongoing skin treatment.

Dermatologists from all around the world have testified as to why bar soaps are not good for you skin. Joshua A. Zeichner, MD from the Mount Sinai Health System, suggests that while the rest of your body might not depict signs of skin damage, your face might show them. This is because for most people, the skin on their faces is more sensitive than any other part of their bodies.

James M. Wilmott of Radical Skincare claims that using soaps on your skin removes good lipids and sebum which makes skin really dry.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Bar Soaps

Here are some of the reasons why you should avoid using bar soaps, particularly on your face.

Dries Out Skin

Already reiterated by many dermatologists, soaps contain harsh chemical compounds that can cause the natural moisture of the skin to wash out, leaving behind dry skin that can welcome a number of skin diseases. Moreover, removing the moisture from skin also exposes the pores to pollutants from the atmosphere, which could mark the beginning of infections and other skin problems.


Bar soaps drying out the skin can directly cause acne! When the skin is dried out, the pores above the hair follicle are stimulated to produce more sebum (oil), which puts the oily region at risk of developing acne. This can lead to irritation, oversensitivity of skin to the atmospheric pollution, and allergies from various skin products.

Damage to Skin Cells

Similar to drying out the face, soaps can have a harsh and debilitating effect on skin cells, leaving behind moisture-less, flaky and dull skin. Such skin is also subject to more damage if not protected with moisturizers and serums. This process can also deprive the skin of the necessary minerals it needs, which further affects its overall look and health.

Loss of Health

Bar soaps usually contain synthetic dyes and scents that might react badly with skin. Regular use of bar soaps can remove the natural lipids on your skin that keep it fresh and healthy. This ultimately leaves the skin vulnerable to bacteria and microbes.

Lipid loss also weakens the skin’s ability to store water and leaves behind an itchy, hot and flaky skin. If lipids are susceptible to damage via free radicles, they lose their efficiency in retrieving and transferring nutrients to keep the skin healthy.

Blocking Pores

Bar soaps also contribute in clogging skin pores as they contain fatty acids. This weakens the skin’s ability to defend itself against acne and bring about other skin conditions such as dermatitis. The blocking of pores will also make the skin appear dull and dirty.

Affects pH Balance

One of the major changes to skin from bar soaps comes from its disruption of the natural pH of skin, which is acidic, while bar soaps are alkaline. Research has found that when the skin’s pH levels are disturbed, it makes it more susceptible to bacterial influence and dryness. What’s more is that with repeated use, the skin’s pH continues to change, causing further damage to it.

Skin looks best with a level of 5

Save Your Skin

Bar soaps are intense cleaners and should not be used on the face and sensitive areas of the skin, despite how they are marketed. If you want to replenish your skin, take a look at these methods:

  • Before shifting to another cleanser, it is advisable to just try and wash your face with water. Do not use hot water as it may dry out the skin further. Using warm water is suggested as it will unclog pores.
  • If you are using a cleanser, make sure it does not contain any alcohol or salicylic acid as they are both drying agents.
  • If your skin is particularly dry and you do not have acne, give an oil treatment a chance. Coconut oil is very absorbent and leaves a soft and supple texture of the skin without any oiliness. Jojoba, almond and argan oils are other alternatives that you can try as well. For patches of oily skin with dryness, adding castor oil to the mix is suggested. Remember to remove oil using a warm washcloth.
  • Begin exfoliating your skin for removing damaged and dead skin cells. This is an important step in rejuvenating skin health and appearance. Try out an organic scrub (honey and oatmeal) if you want to stay away from harsh chemicals.
  • Moisturize as much as you can if your skin is dry and damaged. You can try various organic ways to do so without spending money on products. If you plan on buying a moisturizer, make sure it is alcohol free.
  • Start using sunscreen. When it comes to treating damaged skin, you want to protect it from the UV rays that can cause further harm and dryness. If exposed to the sun, use aloe vera to hydrate skin.
  • If you use makeup regularly, reevaluate your products and habits. Check to see whether you are using a foundation that dries out your skin or keeps moisture out, and make sure to use a serum and moisturizer during your makeup routine to keep your skin fresh and healthy.
  • It is necessary to consume foods that improve your skin’s growth. Make it a point to drink a lot of water and eat foods rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

Face-Friendly Bar Soaps

Although very rare, Kiss My Face has come out with two face-friendly bar soaps: Pure Olive Oil and Coconut Milk. The great thing about these bar soaps is that 86% of their formulations are the ingredients in their names, which makes them much less harmful to facial skin. Both olive oil and coconut milk are naturally moisturizing and hydrating components, and they also contain naturally nourishing antioxidants.

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