Are bar soaps, good or bad for your face?
Bar soap, beauty soap bars, cleansing bar, is exactly what it is, soap in the form of a bar. When searching up bar soap for the face, there’s a mix of articles, some says it’s bad and others will say it good…so what’s the deal with bar soap?
As the skincare industry became more mature, bar soap was given a bad rap. Most of the negativity around bar soap claims that it's unhygienic, drying, and all-around inferior to liquid, foam, gel, and oil cleansers. Traditional bar soaps (mainly the ones labeled for the body use) have a pH level of 10 and this is necessary because it’s the alkaline nature of soap that cleans away the impurities like dirt, oil and grime.
So what’s the problem? Well it just so happens that our facial skin shows a natural and optimal pH level of pH5.5, which means bars, at a pH level of 10, are full of skin-stripping ingredients that dries your skin out and the more you use it, the more your face is left in perpetual alkaline state. And while it's true that certain bar soaps are not meant for the face, there's a new generation of beauty bar soaps—for both face and body without the high pH, no drying here!
I would have to admit, I’ve never used a bar soap on my face before I went to Japan for that exact reason - fear of drying out! So, you can guess what my facial expressions was when I was told bar soaps are amazing on the skin and how shocked I saw to see the amount of bar soap marketed as facial cleansers! However, in Japan, using facial bar soap is quite common, and probably even more common than using a face wash.
So, are bar soap good or bad for your skin?
For me it’s definitely a YeS it’s good for the skin! Overall, the answer depends on the soap you choose. Traditional bar soaps aren’t a good choice for your face, but the new and improved beauty bars could be a great addition to your beauty routine! From scented to fragrance-free, combating breakouts to calming irritated complexions, you’re sure to find one for you to meet your skin needs. I’m addition, they are eco-friendly in the sense that you can use it on your face and body, plus less plastic waste!
If you do decide to make the switch, just know that there is a right way to use a bar soap. The first rule is avoid rubbing the cleansing bar soap directly to your face or body. Instead, wet your hands, wet the bar, and then rubbing the bar in your hands or use a foaming net for about 10 seconds or until you get a good lather and that lather is what you should be using to gently cleanse your complexion. The same goes for washing your body in the shower.