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Can I Wash My Face With Soap?

Are you looking for an easy way to cleanse your skin without having to buy expensive face wash? Have you considered using soap to clean your face instead?

Is it a good idea to use soap on your face? You might be wondering, can I wash my face with soap? I’m going to share the pros and cons of using soap for facial cleansing, so keep on reading to find out more…

Woman holding a bar of soap before she washes her face with the soap

How Often Should You Wash Your Face Everyday?

As a general rule, you should wash your face twice a day: once in the morning and once at night.

This guideline applies to the vast majority of skin types, provided that the right products and techniques are used.

Washing your face in the morning removes any oil buildup and prepares your skin for the day ahead.

Similarly, washing your face at night helps to remove makeup, dirt, and pollutants that have accumulated on your skin throughout the day.

However, the frequency of face washing also depends on your skin type. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, sticking to the twice-a-day routine is essential to keep your face clean and prevent breakouts.

On the other hand, if you have dry or sensitive skin, washing once a day—preferably at night—might be sufficient. It’s crucial to be in tune with your skin’s needs and adjust your face-washing regimen accordingly.

Before washing your face, always wash your hands to prevent transferring dirt and bacteria onto your skin.

Many people choose to wash their face in the shower, which might be convenient, but be careful not to expose your face to hot water.

Instead, use lukewarm or cold water when washing your face, as it helps to maintain your skin’s natural balance without stripping it of essential moisture.

No matter how frequently you wash your face, it’s important to remember the following tips:

  • Choose a gentle, sulfate-free cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.
  • Apply the cleanser using gentle, circular motions.
  • Avoid using harsh, abrasive scrubs or exfoliants.
  • Pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel after washing.
  • Follow up with a suitable moisturizer to maintain healthy skin hydration levels.

Finally, it’s essential to listen to your skin. Your face-washing routine may need to be adjusted based on personal factors such as the time of year, your skin’s condition, and the climate in which you live.

Paying attention to your face’s needs can help ensure that you maintain clean, radiant, and healthy skin.

Which Ingredients Are Bad For Facial Cleansing?

When it comes to skincare and dermatology, not all soap is created equal. Using a regular bar soap on your face can cause dryness, irritation, and damage to the skin’s natural barrier.

To maintain healthy skin and prevent potential problems, it’s essential to be aware of the ingredients in your skincare products. Here are some ingredients to avoid when choosing a facial cleanser.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS is commonly used to create a lathering or foaming effect in facial cleansers. However, it can strip your skin of its natural oils, resulting in dryness and irritation.

Opt for sulfate-free cleansing products to maintain your skin’s moisture balance.

Dyes and Fragrances: Scented and colored skincare products may seem appealing, but these additives can trigger allergic reactions and irritate your skin.

Look for unscented, hypoallergenic options to avoid unpleasant side effects.

Harsh Surfactants: Surfactants are compounds that help break down and remove dirt and oil from your skin.

While they are necessary for effective cleansing, some surfactants can be harsh on the skin, causing dryness and irritation.

Do your research, and choose gentle, skin-friendly surfactants like coco-glucoside or decyl glucoside.

Alcohol: Alcohol is often used in skincare products for its astringent properties. However, it can strip your skin of its natural moisture and disrupt the skin barrier function.

Stay away from facial cleansers containing alcohol, especially if you have sensitive or dry skin.

Woman holding up a solid bar of soap

What Is Bar Soap Made Out Of?

Bar soap is a common cleansing product that you might have thought about using on your face. To understand whether it’s the right choice, it’s essential to know its composition.

Bar soaps are typically made from a combination of fats or oils and an alkali, such as sodium hydroxide (lye).

The fats or oils can come from plant or animal sources like palm oil, coconut oil, or tallow, while the alkali helps to break down the oils and create the soapy consistency.

During the soap-making process, known as saponification, the fats and oils mix with the alkali to generate soap molecules and glycerin.

Glycerin is a byproduct of this process which acts as a natural moisturizer and contributes to soap’s skin-friendly properties.

Now, you might see a variety of bar soaps on the market that cater to different needs and skin types. Generally, hand soap and facial soaps have distinct formulations.

Hand soaps often contain stronger surfactants to remove dirt and grime, whereas facial soaps are milder to avoid causing irritation and dryness to the delicate facial skin.

Can I Wash My Face With Soap?

When it comes to cleansing your face, you might wonder if using soap is a suitable option. While soap can indeed clean your skin, it may not be the best choice for maintaining a healthy and balanced complexion.

Traditional bar soap can cause dryness and irritation, as it often contains harsh ingredients that strip your skin of its natural oils.

This disruption of your skin’s pH levels can lead to an array of problems, including acne and other skin conditions. According to dermatologists, it’s better to opt for a specially formulated facial cleanser rather than soap to wash your face.

A good facial cleanser is designed to gently remove dirt, sweat, and excess oil without disrupting your skin’s natural balance.

Cleansers often contain hydrating and soothing ingredients that help maintain your skin’s moisture and elasticity.

When searching for the right facial cleanser, look for products that are non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog pores) and are labeled as suitable for your skin type, such as oily, dry, sensitive, or combination skin.

To properly cleanse your face, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Wet your face with lukewarm water.
  2. Apply a small amount of facial cleanser to your fingertips.
  3. Gently massage the cleanser onto your face, using circular motions.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with water, making sure to remove all cleanser residue.
  5. Pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel.

Regularly cleansing your face is an essential part of your skincare routine. It helps prevent acne, keeps your pores clear, and ensures your skin remains healthy and glowing.

While using soap to wash your face may be tempting, remember that it might lead to more harm than good.

Downsides To Washing Your Face With Bar Soap


Bar soaps can be unhygienic for several reasons. When you use them, they often remain exposed to air and can accumulate bacteria and germs, which can then transfer to your face as you’re washing.

Plus, the foam lather that forms on the surface of the soap can trap these impurities and contribute to irritation of the skin, especially if you have sensitive skin or acne-prone skin.

Very Drying On The Skin

Bar soaps tend to be alkaline by nature, which can disrupt your skin’s natural balance, strip away essential oils, and lead to dryness, itchiness, and even breakouts.

This is especially true for people with dry or sensitive skin, as the soap can exacerbate the condition, causing more harm than good.

If you have oily skin, the removal of natural oils might cause your skin to overproduce oil to compensate for the loss, which can also lead to more breakouts. 

Ensure you maintain your skin’s natural barrier and prevent it from getting excessively dry or irritated.

Not Designed For Delicate Facial Skin

Bar soaps are usually created to address the needs of body skin, which is thicker and less delicate than the skin on your face.

Using harsh body soaps on your face can cause irritation, damage the skin barrier, and even accelerate aging.

Facial skin requires a more gentle and targeted approach, such as a dedicated facial cleanser or gentle liquid soap that respects your skin’s delicate nature and provides proper hydration without stripping away essential oils.

If you’re washing your face with bar soap, it’s important to consider alternative ways to wash your face that are more suitable for your skin type.

Gentle cleansers, foaming face washes, or even specific facial soaps with a neutral pH can provide a more beneficial skincare routine, promote healthy skin, and help prevent common skin conditions such as dryness, acne breakouts, or excess oil production. 

Are There Benefits To Washing Your Face With Soap?

Are There Benefits To Washing Your Face With Soap?

There are some benefits to washing your face with soap, particularly if you choose the right type of soap for your skin.

Dermatologists often recommend using gentle, fragrance-free soap for those with sensitive skin, as it may help to avoid irritation and dryness.

When used properly, a bar soap can effectively remove dirt, oil, and grime from your face, leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

When you select a soap for your face, it is important to consider its ingredients.

Soaps containing natural ingredients such as glycerin, aloe vera, and essential oils may provide additional benefits, such as soothing irritation, providing hydration, and even offering anti-bacterial properties.

Opting for a soap with a suitable pH level for your skin type is also important, as a balanced pH can help maintain your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Using a methodical and thorough approach to washing your face can further enhance the benefits of using soap.

Ensure you wet your face first with lukewarm water before gently massaging the soap into your skin using fingertips or a soft cloth.

Rinse thoroughly, taking care to remove all soap residue, as this can help prevent clogged pores and irritation.

In comparison to other types of facial cleansers, soaps can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

Many facial cleansers on the market contain plastic microbeads or other synthetic ingredients, which can ultimately have detrimental effects on the environment.

Bar soaps often come with minimal packaging, making them a more eco-conscious choice for your face-cleansing routine.

How To Choose The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type

When it comes to choosing a face wash, it’s essential to find one that works well with your skin type to prevent breakouts and maintain healthy skin.

Follow these tips to select the best cleanser for your needs.

First, determine your skin type. Your skin can be oily, dry, combination, sensitive, or normal. Pay attention to how your skin feels and behaves throughout the day.

Look for common indicators like an oily T-zone or dry patches to help classify your skin type.

Next, consider the different types of cleansers available. There are various options, such as cleansing bars, balms, cream cleansers, gel cleansers, and oil cleansers.

Some might be better suited for specific skin types:

  • Oily skin: Opt for a gel or foaming cleanser that effectively removes oil and impurities, but avoid harsh sulfates that may cause excess oil production.
  • Dry skin: Look for a hydrating cream or balm cleanser to help nourish and moisturize your skin.
  • Combination skin: A mild gel or sulfate-free cleanser may strike the right balance for both oily and dry areas.
  • Sensitive skin: Seek out gentle, fragrance-free cleansers to avoid irritation.

It’s important to read labels and understand ingredients. For acne-prone skin, look for ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or glycolic acid.

There are also ingredients to avoid, such as alcohol or artificial fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin or cause dryness.

Don’t forget to take your cleansing routine into account. If you wear makeup or sunscreen, you may want to try a double-cleansing method by using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser. This ensures all product and impurities are removed without stripping the skin’s protective layer.

Young woman using a bar of soap to wash her face in the bathroom whilst wearing a towel over her hair

If You Have No Choice, Which Kind Of Bar Soap Is Best For Your Face?

When you find yourself in a situation without your favorite face cleanser, you may wonder if it’s suitable to use a bar soap on your face.

Although it’s not ideal, if you have no other options but to use a bar of soap, there are some bar soaps that can be considered as better alternatives for washing your face.

Dove Beauty Bar is a popular choice among dermatologists because of its affordable price and quality ingredients.

This soap is gentle on the skin, making it a suitable option for facial cleansing when you’re in a pinch, and it won’t leave you with itchy skin, when you use on the face.

Another option is the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar. This soap is hypoallergenic, detergent-free, and fragrance-free, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin.

The inclusion of stearic acid in its formulation helps clean the skin without causing irritation.

For those who prefer drugstore options, the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar is also recommended by experts.

This soap works well on the face thanks to its gentle, hydrating formula that helps maintain the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

To apply soap to your face, start by wetting your face and hands with lukewarm water. Gently rub the bar soap between your hands to create a lather.

Apply the lather to your face using light, circular motions, ensuring you’re covering all areas of your skin while avoiding the delicate eye area. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water and gently pat dry your face with a clean towel.



Soap can be an effective way to cleanse your face, but it is important to choose the right type of soap for your skin type.

Regular bar soaps may cause dryness and irritation, while specially formulated facial soaps or cleansers can help maintain healthy skin without disrupting its natural balance.

When choosing a soap, look for gentle ingredients such as glycerin and aloe vera that will provide adequate hydration and nourishment to the skin.

 Pay attention to the pH levels of the product you select—the ideal pH level for facial cleansing is 5.5-7.

Lastly, remember to rinse all soap residue off your face thoroughly and apply moisturizer afterward if needed to prevent any dryness or tightness in the skin.

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