BAr soap as a cleanser is a controversial topic. But not all rods are the same. According to Mona Gohara, MD, board-certified dermatologist, “soap” has nothing to do with your skincare game. If you think, “Wait, what?” know that when it comes to facial cleansers, the little details really matter. “Not all soap detergents are soap, and not all soaps are soap cleaners,” says Dr. Gohara. “Soap cleansers have a high pH, which can strip the skin of its natural lipids and oils, leaving it dry.”
First, a little lesson from a cosmetic chemist: Traditional bar soaps were made from fatty substances (such as coconut oil or olive oil) that were treated with an alkaline substance, such as lye. While these products were excellent at removing dirt and debris from the surface of the skin because they tended to have high pH values (thanks to the basic lye), according to Dr. Gohar, the complexion remained like sandpaper.
Almost anyone with a pulse didn’t think this was a particularly good idea, so many brands began experimenting with how to cleanse skin without removing it. Enter: soap-free cleansers that come in the form of liquids, foams, you guessed it, bars. Since these soap-free bars don’t rely on playing with high pH rates, they are capable of cleansing while hydrating the skin. Grab the Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar ($ 3), which is odorless, hypoallergenic and gentle, and makes even the most sensitive skin happy.
“Some brands, like Dove, have started adding moisturizers with soap to moisturize the skin during cleansing,” says Gretchen Freeling, MD, a Boston-based dermatologist. “Since soaps do not contain harsh acids or chemicals, bar soaps can sometimes be a more gentle choice, which can be especially beneficial for people with dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and sensitive acne-prone skin.”
Facial cleansers also allow you to wash your face quickly. After washing your hands and wetting your face, Dr.Frilling advises to simply knead the soap until it lathers with your hands, and then gently massage it onto your face in circular motions. “Some people prefer to use a washcloth, others rub the soap directly, and still others use their hands,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what you use as long as you work with soap in all directions, getting thorough cleansing. Remember to wash your neck as well. Then apply moisturizer immediately. ” Once you try it, there is a good chance that bars will remain in your beauty routine forever.
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