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Soap Vs Face Wash – Which One Does Your Face Prefer?

By Dixit Arora +2 more

Your skin needs constant care for a natural, healthy glow. Your face, in particular, is a lot more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body. This is because the thickness of your skin varies. Since the skin on your face is much thinner, it needs gentle care. Therefore, it is essential to use the right skincare products for your face.  

When it comes to washing your face, generally you have two options – a soap or a face wash. Both will clean your face but there are differences in the way they do it. Soap is harsher whereas a face wash is gentler on your skin. Experts, therefore, suggest using a good face wash for your face.  

Soap Vs Face Wash - Which One Does Your Face Prefer? - PharmEasy

Why you shouldn’t use soap?

Is soap good for the face? As dermatologists suggest, a soap bar is not suitable for use on the face.  

  • Soap is alkaline-based, but your skin is acidic  

In contrast to alkaline-based soaps, your skin is naturally acidic and should have a pH level between 4 and 6.5, even if your skin type is oily. The alkaline nature of the soap bar can cause your face to become dry and strip away the natural moisture. If you apply soap regularly on the face, it may turn flaky and itchy or become prone to breakouts.

Why you shouldnt use soap
  • Severely damages your facial skin  

The natural oils secreted by the face act as a protective layer against environmental factors, like dust, pollution and harmful UV rays. Washing your face with soap can leave it looking wrinkled, haggard, and dull. The harsh chemicals present in it may be useful in cleansing your body but certainly not the face. Your face has multiple pores and if proper care is not taken, it may be prone to blemishes, acne and pimples.  

So is there an alternative to soap? Yes, there is! It’s a face wash.  

Generally speaking, face washes are better if used up to twice a day than using soap for washing the face. Facial cleansers or foaming cleansers are more suitable for Skin types which are very dry and more sensible than usual.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Why face wash?

When you use a face wash that is suited for your skin type, you can rest assured that it contains ingredients needed to keep your skin looking its best.  

A good, mild face wash does not take away the natural oils from your face. Instead, it helps to maintain the pH balance of your skin while removing dirt from the pores. Choose a face wash that suits your skin type –

Why face wash
  • Oily skin

Is your skin oily and shiny? Then your best pick would be an oil-free face wash that helps you get rid of the excess oil while retaining the necessary moisture your face needs.  

  • Dry skin

If your skin type is dry, you should go for a face wash that contains zero or fewer traces of sulphate. This will moisturize your skin and prevent it from being dry.  

  • Sensitive skin

Individuals with sensitive skin should choose a non-comedogenic face wash that prevents clogging of pores and feels light on the face.  

Cleansing your face with a soap can be overly stripping of the natural fats and oils already present on your face. These natural oils and fats are what make for the natural moisture barrier on your face. Since soap’s too alkaline, it dries out the skin which compromises the moisture barrier, causing irritation and ultimately, breakouts. That’s why you should choose a face wash.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Drawbacks Of Being Excessive

Apart from the soap vs face wash  debate, there is another factor to consider. You may be using the best, mildest soap or face wash but still experiencing skin issues (dry, reddened, itchy, sensitive). This may be because you’re using cleaning products too often in the day. Washing once in the morning to get rid of dead skin and once in the evening to wash off pollutants and impurities is the optimum number of times. This is enough to both keep your skin clean while leaving the natural oils intact.  

Washing your face more often can lead to the natural skin oils getting completely removed, which leads to dry skin, cracking and a host of other issues. Additionally, you can damage the skin barrier, which may make it easier for germs to infect the skin. The skin on your hands and face are the most sensitive skin areas on your entire body. Even if you wash your face just the recommended twice a day, you can damage it by being too rough. Always be gentle with facial skin, which means using gentle hands while washing and also gentle products.


So is the face wash better than soap? Sure it is! And the best part about using a face wash is that they are compact and easy to carry. So keep the soap bar away and pick a good quality face wash to keep your facial skin radiant and healthy.

Also Read: Goat Milk Soap Benefits: Exploring Its Skin-Boosting Potentials

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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Maya Malhotra

I have an experience also regarding this because I have been using soap for so long and suddenly my skin went to dry and itchy then after it I switched towards foaming face wash now I am happy. The science behind it you have given is really true as after turning my skin worst I realized this. Thanks for sharing this information as it will gonna surely help those who are still using soap to their face.


Thank you, glad you liked it.