Antiaging skincare is not just all about creams and pills, but it is also about how, when, and where to use an ordinary soap on your body. Washing your face may sound pretty simple. Soaps that have pH level of 9 and above are alkalizing and tends to disrupt the protective layer of the skin, which results in losing the important oils, drying out and getting scaly. If you intend to improve your skin complexion, make sure you use the correct soap for your type of skin. When it comes to caring your skin, ordinary soaps may not work for your best interest.
Using soaps with high pH increases the skin pH. An increase in the pH causes an increase in dehydrative effect, irritability and propionibacterial count. To maintain the skin’s acid mantle, you have to use a moisturizing soap that hydrates and nourishes the skin.
The idea behind pH balanced products is that if the pH of, say, your moisturizer, matches your skin pH, then the natural skin surface is less likely to be irritated or inflamed. The reason that ordinary soap can cause itching and dryness is because it is usually alkaline and disturbs the skin’s slightly acid defenses.
Damage to the skin pH can show up quite quickly. Most skin types have a pH of 5.5 while ordinary soap pH ranges between 8 to 10. This instantly strip the skin of moisture!
For example, deodorant soaps contain an alkaline pH that causes skin irritation and may not be necessary to use this kind of soap as your regular bath soap. Think of it this way. When you wash with a drying soap, it pulls all the water out of the skin and creates dead, dry skin buildup.
For people with hormonally reactive or stress reactive skin, such as acne, you can reduce breakouts by using the sulfur or salicylic acid soap. You can use this once in the morning by creating a foam on your fingertips and massaging your skin lightly.
Do not be fooled into believing a facial bar is gentler than a body bar. The chief function of soap is to wash and remove visible grease and dirt, which makes the skin clean and pleasant to look at.
A soap is made by the action of the caustic soda alkali on animal and vegetable fats. The soap removes the skin secretions of sweat and odor, which comes with an objectionable smell when freshly secreted.
The skin on your face is more sensitive than the rest of your body. Keeping your face clean with a clear skin is your biggest selling point. Bar soaps can be abrasive, are scented and sometimes even dyed.
A coloring matter, perfume, antioxidants, sometimes antiseptics and builders are added to the formula so it can enhance the cleansing property of the soap. When the soap is used in water, it dissociates to form alkaline solutions of a colloidal nature with low surface tension, which accounts for its cleansing action.
The low surface tension is the resulting reaction that creates an emulsifying property to remove the grease, which is oftentimes aided by alkalinity, so it is brought into suspension in water. The action of the soap on the skin and its effects largely depends on the thickness of the surface layer of the skin and the skin type.
When the skin gets dirty, you can see foreign materials on it such as grease or oil. They get into the outer part of the corneous layer and may carry fine, solid particles with it.
Cleansing the skin would mean removal of the dirt and grease, which include the other foreign material. If you are washing your face on a budget, make sure you choose soaps with moisturizers.
The skin is susceptible to the action of the soap. The cases of soap damage can be classified into chapping with naturally dry skin, dermatitis, and eczema with existing condition worsened by the action of the soap.
Being creatures of habit, we often do not realize how the smallest essentials make the biggest difference when it comes to aging skin care. Soap can be a major culprit, but it can be easy to overlook.
Say, the medicated soaps are often favored by people with spots and are usually added as an antiseptic, but do not further enhance the effect, because they are in contact with the skin for a very, very short period. Medicated soaps, unless specifically advised by the doctor, can at times, cause allergic reactions.
Liquid soaps offer no advantage over other soaps, except being aesthetically appealing and less messy to use. Perfumed soaps make you smell good, but may cause allergic reactions due to its natural or artificial scent.
Synthetic fragrances added to the soap can enhance the scent of the natural ingredient, but may cause allergic reactions to the skin, redness and rashes. The fragrances in deodorant and luxury toilet soaps are clearly recognizable, but some soaps recognized as pure have added synthetic fragrance in them.
Superfatted soaps contain unsaponified fatty materials that deposit an emollient film to replace some of the natural oils removed during cleansing. The superfatted soap prevents excessive stripping of surface oils and can be used on dry skin.
Washing your face
You should cleanse your face at least twice a day. That would be in the morning when you get up and at night before you go to bed.
The nighttime cleansing is expected to remove the day’s accumulated dirt and oil and should be more thorough. If you prefer plain soap and water, use the soap that would make your skin look and feel its best.
For me, I used either the Dove soap or the Oil of Olay soap with Shea butter, because of their percent moisturizing properties. Gently massage the face and neck, and then, rinse thoroughly with water.
You must have noticed that bar soaps not specifically designed for the face can leave the skin feeling tight and dry. They can even overclean and strip away the acid mantle, which makes it difficult for the moisturizer to do a good job.
You can tell if a facial soap or an aging care skin product works well for you. If you like the way it feels and looks, then it should be working well for you. Your skin appears clear, smooth, with enough moisture, but not oily.
One technique is to select cleansers, soaps, moisturizers from the same skin care aging line. They are designed to be used together for better and consistent results.
If you mix and match brands, you might not be that lucky and not get the ultimate results you paid for. Make sure what you are slathering onto your skin every day should come from the same brand.
Blending formulas may not be the same, not to mention the ingredients used. When you mix certain active ingredients together without knowing how they interact with each other, you may experience skin sensitization, breakouts, rashes or topical skin dermatitis.
Washing or cleansing your face prepares your skin for the application of moisturizers. The refreshing and slight stimulating water can make your face feel good.
One thing though. Do not put fresh skin care products on an uncleaned skin or it will just trap the dirt and dead skin cells, which may result in clogged pores. It is better to be cautious than finding yourself developing moon craters later on!
Body soaps are not for the face
The body soaps make the skin surface too clean and unfortunately, strip off its natural oils. A foaming cleanser may keep you from stripping your skin of its natural oils.
Bar soaps are strongly alkaline. They weaken the skin’s protective acid mantle. Old fashion soaps sometimes leave an invisible residue that dulls the surface of your skin.
Take note that cleansing and moisturizing should be enough for individuals under 30 years old. The major issue with bar soap is its high alkaline content.
A high pH can most likely irritate the physiological protective acid mantle of the skin, resulting in a change of the composition of the cutaneous bacterial flora and the acidity of the enzyme in the upper epidermis.
Your skin has an acid pH optimum level of about 5.5, while bar soaps have 9 to 10. The difference negatively impacts the skin and results in skin irritation.
One study reveals that washing with a cleanser of pH 7 or higher (true for most bar soaps and bar cleansers) increases the level of bacteria significantly. The ingredients that keep the bar soaps in its bar form can theoretically be absorbed by the skin and also, clog the pores.
Many of the bar cleansers reviewed by the study have been found to contain fairly drying, irritating and potentially pore clogging ingredients. Specialty soaps are not different at all with regular bar body soaps.
Beale, L., Jensen, A. (2004). The complete idiot’s guide to better skin. New York: Alpha Books by Penguin.
Beoun, P. (2004). The complete beauty bible: The ultimate guide to smart beauty. USA: Beginning Press.
Kenet, B. J., & Lawler, P. (1999). How to wash your face: America’s leading dermatologist reveals the essential secrets for youthful, radiant skin. New York: Fireside.
Khana, N. (1989). Body & beauty care. New Delhi: Pustak Mahal.
New Scientist Sep 20 1962
Bar soaps are not for the face because they contain higher pH levels and may cause your skin to dry out. An aging skin requires constant care. It easily gets damage from the sun, dust and the weather!
Your antiaging skincare starts with washing your face and you should know that using an ordinary soap can likely irritate the skin. Soaps may be used by those with oily skin.
If you are past the age of 35, you should use a moisturizing soap like Dove or Oil of Olay. For best aging skin care, moisturizing soaps are better than ordinary skin-drying bar soaps. Dry skin tends to develop wrinkles faster than a constantly moisturized skin.