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5 Reasons to Swap Bar Soap for Cleanser

5 Reasons to Swap Bar Soap for Cleanser

Bar soap might be a daily staple in your skincare routine, but there are a few reasons why this kind of product might not be so beneficial for your skin. Whether you use it on your face or body, bar soap has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are five reasons you might want to switch to a cleanser instead.


#1: Cleanser is Less Drying

Soap is alkaline, with a pH that’s often around nine or ten. That means it can temporarily disrupt the skin barrier and lead to dryness and irritation. If you already have dry skin, washing with soap can leave skin even drier. Facial cleansers and body washes, on the other hand, are far less drying. While they can still contain irritating ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and surfactants, most contain a blend of hydrating ingredients to replenish moisture lost from cleansing.

You can lather up with your favorite cleanser without feeling dry and tight after using, which is common with bar soaps. It also means those with skin conditions like eczema can use cleansers without irritating their skin — provided that they choose the right formula, of course. There are still some cleansers that are just as drying as bars of soap. So, choose wisely. Look for calming, moisturizing ingredients like aloe, coconut oil, lavender, jojoba oil, and shea butter.

Then complete your routine by using a moisturizer like Rainbow’s Hydrate Serum.


#2: Cleanser is Better for Sensitive Skin

While there are cleansing bars and body soaps that contain purely natural ingredients, many of them contain all kinds of nasty ingredients that can leave skin red and irritated. Sensitive skin types would be better off with a gentle cleanser rather than a face or body bar soap.

When choosing a cleanser, aim to look for one free of sulfates, detergents, and preservatives. Invest in a product enriched with nourishing oils like coconut oil and olive oil. Glycerin is another ingredient to look out for, as it’s a humectant, meaning it retains water in your skin, keeping it healthy and hydrated.

Since soaps can strip skin of natural oils, those with sensitive skin are more likely to end up experiencing irritation after washing their skin with soap. To make face washing less uncomfortable, invest in a gentle, hydrating cleanser.


#3: Cleanser Can Treat Different Skin Concerns

Bar soaps have one purpose: to cleanse away dirt and oil. That’s obviously great if you’ve got oily skin, as it means you’ll have a more mattified appearance. However, not all skin types benefit from this type of action alone. With cleansers, you can choose a formula specifically designed for your skin type, so that the cleanser doesn’t just clean, but treats your skin concerns.

For instance, let’s say you have acne-prone skin. While it’s important to remove excess oil and dirt to keep your pores clear, you also need something to fight acne-causing bacteria. Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two excellent blemish-busting ingredients that offer cleansing, exfoliating, and acne-fighting properties. Having these in your daily cleanser means you’ll be able to target acne at its root.

Alternatively, if you have mature skin, you’d want to choose a formula that not only keeps your skin clean, but directly treats signs of aging — or prevents them. Some cleansers contain anti-aging ingredients like retinol to keep skin young and healthy. Using a formula like this can support the other youth-restoring skincare products in your routine.


#4: Cleanser is More Hygienic

Unlike cleansers, which come in a plastic bottle, and can easily be pumped or squeezed out, soap bars have no coverage. Once you’re done sudsing up your face and body, it just goes back into the soap dish again and again. Between the oils and bacteria from your skin, and the damp environment it’s living in, soap bars can be pretty gross. Of course, you can minimize the grossness by washing your bar of soap thoroughly after every use and storing it in a clean, dry place. However, it’s still far more common for soap bars to carry germs and bacteria.

A better option? A bottle of cleanser. You can use it anytime without transferring bacteria. Simply pump or squeeze it out and put it back in its place. It couldn’t be cleaner or more convenient!


#5: Cleanser is Less Likely to Cause Breakouts

The problem with a lot of bar soaps is that they strip the skin of natural oils. Since acne is commonly caused by clogged pores, caused by excess sebum on the skin, stripping the skin of oil causes your skin to produce even more oil. As a result, this can cause further breakouts.

By choosing a cleanser infused with acne-fighting ingredients, you’ll be able to clear up your acne and prevent future breakouts. There’s also the hygiene aspect to consider, too. If you continue using a dirty bar of soap, you’re directly transferring germs to your skin, which can trigger more breakouts.

It’s best to choose a gentle cleanser that contains acne-fighting ingredients so you get both hydrating and clarifying benefits.


Bar soap is no doubt convenient, and they’ve been used for a long time in personal care routines. While we can’t speak for all, many bar soaps tend to be drying and irritating to the skin, which is why most dermatologists recommend a cleanser instead. It’s basically like liquid soap, only with more nourishing ingredients to hydrate and treat skin.

Even hand washes are typically gentler on the skin than soap bars. Some even contains antioxidants and essential oils to support and protect skin.

Whether you use soap in your face or body care routine, it’s definitely worth considering switching over to a cleanser. Not only will it be less drying on the skin, but it will also help to treat any skin concerns. Plus, cleansers are targeted to specific skin types, unlike soaps which are more universal.


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