Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Viddhi Patel (Journalist)  on 08th Oct 2020

Here's Why Could Soap Be Sinful On Your Face

Why Could Soap Be Sinful

Soap is something you'd want to keep away from your face. It is a cocktail of chemicals. The chemicals transfer epidermally into your blood, be wary of what you use on your skin, especially your face.

You treasure your face so much, the essential oils, the top-notch make-up, the skincare routine, all of this so that your skin doesn’t suffer. But there is one thing that can ruin all your hard work and leave your skin dry, like a bone. And that is soap.

Lathering your body with bars of soap you bought for a whole month is fine. But doing that to your face is heinous. Your skin is in constant need of care. The healthy glow you are after requires you to be on the qui vive. 

Treasure your face

Your face is way more delicate than the skin on the rest of your body. The skin on your face is comparatively thinner than the rest of your body. You can't ignore the importance of using the right products on your face.

There exist two options, face wash or soap. What you choose decides the future of your facial skin. Both clean your face, there is not a minutest of doubt in that. But a surprise here, the way they cleanse your face differs; regular bars of soaps can lead to infections and other skin irritations. Whereas, the right face wash is gentle, knows your skin, and loves your skin.

Your skin is susceptible and gets easily affected by pollution, dust, or the sun. Don’t put your skin in further jeopardy by rubbing soap on it.  

Why are brick soaps of concern? 

Why such regressive remarks against soaps, you say? The soap contains a chemical called sodium lauryl sulfate, which puts your skin in harm’s way. There is a manifold of chemicals present in that brick of soap that does the same to you.  


This antibacterial chemical is used in several antibacterial soaps available in the market. There exists no scientific data that suggests that triclosan containing soaps are beneficial over the usual ones. Moreover, there are several adverse effects of this chemical—namely, irritation and interference in reproductive and thyroid hormones’ functioning.

Triclosan creates a carcinogen called dioxin, which has been found in human breast milk at high levels. These are disruptive for the endocrine system and thyroid functions. Beyond that, dioxin is a primary toxic component of Agent Orange.    

Did You Know?

Agent Orange was a terrible chemical used by the US military in the Vietnam War. Exposure to this could be detrimental or, in some cases, deadly. It is no longer in use today.  

Benzoyl Peroxide

Usually used for acne treatment, the products contain 2.5% or 5% of benzoyl peroxide, if they do. The chemical causes dryness leading to irritation. Sensitive skin types should be kept away from it may affect forms of burning, peeling, itching, and swelling. 

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Sodium Laureth Sulfate 

Foaming personal cleaning care products use this chemical quite profoundly. What is ignored is that the chemical is an eye irritant, skin irritant, lungs irritant. It can potentially combine with other chemicals and turn carcinogenic, further causing possible respiratory and kidney-related diseases.

There is another form of sulfate called sodium lauryl sulfate, and both are used in soaps.

The lather and bubbles in soap are thanks to sulfates, and irritation for sensitive skin and eczema, stripping of natural oils, and penetration of the skin's surface is also thanks to sulfates.  


Body washes, cleansers, shampoos, and conditioners usually contain this chemical. It works as a preventer of bacterial growth. On the contrary, it is termed a human carcinogen associated with occupational hazards like nasopharyngeal and nasal cancers.

Several cases of skin allergies have been noted, along with its effect on our immune system.

The chemical has a hazard rating of 10, with its other labels being human respiratory toxicant, skin irritant, and an environmental toxin. 


A preservative to prevent mold, bacteria, and yeast from growing in the products of the cosmetic and beauty industry. These are estrogen mimickers, they enter the bloodstream on the application, and the body perceives it as estrogen. Decreasing muscle mass, increasing fat deposits, early puberty, and spurring reproductive difficulties in men and women.

Commonly found in body washes, shampoos, and cleansers, this chemical is linked with breast tumors. 


The trade secret of companies to pass on their chemical cocktail is sweeping the ingredients under the fragrance label. Phthalates are cancer-causing toxins sneaked in the products through these labels. Constant exposure to such chemicals has resulted in allergies, a negative impact on the central nervous system, asthma, and migraines. The vagueness of the ingredient means it is hiding something fishy.  

So what? I am not eating soap

Soap On Face

Your body acquires nutrients transdermally through your skin. The semipermeable membrane allows us to absorb vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, for us, it absorbs everything, meaning the harmful chemical we unknowingly have been putting on it starts flowing in our blood.

Chemicals in brick-like bar soaps are taxing. Disruption of our hormones, promotion of allergies, reproductive issues, and increased risk of certain cancers are all thanks to the chemicals. Acute side effects such as these leave us with no escape route and look after what we buy and apply on our skincare and attention.

Your face has numerous pores, and your carelessness makes it vulnerable to acne, blemishes, and pimples. Natural oils your skin poses are barriers to environmental factors. To begin with, body soaps are intricately designed to get rid of dirt. And natural oils get swept away in the process.  

Chemicals were just part of it; there are other villains in this story. Some Side-Effects Of Soap: 

Acidic face, Alkaline Soap

Your pretty skin is naturally acidic and a regular alkaline soap brings no good to the table. Simplified! Your skin has a natural barrier built of the acid mantle. pH scale numbered 7 is neutral, the readings above that are alkaline and below that are acidic. Our skin’s pH balance is naturally 4 and 6,5, even when it is oily.

In contrast to that, soap is excessively alkaline and moves towards the opposite extreme. Soap on your skin means messing with natural pH and the natural acid mantle, generating worse skin conditions.

Regular use of soap may turn your facial skin flaky and itchy, or vulnerable to breakouts.  

A drought on your face

Oily face is not an excuse enough to choose soap. Soap strips you of your natural oils and makes your skin tight and dry. Using soap for the face is like using a pumice stone for heels on the face. It may clean the skin, but the caustic acid is not a thing you play with. Eventually, it will lead to wrinkles and peeling off of skin.  

Defacing with soap 

Dull, haggard, and wrinkled skin is a result of wrong products and soap. There are no different kinds of soaps present to choose according to your skin type. Harsh chemicals clean, but don’t protect. It’s fine with the body but a big no for your delicate facial skin.  

Bye-bye lipids

Natural lipids strip off with regular use of soaps, and these lipids are ardent protectors of skin from infections. Losing them is an open invitation to bacteria and viral infection into the skin; the skin loses its immunity to fight these infections off.

Lipids keep your skin soft, hydrated and they are naturally antimicrobial. The acidic nature of soaps pummels your natural defense against pathogens, as they break down the very essence of your skin’s cellular structure.  

Clogs your pores

Regular soap use may block pores on the surface of the skin. Usually, bar soaps contain fatty acids that pile up in pores and clogs it. Eventually, it leads to blackheads, infections, and breakouts. 

Poof, vitamins missing

Essential vitamins strip off of skin with overuse of soaps. These vitamins are vital for healthy and fresh skin. Harsh chemicals damage the Vitamin D we generate through sun exposure, which is essential for healthy skin.  

No, not the good bacteria

Bacterias are like people, good and bad. Good ones fight infections, and their absence brings the havoc of acne and breakout. Soap, if continued, will kill all the good microbes. The good ones are key to get rid of the bad ones, and soaps make you more prone to harmful microbes and pathogens with no good ones left to fight it. 

 What now? Solutions!
Opt for face wash.  

The face wash is a viable alternative as the variety gives you the power to choose what your skin likes, and it won’t strip off your skin’s natural lipids.

Face washes also exfoliate your skin when you mildly massage it on your face; the right face wash gives you a therapeutic effect promoting blood circulation.

Moreover, choose a fragrance-free product; they are less likely to irritate your skin, ‘smells good’ is not a criterion you want to go with when using facial routine care products.

Oily skin types can choose oil-free, non-comedogenic face washes helping you free the skin of excess oil and retain vital hydration.

Dry skin types should opt for sulfate-free face washes, helping the skin stay moisturized.

Sensitive ones, opt for non-comedogenic face washes; they are mild on your skin. They prevent the pores from clogging and feel light on the face.

A good face wash will maintain the natural pH of your skin, ridding your skin of dirt. It’ll keep your skin radiant and healthy. 

Minimalist’s Advice:

The natural tendency to rub aggressively with cleansers, soap, face wash won’t just get rid of all the oil and dirt, as you think. It will also irritate the stratum corneum and it is bad news that comes with irritations, dryness, and forms a predisposition of future skin problems.  

Cleanse your face twice a day; it is essential to get rid of all the trapped pollutants like dust and cigarette smoke. Along with it, the film of makeup formed due to cosmetics or other products should be cleaned off before you go to bed.  


Stop with the soap already. Mild solutions are apt; it is your skin, not your sweatshirt.  

Pro Tip:

Identify the perfect face wash, create a log of how long you used it. If it was useful, it is likely you’ll find the perfect one if you do this. And do not ever forget about SPF, even if you do forget your cell phone, DO NOT forget SPF.