According to many websites, the skin on our faces are very delicate. As such, regular soap (bar soap, body wash soap or any bathing cleanser not specially designed for washing the face) may cause severe damage, such as:

  1. Wrinkles
  2. Drying your face resulting in mature skin
  3. Disrupt the pH balance of your face and encourage the growth of acne-causing bacteria
  4. Prevents the buildup of collagen and elastin, as well as decreaases healing
  5. Clogs Pores

Are these claims true? Is regular soap really that bad for your face?

  • Can you define "regular" soap? From a quick read it seems to me those links say not to use soap at all (but I admit not having read them in detail).
    – nico
    Mar 2, 2014 at 10:35
  • 3
    Hmm my understanding was that they recommend using only soap designed for use with the face. Many of the articles I've read argue that bar soap or body wash soap is bad for the face. Thanks for the comment, I'll edit the question. Mar 2, 2014 at 12:41
  • Regular soap = soap that doesn't explicitly state that it is okay for use on the face
    – karancan
    Mar 5, 2014 at 18:58

1 Answer 1


From your fifth source, at the site footer: "The information contained on this website is not intended as medical advice. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication or lifestyle."

Soap itself doesn't usually seem to be a problem. The human facial skin is indeed delicate, especially around the eyes, but as long as you don't scrub hard and just gently lather facial soap, it should be fine: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121113091900.htm

It's important for people to treat the face with care. Never scrub the skin or use harsh products as doing so irritates the skin, which makes skin look worse," said Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Step number one includes:

  1. Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol.

So cleansers + gentle = good.

From the WSJ with doctors talking about this subject with various recommendations: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304402104579149542082224218

Face washing at night is most important, dermatologists say. It removes dirt, grime and pollutants that have gathered on the skin during the day, as well as makeup. Some doctors say people without a serious skin-care issue, such as acne, can skip the soap and just rinse in the morning. "Your skin has just slept on a pillow, it is clean, it doesn't necessarily need to be washed," said Gervaise Gerstner, a Manhattan dermatologist and consultant for L'Oréal Paris. Dry skin from overcleansing is a problem for people as they age, she says.

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