How to Choose the Right Soap for Your Skin Type | Which Soap is Best for Your Skin Type
If you are pondering over whether to choose a cream cleanser or stick to soap bar for a soft and smooth skin, read on for the bare-skinned facts.
The soap is generally made up of animal or vegetable fat and caustic soda, with added perfume, colours and natural extracts. Although it is a very efficient formula to remove grease and dirt from the skin, it tends to also dry the skin. The problem with soap is its alkaline ingredient, while our skin tends to be slightly acidic. As a result, immediately after washing your skin with soap, the skin's protective acid mantle is disturbed and you may feel tautness and dryness on your skin.
Cream Cleanser, which is put on using cotton wool, is less harsh and dehydrating. Its formula gives a gentler feel. Since it is in liquid form, manufacturer could add other ingredients that help to moisturize the skin. The disadvantage is the skin tends not to feel as squeaky clean after wash when compare to washing with soap and water.
In between the two products mentioned above is facial wash or cleansing bar. Facial wash is a solid cleanser used exactly the same way as soap to give you the best of both worlds, a refreshing, water-rinsable product that is not too drying.
The question is which one is the best? The truth is there is no single, perfect soap. Some cream cleanser contain such a high proportion of detergents and other additives that they can be more irritating, dehydrating than a soap made to include moisturising oils which counteract the drying effects of the basic ingredient in the bar. For most people, it is a case of trial and error to find the right soap that suits you. Avoid cleansing products that leave your skin feeling uncomfortably tight, fry or flaky. If you have a great complexion and enjoy using soap, then there is no reason at all why you shouldn’t stick with it.
CHOOSING THE BEST SOAP FOR YOUR SKIN
If you prefer soap and water, these simple guidelines below will help you find the best formulated soap that suits your skin type:
For Oily Skin
Oily skin has too much sebum - the skin's natural oil. It looks shiny and is prone to acne. It needs to be cleansed regularly. However, if you wash very often, avoid buying strong soap. Choose for milder formula to remove grime and oil so as to avoid skin damage. Look out for exfoliating bar soaps containing gentle ingredients, such as oatmeal, sea salt, peach pits and brown sugar. They are gentler on the skin and they are natural. Natural is always better for the skin instead of soap containing harsh chemicals such as glycolic acid that can damage or irritate your skin. Look for gentlest exfoliating bar soap that helps to remove blocked pores and scrub away dead skin cells. If your skin is not sensitive, you can exfoliate your skin with an exfoliating bar soap three or four times per week. Otherwise, for sensitive skin, exfoliating bar soap should be used once every two to three weeks.
Facial wash gel is another good choice.
If your skin feels oily during the day, wipe it off with a tissue.
For Dry Skin
Dry skin does not have enough sebum. For dry skin, you should choose a gentle soap packed full of moisturising ingredients such as glycerine soap. Glycerin, a colorless compound is known for its moisturizing properties. It dissolves in water easily. It is also a good solvent. It absorbs water from the air, naturally moisturizes your skin. They are can be enriched with coconut or jojoba oils, Aloe Vera, cocoa butter, avocado or vegetable oils which are best for dry skin.
Also check out creamy facial washes and cleansing bars. Avoid harsh soap.
If your skin is very dry, you can just wipe your face with toner or splash it with warm water in the morning, and use soap only at the end of the day.
Soap is more damaging for dry skin than oily skin.
For sensitive skin
There are many soaps and facial washes designed for sensitive skin. They are free from perfume and colourants, the normal irritants for the skin. These soaps are also pH-balanced, and match the acidity of the skin, less chance of upsetting the delicate balance of the skin.
Germs combined with excess oil lead to spotty skin. Medicated soaps with anti-bacterial ingredients are often used to solve this problematic skin. However, as you source for medicated soap, avoid the soap that is too harsh for the skin. It may remove not only the bad bacteria, but also the good ones that keep the skin healthy. Again, try out the mild formula first, and don’t wash the face too often with this medicated soap, as it could do more harm than good.
Combination skin is a combination of oily skin and dry skin. In this case, avoid using soaps that are specially designed to treat either dry skin or oily skin. Soaps for dry skin will make the oily areas even oilier while soaps for oily skin will make the dry areas drier. In this case, choose commercial soaps or even better, natural soaps for normal skin. Glycerin soap is acceptable for such kind of skin. There are also rinse-off cleansers formulated specifically for combination skin, and these are fine too.
Normal skin is not too oily or too dry. Avoid choosing soaps that are specifically formulated for dry or oily skin, as you may get undesirable skin condition, worse than the current skin condition. Many commercial soaps and herbal soaps are designed for use on normal to oily or dry skin. These products are fine to use.
SOAPS TO AVOID
The following types of soaps may be damaging to the skin on the face and should be avoided:
· Soaps with high chemicals content
· Soaps with a high pH or acid-content
· Cheap commercial soaps
· Soaps formulated for a different type of skin type than the one you have
Natural or Herbal Soap
Commercial soap contains high level of chemicals that may be harmful to skin. Natural or herbal soap is a better alternative since it contains natural products which are gentler and healthier to your skin and less likely to damage the skin. Natural soaps are also more able to retain the glycerin content while commercial soaps remove the glycerin from soap, resulting in drying effects on the skin. Glycerin is vital to keep the skin in good moisture.
For people with skin problems, natural soaps provide aromatherapy and herbal treatments for your skin as well as nourishing the skin. Before buying a natural soap, it is important to check the ingredients to ensure it contains genuine natural ingredients. Some soap may claim to be natural or herbal, but in actual fact contain chemicals and harmful substances. For example, some soap is claimed to contain lavender, but it contains lavender scented oil instead. Scented oil is different from essential oil. The effect will not be the same.
Make Your Own Soap
If you have the time and interest, you can also make your own herbal soaps by using a soap base and adding different herbs and oils. Making your own soap gives you the assurance of the actual ingredients contained in the soap.
SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT SOAP
1. To make your soap last longer, store it in a dry place. Drawer of clothes is a good place to keep clothes, since it is dry and it will keep the clothes fragrant at the same time.
2. Glycerine soaps absorb moisture from the atmosphere and hence become soft very easily. Therefore, keep them in a soap box and a dry place.
3. It is estimated that each person uses about 5kg of soap a year.
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