Last Updated on January 6th, 2020
Are you trying to treat acne on a budget? You really can cleanse your face with soap and water. The key is using the right kind of soap.
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Many of us think of a “good” soap as a soap that makes a lots of suds. Generally that is exactly the opposite of what acne-affected skin needs.
The problem with big bubbles of soap is that they have relatively high tension along their edges. This forces the soap into the top layers of the skin, and that is a bad thing. When soap gets into pores, it dissolves oily sebum, but it may get stuck if the pores are too narrow. And the act of washing the skin with bubbly soap narrows pores by drying out and tightening the skin around them.
A desirable acne cleanser makes a creamy lather of very small bubbles. Small bubbles do not force soap into pores, and make the cleanser easier to rinse off the skin. This is important because many soaps contain ingredients that can irritate the skin. Generally speaking, it you can smell your soap, with the exception of neem or tea tree oil soaps, it contains an ingredient that can irritate your skin or dry it out.
The very worst way to use soap as a cleanser for fighting acne is to wrap yesterday’s wash cloth around the bar and scrub away at your pimples. A used wash cloth can put grease, grime, skin oils, soap film, and acne bacteria right back on your skin as you are trying to get them off.
In fact, you should not use a wash cloth on your face at all. Instead, let your soap do all the work of cleansing your skin. With clean fingertips (so you don’t put bacteria on your face), make a lather of soap. Apply the soap lather to your skin and allow it to do its work for 15 to 30 seconds. Then rinse off the soap with warm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel.
When you wash your face, you should not feel any lingering after-effects from your soap. You should not:
The longer you leave a soap on your skin the more likely it is to irritate the skin. The more alkaline your soap is, the more likely it is to irritate the skin. Most dermatologists now agree that an acidic soap, with the same pH as the skin (4 to 6.5) is the best product for getting rid of excessive acne bacteria. (A few acne bacteria on the skin are actually beneficial for the skin, by consuming excess oil without damaging pores.)
The right cleanser can make acne, rosacea, or skin damage from Retin-A or Accutane better. There are also soaps that you can use for perianal itch, contact dermatitis, and dry skin caused by Sjögren’s disease, but you probably don’t want to put them on your face.
There is always someone who gets a bad reaction to just about any skin care product. When you are using a product for the very first time, test a tiny dab on the skin of your inside forearm, leaving it there for at least 12 hours. If you don’t have a skin reaction on your arm, you probably won’t have an immediate, severe, allergic reaction on your face.
There are soaps in all price categories that are good for acne. Here are just a few.
And the worst possible choice? That’s hard to say, but probably Lava soap is the worst possible choice for treating acne-affected skin. Just say no to any product that contains harsh chemicals or scratchy abrasive ingredients.
And if you just don’t have time to look for, buy, and try one acne soap after another, consider investing in an acne treatment system like Exposed Skin Care, which comes with a money-back guarantee.