Not all facial soaps are created equal! Many people have been using the same type of soap for many years but because our skin changes with time, that brand of soap might not be right for us anymore.
We are going to look at choosing a soap to buy according to skin type.
Best Soap For Sensitive Skin
If you have sensitive skin, you need to avoid both fragrances and any harsh detergent. So choosing a gentle, fragrance-free bar is a great choice. One of the best known (and least expensive), is Dove cleansing bar for sensitive skin.
Think about trying:- Goat's Milk Soap
For anyone with dry or sensitive skin or a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, goats milk soap is a great choice.
Goat milk contains lactic acid which is a natural Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA). AHAs are used in expensive Beauty Salon treatments such as skin peels which remove the top layers of skin to reveal younger looking skin beneath.
Benefits of Goats Milk Soap
Goat milk soap is also:
- Very high in Vitamin A which is one of the key ingredients of many anti-aging skin products. It helps repair damaged skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It is also good for relieving psoriasis and improving acne.
- Good for keeping skin moisturized naturally because of the fat content in the cream.
- Good for helping to prevent skin damage caused by UV radiation because of the Selenium content.
- Good for moisturizing because of the specific triglyceride it contains called capric-caprylic triglyceride.
Devotees of Goats milk soap would not use anything else because they claim it is so gentle and much less drying for their skin the fact that the ph of the soap matches that of healthy skin very closely is a big plus point for those with sensitive skin and skin problems.
Best Soap for Dry Skin
Flakes of dead skin cells sit on the surface of skin that is dry, making it uneven. This causes it to look dull because it does not reflect light evenly.
Older people are more likely to have dry skin and long for a dewy complexion, younger-looking skin that looks almost luminous because of the way the smooth surface reflects light.
Those with very dry skin need a facial soap that will not strip even more oil from the skin surface. Cetaphil (available from Amazon) is a good choice. It removes those flakes of skin from the surface, making it smoother.
Think about trying:-
Olive Oil Soap for Dry Skin - My Recommendation
Why Choose Olive Oil Soap?
Using an olive oil soap is a wonderful way to relieve dry skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, it helps to fade the dark patches of pigment called age spots and the appearance of scars, whether these are from injury or past acne blemishes.
Olive soap is great for removing makeup too and can be beneficial in skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, skin rashes and acne.
In addition, if your skin is sensitive, it is good to know that olive oil is hypoallergenic so you are unlikely to get reaction problems from using it.
Interestingly, the composition of Olive oil is very similar to sebum, the natural oil that lubricates our skin. It is a good way to moisturize dry skin for this reason.
It also contains Vitamin A and Vitamin E which are natural antioxidants that help to fight the signs of aging caused by harmful free radicals and a substance called Oleocanthal, which is well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti aging propertieis.
In addition, it helps to stimulate the production of new skin cells which helps the complexion to look brighter, fresher and younger.
Best Soaps For Oily Skin
For oily skin, a soap containing glycerine is a great choice. Glycerine will remove the excess oil and rinse away cleanly.
Think about trying one of the three types of soap described below, the first is an African Black Soap, the second, a soap that contains benzyl peroxide and the third one, skin-healing sulfur.
African Black Soap - A Natural Solution for Oily Skin Problems
African Black Soap contains a lot of glycerine and which has traditionally been used to relieve acne and oily skin. It is also valuable in helping relieve the irritation associated with Eczema and Psoriasis.
It originates in Ghana although it is now also made outside Africa. Purists will insist on a Ghanaian soap though, believing that the added ingredients in bars made in Europe, for example, detract from its effectiveness. The original contains no chemicals or preservatives or added fragrances.
African Black Soap
Soap Containing Benzoyl Peroxide
Sulfur Soap, Antibacterial Cleansing For Acne
If you have acne or skin plagued by spots and blemishes, using a sulfur soap could make a big improvement in your skin.
Sulfur is an element that has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
Using soap formulated with this ingredient can penetrate the layer of dead skin cells and get deep down into pores where acne bacteria and a build up of oil and dead skin debris can cause the inflammation associated with acne breakouts.
Why I Recommend Joesoef Anti-Acne Soap
Joesoef Anti-Acne Soap is formulated especially for oily to normal skin to treat the blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and congested pores associated with Acne Vulgaris.
A good choice of Sulfur Soap is Dr. Joesoef Anti-Acne soap which contains 10% natural volcanic Sulfur because it also contains Salicylic Acid to help exfoliate those dead skin cells from the surface layer which would otherwise end up clogging pores.
It is also useful in the treatment of Dermatitis and the skin condition, Scabies which is caused by mites.
It is an easy to use product that can be used safely on the face and the body.
- Use on moistened skin.
- Work the soap into a lather and massage into the affected areas of your skin for about twenty seconds, avoiding the eye area, the lips and nostrils.
How to Choose a Gift Soap
Oatmeal soap makes a great choice as a gift soap as it has benefits for all skin types. Oats are recognized by the FDA for their properties of restoring the skin's protective barrier.
Oatmeal adds moisture to the surface layer of dry skin, gently absorbs oil from oily skin and restores the natural pH of skin for those with sensitive skin. Many people with Rosacea and Psoriasis say that oatmeal soap is beneficial for their skin.
Make Your Own Oatmeal Soaps
If you want to save money and make some pretty soaps to give as gifts, oatmeal soap is one of the easiest to make.
- Simply take a couple of bars of the Dove unscented soap mentioned in the sensitive skin section above.
- Then grate it with a cheese grater (careful of the fingers)
- Melt gently in a basin over a bowl of hot water
- Add the required amount of ground oatmeal.
- Stir well
- Pour into non-stick bun tins for small round soaps or muffin tins for larger. Alternatively use a shaped silicone bakeware tin.
- Just as the soap is cooling, press a few dried lavender flower heads or dried flower petals onto the surface for decoration.
- If you do not want to add the dried flowers, which can be a little rough, wrap the cooled, hardened soap in colored tissue paper and tie with a pretty ribbon.
- Oatmeal soap is a natural moisturiser and skin polisher as it gently exfoliates the surface dead cells. It is suitable for pretty much any skin type and the soaps make very acceptable gifts.
- Make soon before giving and store in a cool place to ensure maximum freshness.
Top Tip for Mums
Although this tip is not, strictly speaking, relevant to choosing a soap to buy, you might like to know that for children with chicken pox, poison ivy or insect bites adding a couple of handfuls of ground oatmeal to bathwater will soothe the itching.
Rinse your child with the shower before drying in case any small pieces are stuck to the skin.
Oatmeal soap is great for soothing any sort of skin irritation from sunburn to eczema.
Try Something Different!
Sometimes, it is good to try something new, so here are a few types of face soap that you might never have heard of!
Some brands claim that it penetrates deeply into skin, leading to a reduction in stretch marks and cellulite. However, the evidence for this and the even more surprising claim that it can help to promote weight loss is very 'sketchy' indeed and I think this soap should just be enjoyed for the fact that it is natural, pure and does a great job of cleansing the skin!
Best lathered onto a washcloth if used on the face, this soap contains seaweed to exfoliate the skin which is good for the body but perhaps a little gritty on the face. However, it is very good for unclogging pores and therefore helps to reduce the likelihood of acne breakouts.
The nice thing about this soap is that it leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft without feeling over-dried. It contains beneficial, skin nourishing vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin A, and the B-group vitamins B2, B6 and B12.
Minerals, calcium and zinc, iron and potassium
It improves blood circulation within the skin which leads to more rapid healing of blemishes.
Because it contains no animal fats, seaweed soap is a good choice for vegetarians too.
Which Soap Will You Choose For Your Skin Type?
Many people believe that soap bars are too harsh for facial skin but using a bar formulated especially for facial skin - and even more importantly, for our specific skin type and the results we are trying to achieve can be way less expensive and equally as effective as other facial cleansing solutions!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this hub and finding out more about the different choices available in bar soaps specially formulated for facial skin. If you have a favorite I didn't mention, please tell us about it in the comments section below.
Alison Graham (author) from UK on April 17, 2015:
Thank you poetry man, I found researching this article fascinating too, black soaps are great!
poetryman6969 on April 08, 2015:
Voted up for being interesting. I did not realize there were so many dark soaps like black soap and charcoal soap. So much to learn!
Alison Graham (author) from UK on June 19, 2013:
Thanks so much Lara, I appreciate your comment - Dove is a brilliant soap isn't it? I agree that adding some gentle essential oil to any soap can give it a whole new character.
larakern from Georgia on June 19, 2013:
Alison, great hub! I have sensitive skin and LOVE Dove. I have a cousin that actually makes goat milk soap and I tired it a few years ago. I just can't get over the smell! It isn't bad or anything I'm just really picky with my scents. I may ask him to make a special batch with some essential oils, lavender perhaps. I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing!
Alison Graham (author) from UK on April 29, 2013:
Thanks so much L.L. Woodard - I really enjoyed researching this article on selecting a facial soap. I think a lot of people think soap should not be used on the face but I learned that if you choose wisely, there is something for everyone! Thanks for the vote up and share too.
L.L. Woodard from Oklahoma City on April 29, 2013:
You've loaded this hub with lots of useful information about how to select a facial soap to buy. I'd never heard of some of these types of soap before, so I appreciate the introduction.
Great hub; voted up and Shared.