There are a number of common irritants that don’t play nice with your skin. You probably wouldn’t expect a bar of soap to be on this list. Something as simple as soap should get along pretty well with your skin, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Regular bar soap can be harsh on the skin.
To help explain why your soap can irritate your skin, it’s super important to understand a little bit about something you might be familiar with, the pH scale. pH measures whether things are acidic or alkaline, on a scale from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkaline).
Your skin measures close to the middle of that scale. It’s actually slightly acidic (about 5.5), and that’s to help ward off bacteria. You might think soap is neutral, but it’s not. Regular bar soap is highly alkaline, around nine, or even 10 on that scale. So, your skin and bar soap are on opposite ends of the pH scale, and when acidic things, like your skin, come into contact with very alkaline things, like bar soap, there can be a reaction. This can cause your sensitive skin to become uncomfortably tight, dry and irritated.
So, it may be time to "break up," with your regular bar soap and opt for something that plays nicer with your skin. Consider a “beauty bar” labeled cleanser or a body wash. These are made differently, have closer to neutral pH levels and get along better with your skin. And, they often contain vitamins and antioxidants for additional skin health benefits. One body wash option is Curél® Itch Defense® Body Wash which is soap free and will thoroughly clean the skin without damaging the skin’s moisture barrier.
Also, make sure to read the ingredients labels carefully to determine if the cleanser you’re using contains drying properties. Avoid ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, lye and Polypropylene.