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Washing Your Face: Soap Vs Facial Cleanser – Which is Better and Why?

Updated: Feb 28, 2023

Having a good skincare routine is essential for maintaining healthy, glowing skin. One of the most basic steps in any skincare routine is cleansing, and the question of whether to use soap or a facial cleanser is a common one. In this blog, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of both, and help you determine the best option for your skin.


Soap has been used for centuries to cleanse the skin, and it is still a popular option today. Here are some of the pros and cons of using soap:


  • Affordable: Soap is often less expensive than facial cleansers, making it a budget-friendly option.

  • Widely available: Soap is sold in nearly every grocery store, making it easy to find and purchase.

  • Versatile: Soap can be used on the face and body, making it a convenient all-in-one option.


  • Can be harsh: Soaps are designed to cleanse the skin, and many contain ingredients that can strip away natural oils, leaving the skin feeling tight and dry.

  • pH-unbalanced: Soaps have a high pH, which can disrupt the natural pH balance of the skin and lead to dryness, flakiness, and irritation.

  • Not suitable for all skin types: Soap is not ideal for those with sensitive skin, as it can cause redness and irritation.

Facial Cleanser

Facial cleansers are specifically designed for the face and are formulated to meet the unique needs of the skin. Here are some of the pros and cons of using a facial cleanser:


  • Gentle cleansing: Facial cleansers are formulated to be gentler on the skin than soap, leaving the skin feeling clean but not stripped of its natural oils.

  • pH-balanced: Many facial cleansers are pH-balanced, which helps to maintain the skin's natural pH balance and prevent dryness and irritation.

  • Customizable: Facial cleansers are available for a variety of skin types, from dry to oily, making it easy to find one that meets your specific needs.


  • More expensive: Facial cleansers are often more expensive than soap, making them less budget-friendly.

  • More limited availability: Facial cleansers may not be available at every grocery store, and you may need to purchase them from a beauty supply store or online.

The Right Way to Wash Your Face

Whether you choose soap or a facial cleanser, there are a few things you can do to make sure you're washing your face correctly:

  1. Wet your face thoroughly: Before you start cleansing, make sure your face is fully saturated with water. This will help the soap or facial cleanser to spread evenly and lather up properly.

  2. Use a small amount: A little bit of soap or facial cleanser goes a long way, so start with a small amount and add more if needed.

  3. Massage into skin: Use your fingertips to gently massage the soap or facial cleanser into your skin, working in circular motions to help lift away dirt and oils.

  4. Rinse thoroughly: Once you've finished cleansing, make sure to rinse your face thoroughly, until all of the soap or facial cleanser has been removed. Any leftover soap or cleanser can cause build-up and leave your skin feeling weighed down.

  5. Pat dry: After rinsing, gently pat your face dry with a clean, soft towel. Don't rub, as this can cause irritation and potentially damage delicate skin cells.

Frequency of Washing Your Face

The frequency with which you should wash your face depends on several factors, including your skin type and lifestyle. Generally, it's recommended to wash your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night before bed. However, if you have particularly oily skin, you may need to wash your face more frequently. On the other hand, if you have dry or sensitive skin, you may only need to wash your face once a day or even less.

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