Skin Care

How to wash your face, the soap and water debate

How to wash your face may seem like a strange subject.

But saying it is alright for someone to use soap on their face, is a cardinal sin in my book, and here’s why.

Your skin is naturally acidic; it has a pH balance of around 5.5.

However, soap is much more alkaline, with a pH balance of around eight or even higher.

Soap strips the skin of its protective oils, undermining the skins barrier function and lipids.

These lipids are essential for our skin, helping to protect against environmental conditions.

Long term use of soap or alkaline products, create underlying sensitivity and inflammation, upsetting the natural acid mantle of our skin, long after the washing process is over.

how to wash your face

pH explained

Many of my clients ask, what is pH, and how does it affect our skin?

Soap and many commercial products formulated for oily skin, have very high alcohol content.

Whilst it’s true these astringents do a good job of removing excess sebum (oil), makeup and cellular debris from the skin, sadly they are too harsh for delicate skin.

Whilst we appreciate that for oily skin folks, these alkaline products can be hard to resist, here at The Naked Chemist I am all about transparency in beauty.

So please take our word for it…

Long term use of these products SOAP included, causes a cycle of destruction on the skin.

Let’s look at what skin conditions, prolonged use of these ingredients can cause:

So soap and astringents can cause the skin to break out and become sensitive?

Sadly yes, and once the skin becomes undermined, bacteria will thrive in this soapy, alkaline environment.

3 replies on “How to wash your face, the soap and water debate”


I have eczema on my hands and one inch spots over my body – under my arms, on my calves, behind my knees, on the front and back of my elbows. I’m learning about the acid mantle and I’m wondering what applications can protect my acid mantle. Can you direct me towards products? I can’t find the product called, Amantle. Do you know of I product I can use as a substitute? Thank you very much,

What can you tell me about an ingredient Alpha Arbutin that is suppose to help fade age (brown) spots? Thank you.

Hi Cathy

Pigmentation is a topic i will be addressing in the next few months in my articles.
Alpha Arbutin or bear berry is a nice natural alternative to the more controversial hydroquinone (Thre are serious concerns around health issues with hydroquinone), it is now in the process of being banned in many countries. Alpha Arbutin suppresses unwanted pigment rather than killing off the cells. Studies are showing it is very effective for addressing pigment and doesn’t have any nasty side effects which is great.

Hope that helps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.