One Bag Wonder

Why Your Bar of Soap is Drying Out Your Skin

I ditched my body wash and started using a bar of soap long ago. You know, to save the planet and all that. But I hated that dry feeling the soap gave my skin! I felt like it just stripped my skin of all the natural oils and left it feeling like a dried up piece of cardboard. Do you have the same problem?

Homemade Soap Bar

How does soap work? All soaps work by removing oil from your skin. A bar of soap though, is usually a lot more concentrated and has a higher PH than liquid soap, which means it will dry out your skin more. Believe it or not, we have natural oils in our skin for a reason. They help moisturise and protect our skin. The high PH in soap can actually damage your skin over time. The only way to make soap gentler on the skin is to make it remove less oil from the skin. Any soap, even liquid soap is going to be at least a little bit drying to the skin.

Fantastic. Let’s just buy soap that removes less oil from our skin! Sounds quite simple doesn’t it? Here’s the trade off. The bar of soap will usually be softer, meaning you will use it up faster. And more brittle, breaking into pieces easily. I have a bar of Ethique soap still in the box, that was broken into 2 pieces before I even used it.

So what’s the solution?

Well, how I see it, these are the best options.

1. Use a mild soap bar, and treat it kind. That means, don’t keep it in the shower. Keep it in an aerated soap box like

2. Use an alternative to soap, like olive oil or coconut oil. You can even make your own coconut oil scrub with just sugar and coconut oil. If you are going to use this method, oil up before you get in the shower, then massage the oil in with a face cloth. And remember, it may get a bit slippery with all that oil in there!

3. Just use water. Believe it or not, water actually does a perfectly good job of washing our body, and it leaves all our natural oils in our skin where they belong!

Personally, I like to use the lush soaps, because I love the smell. It makes me happy. And they have a new solid body wash bar that I am super keen to try. They are rather expensive though so i use them sparingly.

Another top tip to stop your skin from getting dry in the shower is don’t have your shower too hot. If your shower is too hot, this can also strip the oils from your skin and dry it out. For baby soft skin we all dream of, have a nice warm or tepid shower, and gently pat dry your skin when you’re done.

If you want to know the truth, washing ourselves with soap is kind of a tradition that is engrained in us. The common belief is, “we have to wash ourselves with soap to get clean”. But in reality, it is probably doing our skin more harm than good. If you don’t want to use soap, don’t be ashamed, or embarrassed. Be proud that you are looking after your skin and keeping those natural oils right where they belong!

Until next time,


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