Bar Soap Myth: Does It Really Dry Out Skin?
Posted February 2022
Written by Jamie Barrows
At Bradford, we strive to provide both helpful and factual content. Skincare has become increasingly critical to our overall health and protection as we navigate through unexpected twists and turns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, we have begun debunking some well-known bar soap myths. Recently, we proved that bar cleansers do not harbor germs once and for all. Today, with the help of our expert Research & Development team, we dive into another rumor concerning the moisturizing effects of bar soap.
MYTH: Bar Soap Dries Out Your Skin
Over the years, bar soap has received a bad reputation for stripping skin of natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. When shower gels and body washes entered the market, they grabbed hold of that rumor and ran with it because it was great for their marketing message: body wash is good, and bar soap is bad. Well, guess what? It really isn't that simple. As years went on, bar soap and beauty bars have expanded to include many more ingredients, and today, there is something for everyone in solid format cleansers.
While traditional bar soaps contained an abundance of harsh cleansing ingredients which tended to irritate those prone to dry skin, times have changed. Bar soap is becoming an increasingly popular cleansing option once again because skincare companies have recognized that their buyers are not one-size-fits-all. While those with more oily skin generally have no problem with classic soap ingredients, those with skin on the dryer side now have the pleasure of enjoying beauty bar formulations such as Cetaphil's Gentle Cleansing Bar and Cerave's Hydrating Cleanser Bar.
Bradford's own Research and Development Chemist, Samantha McIntosh, expands on this:
"Beauty bars are an excellent choice for dry or sensitive skin types. Beauty bars include syndet and combo bars that have a more neutral pH, one closer to the skin's natural pH level. These formulations help decrease the drying effects some consumers may feel after cleansing. Another way of looking at beauty bars is to think of them as your liquid body wash without water and plastic waste: better for the environment AND equally as moisturizing for your skin!
Traditional soap does not have to be as harsh as previously thought. Although they have a higher pH, traditional soap bars have grown to include many moisturizing ingredients that help to counteract post-wash tightness. Some of these ingredients include shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, goat's milk, honey, lanolin, pre and probiotics, and rose water, to name a few. While sodium hydroxide (lye) is often the culprit in soap that causes dry skin, we test our formulas to ensure we react as much sodium hydroxide as possible, leaving it significantly less drying than soaps from other soap manufacturers.
Now might be the time to rethink that plastic body wash container full of water and convert back to a solid form of cleansing. The choice to switch is not only better for your skin, but it is also better for the environment.