The term soap is generally used to define any kind of cleanser used on the skin to remove dirt and pollution. With a huge range of soaps being available, it may be difficult for one to choose a product, as they claim to solve all the problems, like dryness, itchiness, moisturization etc.
These days, the soaps available in the market often claim to be beneficial for the skin but comprise harmful elements that tend to deteriorate the skin instead of healing it. Regular soaps contain harmful substances like parabens, bleach, sulphate which leaves the skin dry and washes away the natural oils present in the skin.
Regular soaps are made of water, oil, fats and a substance called lye. Lye is typically a metal hydroxide formed by leaching wood ashes or a highly soluble alkaline in water, creating caustic fundamental solutions. Lye triggers a chemical reaction called saponification, which turns oils into soaps. Soaps are made up of fragrance and detergent. The usual ph level of soaps is around 9-10 but since our skin has a ph level of 4-5, using a regular soap can cause dryness and irritation to the skin.
Which is a mild soap?
- It contains moisturizing and conditioning oils e.g. olive oil.
- It has a lower ph level value. Mild soaps contain a lower alkaline value, which is good for the skin as it helps to maintain the ph balance.
- It has a lower fragrance as it is made up of essential oils.
- It does not have a high percentage of cleansing oils, as cleansing oils are harmful to the skin and extract the natural oils present in the skin, leaving it dry.
- No colour is added in mild soaps.
Regular soaps are not a good option for skin cleansing due to the reasons stated above. Using cleansers which are not harsh on the skin like a liquid body wash which contains glycerin, alcohol, cetyl prove to be more beneficial for the skin. Such cleansers usually maintain a lesser ph level and therefore does not disturb the natural ph balance of the skin.
Mild soaps are best for those with sensitive skin. Those who prefer a gentle cleanser over a harsh one should opt for a mild soap. However, regular soaps must be avoided and replaced with a mild one as it has the following benefits-
- Made up of natural oils: Mild soaps are smooth on the skin and a gentle cleanser and it does not extract the natural oils from the skin leaving it dry.
- Does not cause dryness: skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema are less likely to happen with the use of mild soaps.
- Cures acne– Mild soaps are said to cure skin problems like acne. Such soaps are specially designed to cure breakouts and excess oil secretion. Acne soaps usually contain ingredients such as neem, tulsi, turmeric etc.
These help to get rid of breakouts, blackheads, bumps and clogged pores. Though severe acne must be treated according to the doctor’s advice, a mild breakout can be cured using a mild soap. According to research, people with acne, who used mild soap or gentle ingredients on the skin were able to see some improvement. They do not contain hard ingredients such as fragrance and alcoholic beverage so that the skin can be easily purified without inducing or aggravating acne.
- Does not irritate skin- Regular soaps due to high acidic value may cause skin irritation. Such problems do not occur with a mild soap.
- Good for sensitive skin- People with sensitive skin often complain about redness after using regular soap. Certain mild soaps are specifically designed for sensitive skin and it does not expose the skin to any unnatural acidic substances.
- Certain infections or skin problems that cause sensitive skin are not cured without expert advice, but correct skin treatment may minimize redness, dryness and itching. Mild soap has a relaxing and healing effect on your skin. It can also serve as a moisturizer.
- Hydrates skin naturally- Itchy skin can be caused by conditions such as psoriasis or eczema and by dryness. Hard cleansers, maquillages, toners and hydrating agents may cause additional dryness, and prolong itchiness. Turning to a mild soap will reduce dryness and hydrate your skin naturally without using acidic or harsh substances.
- Made up of natural ingredients- Mild soaps are made up of natural ingredients which are less acidic and therefore helps to maintain the ph balance of the skin.
What is considered a mild soap?
Everyone wants healthy, smooth, spotless and glowing skin. Good and spotless skin increases our confidence. These days several products are available which claim to use natural ingredients but in reality, they use harsh chemicals which are unsafe for our skin and make it more vulnerable to infections and other harms.
These products claim to remove dirt, pollution, bacteria and dead skin from our bodies and face but are so harsh that it even removes the natural oils present in it. This is the reason why a mild soap should be used over a regular one. Mild soaps not only cleanse the skin but also help to maintain its ph balance and the natural oil, enhancing its natural properties and making it more smooth and soft.
Further, a mild cleanser which has ingredients such as milk, cream, lotion etc which does not dry out or irritates the skin should be preferred over regular soaps.
We must not use a bar of regular soap on our face as the skin is much more sensitive than the rest of the body. If our face is exposed to regular soap, skin problems such as acne, dryness, itchiness, breakouts etc may be experienced. But it should also be kept in mind that even if we replace a regular soap with other soap (containing natural ingredients) or face wash, its components must be checked before making a purchase.
Face wash or soaps which are paraben-free, sulphate free, no extra fragrance is added, contains no harsh chemicals, is mild for your skin type, etc. should be purchased. Although mild soaps are usually good for skin, some people may be allergic or sensitive to some ingredients used in these soaps. Even if after using a mild soap, one continues to experience or starts experiencing irritation or dryness, a dermatologist must be consulted. Using a hypoallergenic soap, removes excess dirt and provides a better result and eases discomfort.