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Why You Should Never Wash Your Face With Bar Soap

Celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau explains why soap is terrible for your complexion.

Woman washing face

Photo: Getty Images

In our Q&A series, beauty experts address your most bewildering issues. Have a beauty-related quandary of your own? Submit your question in the comments below or via Twitter.

Q: Is it bad to wash your face with a bar of soap?

A: Walking through the beauty aisle at the local drugstore can be intimidating. Cleansers, exfoliators, creams, serums — novices can have a hard time knowing just what product is best to use for simply washing the face. However, Renée Rouleau, an esthetician & skin care expert (who tends to the gorgeous skin of stars like Demi Lovato), says you should never reach for a bar of soap when in doubt. “Although many bar soaps are now better formulated and gentler (due to a lower pH that closely matches the normal skin level), they will still be more drying than sulfate-free gels, foams, liquids and creams. The binders that hold a bar of soap together have a higher pH than products that are formulated specifically for cleansing the face, so they will have a drying effect on the skin.” Instead of soap, choose a gentle cleanser designed for your skin types, whether it’s normal, dry or acne-prone.

Read more: The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Skin Care 

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