Depending on the type of cleaner you use, washing your face can often cause more harm than good. That’s especially accurate when you have psoriasis or any of the major facial skin conditions (rosacea, eczema, etc.). Why washing our faces can cause more harm than good stems from how we were taught to wash our skin and the feelings we associate with “clean skin”. When you have psoriasis, there could be nothing worse than scrubbing off your makeup and the day’s oils, debris, and everything in-between with soap on your already dry, irritated skin.
However, most people with the skin disease are unaware of just how troublesome soap can be, not just for washing your face, but on your body as a whole. Let’s take a deeper dive into why soap is an arch nemesis for psoriasis and how to properly take care of your skin without it.
Soap vs. Psoriasis
In the past, we were often told that good skin care meant having tight skin after a proper wash for a “clean feeling” that meant smooth, dirt-free skin. This is one of the worst feelings you can have after you cleanse your face! By achieving this, we’ve stripped off all of the nasty dirt and oils that could block our pores, but that also means ridding the moisture and natural oils that our skin needs to stay healthy, repairing, and protecting the layers of skin from further damage.
You might have a prescribed face wash or perhaps just something from Walgreens or Target that promotes moisturizing while ridding daily makeup. Are we close? This routine on paper sounds pretty good until, of course, the day the obvious happens: we start to realize our skin is not only dry, itchy, and inflamed from psoriasis, but now the skin is tight from using soap-based products, thus creating an even bigger issue.
So, how can we wash our face and retain all the good stuff while removing the bad while not irritating our psoriasis?
Now is the time to start recalibrating our thinking and to take a good, hard look at how soaps actually affect our skin. Why is soap so bad anyway? Facial cleansers are designed to remove dirt, sweat sebum, and oils from the skin. They also aid in the skin’s natural exfoliating process by removing dead cells from the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). With soap, it’s a bit of a different story.
Let’s first take a look at surfactants. These have many different functions: they act as detergents, wetting agents, foaming agents, conditioning agents, emulsifiers, and solubilizers. In addition to soaps and facial cleansers, surfactants can also be found in lotions, perfume, shampoo, and a multitude of other hair and body products. This is what creates that amazing lather and foamy action where we associate “clean skin” from.
While the surfactants found in soap are meant to leave the skin feeling fresh and clean, it’s not always the case. Some surfactants have an adverse effect on the outermost layer of the epidermis called the stratum corneum, not only causing the three signs of damage (dryness, redness, irritation) but undermining the skin’s natural barrier function.
By doing so, toxins, bacteria, and other unhealthy substances are able to penetrate deeper into the skin where they can do long-term harm. For psoriasis prone skin, this could be one of your biggest nightmares to have to deal with on top of the already frustrating symptoms and physical treatment needed for it.
Soap-based cleansers also tend to have a pH level of around 10, making them much more alkaline than syndets, which typically have pH of 7 or lower. By their very nature, higher pH levels lead to irritation by causing an imbalance with skin’s own natural pH of 5.5. Therefore, take serious caution when purchasing soap and possibly consider removing it all together from your skin care routine.
Soap and psoriasis do not go hand-in-hand. If you want to work towards healthier, less dry and irritated skin, then consider removing soap-based products from your entire bathroom routine altogether. If soap is so bad, then what are you supposed to use instead? We have the answer for that too.
Wild Naturals Soap-Free Products
Choosing the right cleanser for your face shouldn’t be a chore, but it sometimes is. As a rule of thumb, it’s usually best to ditch the traditional bar soap, particularly if you have dry, sensitive skin, or skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. At Wild Naturals, all of our natural skin care and hair care products contain zero soap, fragrance, dyes, or preservatives, plus is pH balanced to match the skin’s own pH level!
This will help immensely to avoid further irritations and inflammation that psoriasis triggers. For your body, the Wild Naturals Eczema & Psoriasis Body Wash would the perfect solution to swap out harmful soap for when washing your hands or full body in the shower. For on the go, we have an aloe vera hand wash that you can use in public places or at work, which nourishes while also removing germs and keeping the hands clean during this COVID-19 era.
In the end, the more gently you treat your skin, the more you help it retain its natural softness, resiliency, and moisture. Take a look at the Wild Naturals online store for the full line of Eczema & Psoriasis products that you should be using to help relieve your skin from psoriasis and get back to beautiful, healthy skin for the long run!