Soaps for Sensitive Skin
Soap. It has been engrained in all of our minds to wash with soap and water, but do we really know what we are using to cleanse our skin? Soap is a mixture of fats, oils, and an alkali. The fats and oils consist of a combination of grease, fish oils, and/or vegetable oils. Examples of alkalis used for soap making include sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and lye. Soaps contain both lipophilic (oil loving) and hydrophilic (water loving) components that work together to remove dirt and oil from the skin. The hardness, lathering ability, and transparency of soap vary according to the combination of these ingredients.
If you are someone who suffers from sensitive skin, most soaps may do more harm than good. Sensitive skin is essentially a compromised skin barrier, letting natural moisture escape easier and harsh ingredients penetrate easier. Skin, which is normally acidic, can be irritated by some soaps, which are alkaline. The pH of the outermost layer of skin is disturbed, drying the skin and making the outermost layer of skin more permeable to chemicals and other pollutants. Fragrances, preservatives, and dyes commonly found in soaps can also cause allergic contact dermatitis. When deciding on a soap for your sensitive skin, look for added moisturizers and avoid fragrances and dyes.
Some examples of soaps recommended for sensitive skin:
- Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented Bar Soap
- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
- Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar
- Vanicream Cleansing Bar
- Basis Sensitive Skin Bar Soap
Next time you reach for soap, think twice about what you are using on your skin, for closer examination can help save you from unwanted dryness and irritation. If you are experiencing dryness or irritation please call the office to see one of our providers at our Arlington Heights, Barrington, Crystal Lake or Elgin location.