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What is a Facial Cleansing Bar?

What is a facial cleansing bar?

Last time I wrote about surfactants and how all surfactants are not created equal. Today I would like to talk about facial cleansers, in particular cleansing bars. If someone told you they washed their face with soap, you would be right to be concerned. Traditional bar soap strips away the skin’s natural protective barrier. This is because soap has an alkaline pH of around 9 – 10. It leaves your skin sensitised and dehydrated. This is why you shouldn’t use soap to cleanse the delicate skin on your face or wash your hair. A face cleanser should compliment the skin’s natural acidic pH with a pH between pH 4 – 6, so it does not strip protective oils. Most shampoos have a pH of 6 – 7, again so as not to strip the scalp and hair of protective oils.

A cleansing bar’s solid format means they don’t need plastic packaging, and they won’t spill in your bag. They travel well, as you can put them in a re-usable soap caddy or aluminium tin to take to the gym or a week away. While they might look like soap in the form of a solid bar, a cleansing bar doesn’t contain any soap. They are a solid, low-waste version of a traditional liquid cleanser or face wash.

They can provide gentle yet effective cleansing because of their combination of mild surfactants and moisturising ingredients and they can contain different botanical ingredients to cater for different skin needs. Additionally, because they are a solid bar, they are not made up of up to 80% water, like traditional liquid facial cleansers.

Cleansing bars are just as easy to use as regular bar soap. Just wet the cleansing bar, lather it up between your hands, then apply the lather over your face and rinse. Cleansing bars will remove makeup as well as clean the skin of grime, excess sebum and other impurities.

It’s best to store your cleansing bar in a well-drained or dry area, away from water. Leaving it in the shower where it can continuously get wet, will not only cause it to dissolve quicker but it could potentially encourage mould and bacteria, which you don’t want to make its way onto your face.


Healthline. (2021). Is Using Bar Soap on Your Face Good or Bad? What to Know. [online] Available at:…/beauty…/bar-soap-on-face… [Accessed 12 Apr. 2022].

Nast, C. (2021). Cleansing bars are a convenient and sustainable alternative for every skin type. [online] Glamour UK. Available at:…/best-facial… [Accessed 12 Apr. 2022]. (n.d.). 5 Best Facial Cleansing Bars | Grove Collaborative. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2022]. (n.d.). What is the difference between soap & cleanser? | Mi:Skin Beauty. [online] Available at:…/… [Accessed 13 Apr. 2022].

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