How to wash face without soap, 3 methods for better skin

Our parents probably used it on us as we were children, some of us even use it on our face on a regular basis, but using soap to wash your face isn’t the best idea.

Soap can have a number of detrimental effects on your skin and there might be a variety of reasons why you can’t or don’t want to wash your face with soap.

This article looks at other ways you can wash your face without soap.

How to wash face without soap

What can be used in place of soap on my face (and how to do it)?

1. Facial cleanser or face wash:

If you have dry or normal skin you can use a facial cleanser, if you have oily or combination skin then use a face wash.

Face washes contain sulphates which help the face wash lather up well and break up dirt, debris and any external pollutants on your face.

Unfortunately, they can be a bit drying and can strip your face of oil if you use the wrong one. This is a non-drying face wash you can use

Cleansers are generally sulphate free or have a low sulphate content so they are non-drying and non-striping.

This is better for people with dry to normal skin because that skin type doesn’t produce that much sebum to begin with, it doesn’t need the sulphates.

This is a great face cleanser you can use. Both cleansers and face washes are a better and gentler alternative to soap.

Click here to find out more about using face washes and face cleansers.


How to use:

  1. Wash your hands before you touch your face, your hands can transfer bacteria to your face from the environment
  2. Dampen your face with warm water
  3. Apply some product onto your damp face and massage your face in circular motions. A good rule of thumb is to massage the product into your skin for 60 seconds.
  4. When you’ve massaged enough you can rinse the product off with warm water. Don’t use hot water as this is damaging to your skin.

2. Facial oil:

This method is the least harsh on the skin.

In addition, this method usually has the benefit of supplying your skin with antioxidants and vitamins contained in the oil.

Oils can have anti-inflammatory properties as well.

This method is usually used to remove makeup but it can be used to cleanse the face as well.

Oil cleansing breaks down sebum, external irritants and debris from your face in a gentle way.

If you use a facial cleansing oil the oil will turn milky as you rinse it off, taking the dirt, debris and excess sebum with it.

This is an effective facial oil you can use.

How to use:

You will need a clean washcloth to do this method.

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Dampen the washcloth in some hot water then lay it on your face.
  3. Leave the washcloth on for 20 seconds.
  4. Remove the washcloth and massage your chosen oil into your skin. Do this for 3 seconds.
  5. When time is up, gently rinse off the oil.

I recommend you use non-comedogenic oil for this method if you use anything other than a formulated facial oil.

For normal or dry skin you can use shea or argan oil.

If you have oily or combination skin then you can use jojoba oil or castor oil with a little added tea tree or peppermint oil

3. Just water:

This is a method that can work on certain people depending on your genetics and other factors (read more about water only washing here).

People who can successfully wash their face with just water report their skin being oil-free, dirt free, and looking pretty good overall.

Note: If the products you’re using, and have tried, are just not agreeing with your skin I recommend just products not cutting products out completely.

There are some pros and cons to not washing your face though.


How to do it:

You can wash your face with only water both morning and night. Simply splash warm water onto your face, rubbing where you see necessary.

Can I use regular soap on my face?

I wouldn’t recommend it, soap can have a couple of detrimental effects on the skin, this is if you’re using a sap that hasn’t been formulated for the skin. Using general soap will be:

Drying: Most soaps usually produce a lot of lather. This is due to the high level of sulphates that cause the product to foam up.

This winds up breaking down the skins moisture barrier and making the skin drier.

Irritating:  Soap formulas can contain a variety of irritants that aren’t exactly great for the skin, especially the skin on your face.

In addition, soaps can contain allergens as well as microorganisms that have the ability to break down the critical proteins that are found in your skin. If broken down this can result in inflammation

High alkaline: Soaps are usually high on the pH scale meaning they are alkaline.

When the pH of your skin is changed from its natural slightly acidic state it triggers enzymes that break down collagen in the skin and this will make you age faster.

Strips sebum off face: Your skin produces sebum (oil) which maintains the skin and keeps it nourished and healthy, soaps are very harsh and they strip the sebum off of your skin, not just the excess.

This will result in skin that is dry and dull

Why soap is bad for your face?

Soap isn’t necessarily bad for your face, it depends on the soap, the basic form of soap is made up of fats and salts.

When additions are added to the basic soap it becomes a problem.

This will include soaps that are antibacterial as they can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria

On the other hand, if you are using a soap that has moisturising properties and doesn’t have any synthetic or antibacterial ingredients added to it then you can use it with no worry.

Just make sure that you find a soap that doesn’t have a harsh formula and is gentle on the skin.

What happens if you never wash your face?

If you never wash your face your skin will start to deteriorate.

As you go about your day the sebum on your face is exposed to dirt, debris, and other external irritates.

These irritants attach themselves to the sebum on your skin and if they are left to accumulate over a long period of time they will wind up clogging the pores and creating breakouts.

The sebum on your skin can mix in with the dead skin cells on your face as well as with acne-causing bacteria, this will result in pimples.

The texture of your skin will change for the worse. Your face will start to look dull as the dead skin cells accumulate on your skin.

So, it’s ok if for a day or two you want to take a break from using so many products on your skin but as a general rule, you shouldn’t go cold turnkey on washing your face.

How to wash face without soap

Which is the best natural face wash?

Using a natural organic face wash will help you avoid all those nasty chemicals that some face washes contain.

Considering that 60 percent of the products we use absorbs through the skin and gets into our bloodstream using products that aren’t harmful is the best choice.

In addition, knowing that your facial products won’t cause health issues in future will give you solace.

A great natural face wash that I think you’ll love is this face wash by Christina Moss Naturals

The product is free from chemical preservatives, SLS, SLES, Propylene Glycol, PG derivatives, parabens, sulphates, dyes or synthetic fragrance.

All the ingredients included in the formula are certified organic and natural.

The product gets rid of unwanted dirt and eternal irritants while nourishing and moisturising the skin.

A little goes a long way with the product and it can be used on all skin types.

What is the safest face wash?

The safest face washes are is the CeraVe hydrating cleanser and the CeraVe foaming cleanser. Both products are developed by dermatologists.

The formulas work well to clean your face while keeping it hydrated.

The formulas are non-comedogenic, free from fragrance, sulphates, parabens, artificial colourants and don’t irritate the skin.

To prevent your skin from getting dry the products contain hyaluronic acid. This is a great hydrator, as one part hyaluronic acid is able to hold 6 parts of water.

The hyaluronic acid penetrates deep into the skin hydrating it without causing any clogged pores. The ceramides in the formulas help to repair and maintain your skins natural moisture barrier.

Is rose water a cleanser?

Although rose after helps to hydrate the skin, moisturise the skin and revitalise the skin, rose water will not cleanse as well as facial cleansers or facial soaps can.

If you want a pick me up in the morning, wiping off your sweat with rose water will be a good idea, that’s if you’ve cleansed your face well the night before.

I wouldn’t suggest you try to remove all your makeup and the general dirt and debris from the day using rose water.

If you need a cleanser that won’t harm or irritate your skin but will still break down the oils, makeup and debris from your skin you should use an oil cleanser to cleanse your skin.

This oil cleanser works well.

Washing face with just water and washcloth, is t a good idea?

Using a washcloth on your face isn’t the best idea.

If you’re looking for a more abrasive way to really get everything off your face then I would rather recommend using some sort of facial exfoliator to slough off the dead skin cells.

This is a gentle but effective facial exfoliator.

Your washcloth probably stays in the bathroom, the bathroom is the dampest room in the house.

This environment is a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria which can grow on your washcloth.

If you don’t clean your washcloth properly you can wind up applying all that fungus and bacteria on your skin every time you try to clean your face.

Washcloths are also porous and dry slowly making the prevalence of bacteria and fungus more prevent,  

Why not wash your face in the shower?

Your skin and your face have different levels of sensitivity. The water you use on your body is way too hot to be used on your face.

Using hot water on your face can cause it to dry out, the natural oils will be stripped from your face as you wash.

In addition, if you’re in the shower you probably don’t want a splash of cold water on your whole body.

Your face, on the other hand, may benefit from a splash of cold water after the wash. This splash of cold water helps with circulation which gives you a lovely glow

Is body wash better than soap?

It depends on which body wash and which soap you are using.

Generally, soaps can be quite drying on the skin, but if you are using a soap that moisturises your skin as you shower you may want to stick with your soap.

Soaps are more environmentally friendly than body washes (they have less wasteful packaging and they generally last longer) they are generally cheaper and as long as you use a good soap that moisturises your skin it will keep your skin hydrated and supple.

If you want a convenient option then you should go for the body wash. It is easy to use, lathers up well and if you find a good moisturising body wash it will also be great for the health of your skin.

They are both at getting grime and dirt off of your skin, they can both be used when exfoliating if you use a body brush and they can both deposit nutrients onto your skin if you pick the right ones.

I hope you enjoyed this article looking at how you can wash the face without using soap. If you enjoyed this article please share it.

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