Have you ever asked yourself: can you use hand soap on your face? The answer is yes and no!

Read below to understand when it is safe to do this and when to avoid treating your face with soap!

I will go one step further and share my experience with using face soap.  

Can You Use Hand Soap on Your Face? Here are 3 Pros and 3 Cons:

Yes, when:

  • The soap you are using is with suitable pH;
  • The soap is hydrating enough, so you don’t risk drying up your skin;
  • You are in a situation when you don’t have another cleaning source around you, but hand soap;
  • The skin on your face is not that sensitive on soap treatment, it is healthy, and you are not much-concerned om having any issues;

No, when:

  • The soap you use is inappropriate for applying on the face;
  • You have better solutions on hand to wash your face;
  • You have sensitive face skin or experience certain conditions which make using regular soap on your face inappropriate.

Let’s dissect in detail each of these factors.

The soap you are using is with suitable pH.

First off, to get a good grasp of the matter and to put it in the proper perspective, it is essential to know the following: 

What is pH, and why is it important? 

It shows something alkaline or acidic, using a scale between 0 and 14. The middle of the scale (7) is neutral. 

Everything below this point is acidic, and the opposite is alkaline.

What is the pH of the face skin?

Typically, human skin has an average pH value of between 4 and 6, with skin on the face as a rule having a pH value of between 4.5 and 5.5.

This pH level means our skin face is slightly acidic. Keeping our pH balance within the norms is reasonable to protect our bodies from undesired conditions. If we break that balance, it might harm our skin.

The environment can impact the pH level. It can be everything that surrounds us, including different skincare and sanitizing products, like soap.

face skin pH value

And here comes a crucial moment. A typical soap has an alkaline pH of around 9-10. This increases (though temporarily) the natural pH of the face skin.

A higher pH level might change the skin’s bacterial flora, thus increasing the chance of getting skin conditions like acne and dermatitis. Or it can accelerate wrinkles’ appearance on your face.

I am sure you don’t want this to happen!

But I can hear your question: is there a soap with pH close to the face skin? 

Yes, there is, but before I touch on this topic, let’s face the second situation when you can safely use soap on your face:

The soap is hydrating enough, so you don’t risk drying up your skin.

A regular soap usually contains a bunch of harsh components. 

It effectively removes impurities from your face, like dirt and old makeup, but at the same time, it also removes the natural oils secreted by the skin. 

Thus it can cause dry skin, making it feel uncomfortable, tight, or even irritating with the constant wish to scratch your face.

So, is there a way out of this situation? Of course, you can rebalance your skin with moisturizing creams and face masks, but our word today is about soaps. 

And yes, there are soap bars that can moisturize your face enough so that you can feel both clean and comfortable during the day until the moment comes to apply a face mask when you come home after a hard day.

You are in a situation when you don’t have another cleaning source around you but hand soap.

This point is somehow self-explanatory. Ideally, you treat your face with a face cleanser with a skin-friendly pH of 5.5, which does not strip off the skin’s natural moisture. 

If you don’t have such a solution but you have just a regular body soap around you, there is no harm in using it on your face once in a while. 

The potential damage to your face skin might appear if you use alkaline soap regularly.

woman's face

But I am sure, after reading this article, this will no longer be your case:)

And there is one more situation when you can safely use regular soap on the face:

The skin on your face is not that sensitive on soap treatment, it is healthy, and you are not much-concerned om having any issues.

If this is your case – you are a happy person! You can use any soap on your skin. 

But again – my advice is that you do not go too far with this. 

Even if you have fantastic skin now, you might ruin it in the future by being too irresponsible while using cheap, harsh or inappropriate soap.

To illustrate how good intentions might turn into wrong solutions, let’s have a look at the following idea:

Can you use antibacterial hand soap on your face?

Sure. You can use anything you like on your face. That doesn’t mean you will always be correct!

Actually, why would you do such a thing? Let’s think for a while!

Bacteria are everywhere around us. They exist before Homo Sapiens, and they will probably outlive our species.

And yes, some are bad and can cause a disease, but others have a positive role in our lives and help us be fit and healthy. 

Let’s pretend you have washed your face with antibacterial soap and removed the bacteria. You will touch a surface covered with bacteria in the next few minutes. 

From there – it is very close to the moment you will have bacteria back on your face.

As for the viruses – any regular type of soap will destroy them.

That is why I don’t use antibacterial soap, and I don’t recommend using it in your routine.

Do I wash my face with soap? Yes, I do – here is how I do it!

I do not overcomplicate things and follow the rules mentioned above. 

My strategy is to find (preferably natural) soap bars or liquid soap with appropriate pH and good moisturizing potential.

soap with rose oil, soap with seaweed extract, soap with snail extract

Among these three soap bars is what I mostly use for my hands, face and body: 

  • soap bar with Bulgarian rose oil; 
  • soap bar with snail extract and gold powder; 
  • soap bar with seaweed extract and avocado oil.

They are great soaps – one of the best for dry skin I have ever tried. Though they have their specifics due to their unique formulas, I will share what they have in common.

  • Their pH is lower than an average soap – it’s between 4 and 7, which is very close to the pH of the face skin.
  • They have only natural ingredients in their recipes – vegetable and essential oils, kinds of butter and extracts. 
  • They leave skin soft, fragrant, moisturized, and relaxed while not drying it out.

Plain and simple – this is how I use soap for my face without worrying about any issues.

In conclusion

Can you use hand soap on your face? I hope it’s more clear now. If you abide by the rules described in this text, you can proceed with using soap with confidence.

If you don’t have an appropriate face soap in hand, but just a regular one, use it with caution – either more rear or support your skin with additional face care products.

I would appreciate your thoughts – do you use soap while washing your face and the effect?

Talk soon,


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