Can I Wash My Face With Hand Soap?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

There are tons of skincare products out there, but some of them can be quite pricey. So, if you’re looking for something to clean your face after a hard day at work, you may find yourself asking why you can’t just squirt some hand soap and use it.

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Reaching for the hand soap we all keep on the bathroom sink may be tempting. But it might not be the best idea for your face. So let’s take a look at answering the question of using hand soap on your face.

Table of Contents

Can you wash up with hand soap?

The truth is you can use hand soap to clean your face, BUT it is definitely NOT the best idea.

Most hand soaps have harsh chemicals that are meant to remove dirt, good lipids, and the necessary sebum your facial skin needs to stay supple and hydrated.

These harsh ingredients strip the skin of its natural moisture, which will severely dry out your skin.

This will also let other elements into your skin that can cause inflammation, and break down proteins like elastin.

Hand soap also often has a high pH level, which can affect your skin’s ability to keep your skin healthy from unwanted microorganisms.

So perhaps if you are in a bind, you can use hand soap, but it DEFINITELY SHOULDN’T be the way you consistently wash your face.

Can you wash your face with hand soap?

Is Antibacterial Bar Soap Good for Your Face?

You may be tempted to use antibacterial bar soap on your face, especially if you are dealing with acne.

After all, the primary culprit of acne is bacteria that gets trapped in your pores.

Though it sounds like a logical assumption, it is in fact wrong.

Using antibacterial soap frequently can actually be harmful for your face. It will not only kill the bad bacteria but the good bacteria, too.

This can do horrible things, like dry out your skin and cause inflammations. Because it’s stripping essential elements off your face, it can even cause even worse severe acne breakouts.

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What Happens if You Wash Your Face with Hand Soap?

Hand soap is designed for your hands, which have tougher skin than the face.

So, if you use hand wash to wash your face, there may be consequences which may lead to drying out or even irritation of your skin.

Hand soaps may also throw your skin’s natural pH all out of whack, which is why your skin may end up too dry.

On the other hand, if you choose a facial soap instead of one made for your hands, it will be made with ingredients that are gentle on your skin. These face washes are enriched with oils and vitamins that will help elevate the health of your skin.

Definitely the better choice, right?

Something to point out: just because a soap is in bar form doesn’t mean it’s a hand soap. There are many facial soaps that come in bar form; read the packaging before purchasing!

Should I Wash My Face With Soap or Just Water?

This is a question that a lot of people ask themselves, especially with so many things that can cause skin problems.

On the one hand, water is nice and refreshing, and it does clean the surface of your face.

HOWEVER, water does not get into your pores and remove dirt and bacteria. This is crucial, because these things can also lead to severe skin issues.

Plus, depending on the water you use, you may find that there are bacteria and other chemicals that can cause more harm than good.

By adding a soap that is made to be used on your face, you will be able to combat that as well as the other elements that can cause skin problems.

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What is the Best Soap for Your Face?

You want to choose a soap that is gentle and designed for your skin type. There are also some guidelines you can use to make sure you are choosing the right cleanser for your face.

Here are some tried and tested brands for you to check out:

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How do you choose a face wash for your skin type?

  1. You want to choose a soap designed for facial cleansing. These will be formulated using ingredients that are gentle on the delicate skin of your face.
  2. You want to look for one that is fragrance-free and free of exfoliants that are not meant for the face.
  3. Always start with a mild soap that leaves no residue after cleaning. Any residue left could clog your pores and lead to unwanted breakouts.
  4. Another factor to look for is a non-foaming cleanser. Soaps that foam may contain irritating ingredients, especially if you are working with dry or sensitive skin.
  5. You also might consider using a facial soap that is housed in a facial cloth. This method of cleaning will not only use a soap that is safe for your skin, but the cloth itself will act as an exfoliant.
  6. The biggest consideration when choosing your soap is to look for one that is designed for your skin type or for specific skin conditions you suffer from.
  7. You should also look for cleansers that have oils that are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and antibacterial compounds that will help you fight against aging and the effects of the environment.

Using these guidelines, you should be able to find the right soap.

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Soap net for bar face soaps

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So, can I wash my face with hand soap?

As we said in the beginning of this article, you can, but it is not advisable.

For many reasons, make sure you buy a cleanser that is designed to be used on the sensitive skin on your face.

Hand soaps are designed with ingredients that are meant for tougher skin. They often have irritants and exfoliants intended to remove bacteria and other things that could be dangerous to your health.

Looking for a soap that is fortified with moisturizers, other vitamins, and oils that will keep your skin’s natural moisture will ensure that you do not have to deal with many of the common skin problems; things like dry skin and breakouts will be less like to crop up.

Hopefully, with the information we discussed above, you now understand the importance of investing in a soap that is meant to be used as a facial cleanser.

Once you have the right soap, your skincare regimen will be complete.

Check out face wash posts on our blog:

Let us know if you’ve ever tried washing your face with soaps other than cleansers. What’s your advice on “can I wash my face with hand soap”?

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. Doesn’t it?? Just imagining the stretchy feeling your skin would have after….

    Thanks for the rec, Allison!

  2. The thought of hand soap touching my face gives me the chills. I can only imagine how dry my skin would be 😪
    I use Cerave for several steps in my regimen and I love how it feels!

  3. I usually try to buy a face cleanser that contains healthy ingredients. I love your tips for choosing a face wash for your skin. I will be looking for vitamins in my facial cleanser from now on.

  4. Washing maybe once out of desperation, perhaps, but using hand soap on the face is a definite nono!

  5. I’ve never washed my face with hand sap, I’ve always thought it would be too harsh because of all of the reasons you’ve listed here. Maybe if I was in a serious pinch one day x


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