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Skincare basics: 5 myths busted!

Dr Vandana Punjabi | March 28, 2005

Bave you heard this before: all soaps are harsh on the skin?

Or that people with sensitive skin must never use soap?

ilustration In our quest for good skin, we sometimes fall prey to a lot of myths and rumours about skincare.

This is an attempt to dispel some of them. And guide you to using the right kind of soap!

Myth: All soaps are harsh on the skin

Fact: All soaps are alkaline-based (pH = 9-10, pH is the balance between the acid and the alkaline factors) and are harsh on the skin.

Use pH neutral (pH = 7) soap, which is mild on your skin.

How do you test the pH factor of your soap? 

Simple, conduct your own test. Just scroll down to understand how this test works. 

Myth: You must change your soap with the season

Fact: There is no need to change your soap with the season if you are using a mild bar.

A mild bar of soap not only cleanses, it also moisturises your skin.

Myth: Only a soap which gives me a tight, dry feeling on my skin has cleaned my skin well

Fact: An ordinary soap is bound to give you a tight, dry feeling on your skin.

It strips the skin of its natural oils, causing damage to the sturnum corneum (the outer protective layer of the skin).

The solution? Use a mild bar of soap. It will not dry your skin like the regular soap can.

Myth: People with sensitive skin must never use soap
Fact: Ordinary soaps with an alkaline pH can be very harsh on sensitive skin.

Use a mild, pH neutral bar. It protects the skin's natural barrier function and can be used in your daily cleansing routine for even the most delicate and sensitive skin.

Myth: Baby soaps are the mildest kind of soap
Fact: Most baby soaps are alkaline soaps with a high pH and can irritate your baby's skin which is very delicate and soft.

A mild pH neutral bar would be ideal for such delicate skin.

Check if the soap you use is mild!

You can do a litmus test on your soap to check its pH level. This paper is available at any stationary or chemist shop.

Place a piece of pH paper on a wet soap. If the paper turns blue, it means the soap is not pH neutral and is harsh on your skin.

If the pH paper does not change colour, it is pH neutral and hence a mild soap.

Dr Vandana Punjabi( MBBS, DVD) is a dermatologist and cosmotologist.



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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 2

Sub: A praise

The article was amazing. This article made me realise my skin type and also the harshness of my soap.

Posted by Rashmi

Sub: Mild Soaps

It would have been good, if this column has given the pH of the major soaps that are being used. That would have helped the ...

Posted by Anand Y


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