For many people, the skin on the face is more sensitive than the skin on the rest of the body. So, the soaps you use on your body may be too harsh to use on the face.
Soaps contain detergents and usually have alkaline pH. They may also contain fragrances that mask the natural odor of the soap. Moisturizers in the soaps help soothe the skin as it is cleaned. These may be too harsh to use on the face.
Mild soaps may be used on the face for some patients. They do contain detergents, but they are free of colors and fragrances, so they are less irritating.
Soap free cleansers are usually best for the face. They clean using synthetic detergents, known as syndets. They also have a more acidic pH, closer the skin's natural pH. There are face cleansers designed specifically for different skin types. So whether you are dry, oily, or sensitive, you can find a product ideal for you. Plus, there are different vehicles to choose from including cleansing creams (eg. cold creams), cloths, and even scrubs.
More Answers from Joshua Zeichner, MD