Why does soap leave my skin feeling dry?

While soap can effectively remove dirt and germs from your skin, it can also remove the natural oils secreted by your skin. If you use harsh soaps too frequently, your skin may feel dry and rough. Some soaps are more drying than others, and some are even abrasive or irritating. Select a cleanser that is mild and moisturizing, and avoid stronger detergent bars and deodorant soaps, to help prevent dryness.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Soap can remove the natural oils produced by glands as natural protection for your skin and can leave it feeling dry and itchy. Unscented lotion containing lanolin is an inexpensive, effective treatment for mild dryness. Watch the animation to learn more about dry skin.

Continue Learning about Skin Cleansing Soaps

FDA Bans Antibacterial Soaps
FDA Bans Antibacterial Soaps
Think antibacterial hand soap is the best way to suds up? You may want to think again. Nineteen ingredients in over-the-counter antibacterial soaps, i...
Read More
Why should I consider switching from soap to another cleanser?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
True soap can strip the skin of a lot of its natural oil and moisture, but many cleansers are consid...
More Answers
Why should I not use soap on my face?
James M.. WilmottJames M.. Wilmott
You should avoid soap on your face because it is a harsh surfactant which indiscriminately removes g...
More Answers
Does soap contain lye?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Most products marketed as soaps today contain synthetic detergent cleansers. In the past, soap w...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.