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What type of soap do I need to use for my skin?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatology
Some bar soaps have stronger detergents than others or higher concentrations of surfactants. All of them, including liquid body washes, include at least one surfactant, preservatives, emulsifiers, moisturizing agents, and probably a fragrance. If you have sensitive skin (if you have eczema or psoriasis, for instance), you should avoid synthetic fragrances and harsh detergents. Stay away from antibacterial or deodorant soaps too, since your skin may be intolerant to the added chemicals in them.
Antibacterial soaps are very effective in fighting folliculitis or back acne, but they are extremely drying. You might want to use it every other day. To cleanse dry skin, remember that liquid soaps aren't necessarily gentler or more moisturizing. Liquid is simply the vehicle. Some bar soaps provide the waxy emollients your skin needs to prevent more flaking and dryness. Look for the same emollient ingredients that would be present in a rich facial moisturizer.

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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.