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What is the best soap for dry skin? 

In this article we'll tell you about the best soap for dry skin and exactly why it is the best soap for dry skin. We'll tell you the causes of dry skin plus the best soaps for face, hands and feet and why these areas become dry for different reasons. Subjects we'll cover include: 
 

What is the best soap for dry skin and why? 

The best soap for dry skin is natural and contains no drying ingredients, such as sulphates or other chemical cleansers. It will also contain super moisturising ingredients, such as glycerin and emollient oils. 
 
Glycerin is a ‘humectant’ which means it draws moisture towards it. If you put it on your skin it will attract moisture towards it. The majority of over the counter soaps only contain a trace amount of this amazing moisturiser as it's removed by large manufacturers for a number of reasons. 
 
The reason they take the glycerin out is firstly it can be sold on to be used in moisturising creams and lotions. The other reason they take it out is because glycerin attracts water which would reduce shelf life and result in soggy packaging. 
 
Natural soap contains glycerin naturally produced in the soap making process. In this study it states that glycerin is most effective at moisturising when used in skin care especially when it makes up 20% of the product in creams, we've also found it to be very effective in soap at a concentration of 5-20%. 
 
Small producers usually don’t remove the glycerin from soap but here is one way to check to see if they have. 
 
Salt or sodium chloride has no real reason to be in natural soap, it offers no benefits to the skin or the soap. The reason some manufacturers have it in is because this is the ingredient used to remove the glycerin from soap. 
 
Our natural soaps are packed full of glycerin and are effective at moisturising the skin. As you can see from our ingredient list, they contain no salt at all. 
 
Normal soap you can buy at the supermarket or pharmacy are usually made with a lot of chemical cleansers, usually in the form of sulphates or betaine’s. They also usually contain a large amount of palm oil or sodium palmate in the ingredients list. 
 
Both of these key ingredients in over the counter soap are drying to the skin. One of the most drying is sodium lauryl sulphate, which is the choice sulphate of most soap brands. Other brands use derivative's of it, such as sodium laureth sulphate. 
 
Natural soap is great for dry skin because it contains moisturising emollient ingredients. Ingredients such as olive oil, hempseed oil and cocoa butter are all super moisturising and help to nourish dry skin. 
 
Most commercial soaps are made with palm oil which is extremely cheap, but has very little moisturising benefits for the skin. Palm kernel oil in particular is incredibly drying to the skin when turned into soap. 
 
This is because palm oil is a cleanser in soap and should only make up around 30% of a bar at the maximum. Most commercial bars are made almost entirely from palm oil and are therefore very drying to skin. 
 
The final reason natural soaps are really amazing for dry skin is they are usually ‘superfatted’. This means some of the oils that go into the making of the bar are not turned into soap and left to roam loose in it. 
 
These oils are beneficial for the skin and help fill the gaps in the skins protective barrier. This means the skin will have a better ability to retain moisture. 
 
So to answer the question in a short sharp paragraph; 
 
Natural soap is the best for dry skin because it contains moisturising glycerin and emollient ingredients. It doesn’t contain any harsh drying chemicals such as sulphates or betains and it has loose oils which help replenish the skin’s protective barrier. 
 
If you want to know what can cause dry skin then read our next section to find out the most common causes of dry skin. 

What causes dry skin? 

Dry skin is caused by our skin being unable to retain as much water as it needs. This can occur for a number of reasons, but the actual root cause of dry skin is too much water escaping through our skin into the atmosphere. 
 
It means there is a deficiency between the amount of water consumed or held and the amount escaping through the skin. 
 
There are a few different reasons why this could be happening. Below are some of the common reasons for dry skin: 
 
Environment 
 
Dry skin is more common in low humidity environments. For instance, deserts such as the Sahara are dry all year round and have low humidity. Most of the Northern Hemisphere also becomes a low humidity area during winter months. 
 
During the winter months your skin cells shrink slightly which leaves bigger gaps between skin cells. This gap is usually filled with sebum, which is a waxy, oily substance that is essential for tying skin cells together and preventing moisture loss. This shrinkage of skin cells allows more moisture to escape than usual which can leave the skin feeling dry. 
 
In this study on the impact cold weather has on the skin, it stipulates the shrinkage of skin affects a substance we produce in our skin called filaggrin. This protein is essential for maintaining a healthy skin barrier. 
 
During the winter months, filaggrin degrades and doesn’t function as well as in the summer months. This means our skin barrier isn’t as strong and can’t stop the water loss as well as it does in the summer. 
 
Chemicals 
 
There are certain chemicals that can have a drying affect on skin. One of the most prolific chemical groups that are used in lots of everyday products is surfactants. These chemicals are known to be extremely drying to the skin. 
 
The reason they are drying to the skin is that they are hydrophilic. This means they can bond water to oil easily. Your skin’s barrier is made from an oily, fatty substance called sebum. 
 
Chemical surfactants are very efficient at bonding to the oil on your skin and this allows the oil to be washed away easily. This can cause breaks in the skins barrier and allow water to escape through the gaps. 
 
Many wash products contain synthetic chemicals from the surfactant group of chemicals. These chemicals were originally designed for use in detergents and washing powder. They are now commonly used in skin care products as cleansers or emulsifiers. 
 
One of the most common is sodium lauryl sulphate which can go by a number of different names. For more detailed information on surfactants used in skin care read this article
 
Other chemicals can also be drying to your skin, such as solvents and other materials that are commonly used in the workplace. 
 
Solvents are often used to remove grease or oil for cleaning purposes. These solvents can also remove the natural oil that is part of the skin. This can lead to dry hands or other areas of the skin that have come into contact with the solvent. 
 
If you have to use solvents in your workplace, it’s essential to use gloves and any PPE necessary to protect your skin from contact with solvents. 
 
Wash Routine 
 
Dry skin can be caused by an overzealous wash routine. Ideally your skin will only need washing once a day at most. People with dry skin conditions have been told in the past that washing regularly can help with these conditions. 
 
In fact washing too much can cause the skins protective barrier, which is made from skin cells and a lipid glue between cells called sebum, to be damaged. This damage allows water to escape from the skin whilst also allowing bacteria to enter through the damage. 
 
Whilst bacteria can cause the skin to flare up into red patches due to immune system activity, the act of washing your skin too regularly can have the opposite effect of what you are hoping, and actually causes the skins protective barrier to be damaged! This will be aggravated further when washing with harsh chemicals used in over the counter soaps and hand wash. 
 
These products often contain chemical surfactants, such as sodium lauryl sulphate or cocomidopropyl betain, which are some of the most common. These chemicals can leave your skin very dry because they are very effective at breaking down grease. 
 
These ingredients were first developed for use in laundry detergents and washing up liquid, so they are obviously very good at breaking down grease and fats. Now that they are commonly used in skin care they can break down the fats in your lipid glue (also known as sebum). 
 
Washing too much can be an occupational hazard; often in certain workplaces there is a requirement to wash your hands regularly. Professions such as hairdressers, healthcare professionals and chef’s all can suffer dry skin from over washing. 
what causes dry skin infographic
More dry skin causes! 
Medical Conditions 
 
Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, keratosis pilaris and even type 2 diabetes can cause your skin to dry out. 
 
Eczema causes your skin to dry out as the skin can’t retain enough moisture within it to maintain a healthy skin barrier. Eczema is closely related to allergens, and is usually triggered by a substance that you are allergic to. 
 
This can be through contact with the skin or through consuming into the body. Eczema is one of the most common causes of dry skin, and although most cases are resolved by the end of childhood, there are also a large number of adults who can suffer from it. We cover eczema in a lot more depth in our dedicated post here. 
 
Psoriasis is another dry skin condition that is surprising common, with around 1.5 million people in the UK thought to be affected. Psoriasis is a condition where the body produces skin cells at an increased rate. 
 
For people without psoriasis, skin cells take around 3-4 weeks to replace themselves. For psoriasis sufferers it can be as quick as 3-7 days
 
Psoriasis is an immune disease where the immune system produces a surge in skin growth in an area of skin that may have its barrier broken and allowing bacteria in. This could be a simple cut or graze, but it could also be smaller than that; it could be an area where the lipid glue which holds skin together has been washed away. 
 
In this study, it shows t-cells, which are the body’s initial response to outside bacteria invading the skin, could irritate psoriasis and potentially be the cause of the autoimmune response. 
 
Keratosis pilaris is a condition commonly known as ‘chicken skin’. It’s a harmless condition which gives the skin small bumps, similar to that of chicken skin. The condition is due to the skin over producing keratin, a protein used for building skin. 
 
Keratosis pilaris can cause the skin to become dry, red, itchy and inflamed. Although it is medically harmless, it can cause self-image issues. 
 
Type 2 diabetes is another condition that can cause the skin to become dry. If you have high blood sugar the body gets rid of this through the urine. If you have lots of blood sugar then the body will need to urinate more. 
 
This can lead to your skin becoming dehydrated. This is a common side effect of type 2 diabetes, and can be managed with diet and also increasing the amount of water you consume. 
 
Smoking 
 
This bad habit not only ages skin, but it can also leave the skin dry. Smoking damages hyaluronic acid, which is one of the chemicals that allows our skin to retain moisture. 
 
According to this study, cigarette smoke damages the structure of this important chemical to skin health with its free radicals. Free radicals are the substances responsible for aging skin prematurely as well. 
 
UV Damage 
 
The sun’s rays can cause damage to your skin. This is a well known fact and most people know about the benefits of wearing sunscreen. 
 
UV damage to skin not only effects how your skin looks, but it can also affect how dry your skin is. In this study, it highlights UV damage to the skin mainly affects the lipid part of the skin whilst the protein parts of the skin are relatively unaffected. 
 
As discussed earlier in this post, the lipid part of the skin is the glue that holds the skins protective barrier together. When this part of the skin is damaged, it will allow water to escape from your body more easily. This can lead to dry skin, especially if the water is not replaced. 
 
Central Heating 
 
Central heating can be a cause of dry skin because it reduces the humidity of the environment around you. This can be especially true in winter when the weather is cold and dry. 
 
When the weather outside is cold and dry, there is low humidity, and if you turn on your central heating as well this can lead to your skin constantly being in a very dry environment. 
 
Alcohol 
 
Alcohol: Alcohol can definitely have an effect on your skin. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases the amount of urine your body produces. This increased urination can draw water away from the skin to flush out the waste that the body is producing. 
 
It can leave your skin dehydrated and can also cause the skin to produce more oil than it normally would to make up for the reduced amount of water. 

What's the best soap for dry skin on hands? 

Hands are the hard workers of your body and they are one of the areas that frequently get dried out. This is the area of skin most likely to suffer from contact dermatitis, which is a form of eczema. 
 
Contact dermatitis can occur when your hands touch a substance which your skin thinks is harmful. One of the most common substances is concrete which can contain a mixture of chemicals that irritate the skin. 
 
To stop getting dry hands you need to figure out which item you are coming into contact with that is causing your skin to react. Another solution is to always wear the correct PPE and talk to your employer about limiting your contact with the irritant. 
 
Other factors for dry hands include environmental factors such as cold or hot weather, frequent hand washing often seen in occupations that regularly wash their hands such as the health care professionals and hair stylist and workers who are exposed to chemicals and solvents. 
 
Skin on the palms of the hand is one of the few areas which do not have oil glands. These oil glands provide sebum which keeps the skins barrier intact. 
 
Hands are the area of the body that we wash the most and regular washing throughout the day can leave your hands dry, especially when washing with liquid soaps or harsher bar soaps. 
 
Again the reason for the drying of the skin is the use of chemicals within these cosmetics and the absence of enough glycerin to attract water to the skin. 
 
Often work places and public restrooms provide cheap nasty soaps, usually in liquid form for employees to wash their hands with. These soaps are usually the reason for dry skin on hands as the harsh formulas strip oil from the skins protective barrier. 
 
The best soap for dry skin on hands is a natural soap that is superfatted. This is because the skin on the hands doesn’t have oil glands, so the unsaponified oils within the soap provide oils to help maintain a healthy skin barrier. 
 
The soap that we would recommend is a Lemon or Orange soap, as the essential oils in these soaps have great antibacterial qualities, whilst also being gentle on the hands and provide nourishing oils to keep your skins barrier healthy. 

What's the best soap for dry skin on your face? 

The main reasons for dry skin on the face are environmental factors, such as UV damage, pollution, dust and dry low humidity weather either hot or cold. 
 
One of the common signs of dry skin on the face is peeling skin. Peeling skin can occur as a result of damage or injury to the skin. This could be from a number of sources. It is also possible to have dry skin on the face from a medical condition such as psoriasis or eczema. 
 
Facial skin is thinner and more sensitive than skin on the body. The eyelids are the thinnest part of the skin on the body and are around 0.5mm thick, compared to the thickest skin on the body which is 1.5mm thick and located on your palms and feet. 
 
One of the key issues for dry skin on the face is the removal of too much oil or sebum as it is known. This can happen with harsh soaps/liquid soaps as they contain drying chemicals such as sulphates, which are commonly used in over the counter cosmetics. 
 
The best soap for dry skin on the face is a mild gentle soap that will not remove too much oil and allow the skins barrier to retain the moisture it requires. 
 
It is best to remove any dry or peeling skin with some gentle exfoliation before using anything on your face. For this we recommend a natural exfoliator such as a natural loofah or loofah scrub pad. For those with extremely dry and sensitive skin a body brush may work better. 
 
Natural soaps tend to be gentler on skin as they are made up from natural fats which contain natural acids. When cleansers are manufactured they use sulphuric acid which is one of the harshest acids on the planet. Hence why most cleanser are sulphates
 
Also manufactured soaps don’t benefit from the glycerin which is naturally produced in the soap making process. This ingredient is the most effective at drawing moisture towards the skin and helping to moisturise it. 
 
In conclusion, the best soap for dry skin on the face is a gentle natural soap. We would recommend our lavender soap for use on the face as lavender is one of the gentlest essential oils and as well as reducing redness with its anti-inflammatory properties. 

What's the best soap for dry skin on feet? 

Dry skin on feet can occur for a number of reasons, here are a few of the reasons that we can get dry feet; athlete’s foot, eczema, psoriasis, environment and pressure. 
 
By pressure we mean that you are standing or putting weight on your feet for a large portion of the day. This can result in the skin cracking, which is common on the heel of your foot. 
 
This cracking occurs because the skin is dry and the pressure put on the foot causes small tears in the skin. A constant cycle of this can lead to a lot of dead skin cells to build up on the feet, especially on the heels. 
 
One of the most common reasons for dry skin on the feet is athletes foot, a disease caused by fungi that naturally live on the skin. If these fungi are provided with a warm, moist, dark place to live then they can multiply and start to cause problems. 
 
Eczema and psoriasis are both medical conditions that can cause dry skin on the feet. One particular type of eczema that can cause small intensely itchy bumps on the feet is called Dyshidrotic eczema. The cause of this eczema is unknown but it is thought to be associated with seasonal allergies. 
 
Psoriasis is possible anywhere on the body. It is thought to be an autoimmune disease where the immune system has a huge reaction to any invaders. This is why soft, unbroken moisturised skin is very important for psoriasis sufferers. 
 
The best soap for dry skin on the feet is a moisturising natural soap because the use of chemical based soaps and shower gels can result in dry skin and potentially cracked heels. 
 
Using a natural soap with moisturising glycerin and emollients will give the feet extra moisture to keep them soft, smooth and supple. Our recommendation for a great soap for dry feet would be our lemongrass soap. 
 
We recommend lemongrass soap because it has some of the best antifungal properties within the essential oils. This can help keep diseases like athletes foot at bay. We also recommend our natural loofah sponge and natural loofah for exfoliating the dead skin from your feet. 

Conclusion 

Dry skin is caused by a number of different things but can be especially bad in winter and times of low humidity throughout the year. 
 
There are some things you can do to control your dry skin, including quitting smoking, always wearing suncream regardless of the weather and using PPE if you have to touch something which may cause your skin to dry out. 
 
Sometimes you have a condition which may make you more prone to dry skin. Using cleansers that are made chemically can worsen this. This is why we recommend using a natural soap. 
 
Natural soaps are great for dry skin because they contain moisturising glycerin which is naturally produced in the soap making process. Our soaps are particularly good for dry skin because we’ve designed them to have nourishing emollient oils which aid moisturising your skin. 
 
Also all of our soaps are superfatted, which means that there are moisturising oils left inside the bar which are not turned into soap. These oils help fill the gaps in your skins protective barrier which prevents moisture loss. 
 
We’ve spoken about three of the key areas of skin which are prone to dryness. All of them get dry for slightly different reasons but natural soap is the best for all of them because of the reasons we’ve outlined above. 
 
We hope this article has helped you to understand why you get dry skin and if you do want to purchase a few of our soap bars to see the results for yourself, we’re going to give you 10% off your first order with code: DRY10 and free delivery on all purchases over £20. 
More great articles to read!!! 
Tagged as: dry skin, eczema
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On 3rd February 2021 at 11:22, Aruntej wrote:
very nice blog thanks for posting.
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