How Does Moisturizing Soap Work?

Article Details
  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 12 March 2020
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Moisturizing soap is a preferred type of cleanser for individuals with particularly dry skin. Regular soap can have the tendency to strip the skin of its natural oils, especially during seasons when the humidity is low. Moisturizing soap still cleanses in the same way that traditional versions do, but there are added ingredients that help to replenish moisture to the skin during use. Other moisturizing products should be used if the skin is very dry, and users might consider avoiding certain versions if they are sensitive to fragrances.

The purpose of soap is to cleanse the skin from dirt, bacteria, and oil. Washing the hands on a frequent basis, and the entire body daily is essential to keeping clean and warding off germs. At the same time, regular soap can have the tendency to strip too many oils from the skin, which can leave dry skin irritated, and it can even make oily skin break out.

Moisturizing soaps work by cleansing the skin the same way that regular soaps do, but they also replenish oils at the same time. There are several different versions of these types of soaps, and they are widely available online and in drugstores. One of the most common ingredients in moisturizing soap is aloe, although other types might contain coconut, green tea, and shea butter to help to replenish moisture in the skin. Some antibacterial soaps contain moisturizing ingredients, but they are generally harsher on the skin.


Although moisturizing soaps can help to prevent dry skin, users will likely have to wear other replenishing products so that they do not experience excessive dryness. Lotions are essential, especially during winter months when the humidity is low. Moisturizing lotions and creams can work with cleansers by acting as a barrier after the former is used. When looking for a moisturizer, it is important that the correct version is chosen based on an individual’s skin type. Creamy moisturizers work well for dry skin, while light, noncomedogenic versions will help to prevent oily skin from breaking out.

Sensitive skin can reap the benefits of moisturizing soap because many traditional versions have irritating chemicals and scents. Consumers should still look at all product labels carefully, as certain versions of soaps contain moisturizing ingredients as well as potentially irritating scents. In such cases, the best types might be those that contain the least possible ingredients. If moisturizing soaps cause dermatitis, or rashes on the skin, a dermatologist can recommend a special type to use at home.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

@serenesurface-- Have you tried milk soap? Milk soap is great for dry skin. Goat's milk soap has been used by Europeans for many decades. You can also look for other ingredients like oatmeal. Oatmeal is also moisturizing and it helps soothe irritated, itchy skin. That's why doctors recommend oatmeal baths for people with itchy, dry winter skin.

Post 2

@serenesurface-- The filmy residue is a side effect of glycerin based soaps. There are different kinds of glycerin. One is a by-product of petroleum, another is plant based glycerin. More then likely, you bought a soap with the former. In a way, the residue may help by preventing moisture from escaping. But if your skin is already very dry, then this is not going to make a huge difference.

I recommend using bath soap that has natural moisturizing ingredients. Ideally, it should have a base of ingredients like shea butter, olive oil or coconut oil. If you must get a glycerin based one, make sure that the glycerin is plant based. Most commercial soaps do not have these qualities, so if you can afford to pay a little extra, get natural soap from organic markets.

I personally use an all natural soap with olive oil for my dry skin. It's very moisturizing and it doesn't leave a filmy residue.

Post 1

I never used to experience skin dryness in the past. But in the last couple of years, especially in winter, my skin has been very dry and itchy. So the other day, I picked up a moisturizing shower soap instead of my usual deodorant soap. There is an improvement in how my skin feels. It's less itchy but I've also noticed that the soap leaves residue on my skin.

Is this normal? Are moisturizing soaps supposed to leave a filmy residue like this?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?