Why does bar soap leave a grippy sensation on the skin compared to liquid soap?

Explore the impact of bar soap alkalinity and the acidity of skin's natural barrier on your skin's grip sensation.

Why does bar soap leave a grippy sensation on the skin compared to liquid soap?
Photo by Olga Guryanova / Unsplash

Do you ever wonder why your skin feels unusually grippy after using bar soap, but not when using liquid soap?

Let's delve into the science behind this common experience.

Alkalinity of Bar Soap

Bar soaps have a more alkaline pH compared to liquid soaps.

This higher alkalinity enables bar soap to more effectively break down the skin's natural oil barriers, leaving a slight residue that causes the grippy sensation.

Despite its cleansing properties, liquid soap is less alkaline, resulting in a less pronounced grippy feeling after use.

Impact on Skin Barrier

The skin's natural oil barrier is mildly acidic and plays a crucial role in retaining moisture.

The alkaline nature of bar soap disrupts this barrier more significantly than liquid soap, leading to a sensation of tightness and reduced moisture retention.

When disrupted, the skin's ability to hold moisture is compromised, resulting in the grippy feeling.

Understanding the Science

The use of bar soap and liquid soap affects the skin differently due to their respective alkalinity levels and their impact on the skin's natural oil barrier.

While both effectively cleanse, bar soap's higher alkalinity renders it more adept at altering the skin's properties, causing the notorious grippy feeling.

Understanding the science behind these everyday experiences sheds light on the impact of cleansing products on our skin's natural balance.