Neutral Soap: What's It For?

25 February, 2021
Neutral soap is a hypoallergenic product that has a pH level that's similar to that of human skin. These properties help all skin types tolerate it very well. Find out more here!

Neutral soap is a good alternative for people who have problems with normal commercially available soaps, or who want to improve the appearance of their skin. It’s a product that offers many benefits and few contraindications.

Neutral soap has a pH level that’s very similar to that of human skin and is therefore recommended for sensitive skin. This type of soap doesn’t contain dyes, perfumes or other components that are usually present in industrial soaps.

It should be noted that neutral soap is suitable for all skin types, but it’s also very beneficial to the scalp and hair in general. In any case, you should take certain precautions because some soaps that the market advertises as neutral are just trying to fool you.

What is neutral soap?

A woman bathing with neutral soap.

Neutral soap has a pH level similar to that of human skin. The pH is a value that indicates a substance’s degree of acidity, and it’s measured with numbers ranging from 0 to 14 degrees. The pH of our skin is 5.5 and neutral soap has the same pH, or a value very close to it.

This type of soap is generally made from natural oils or animal fats. They’re typically white or beige in color. If they have another shade, the manufacturer may have added a different component, either artisanal or industrial.

Soaps of this class are hypoallergenic, which means that they have a very low risk of causing allergies, although it can’t be ruled out. Thanks to the fatty acids, they have moisturizing and also hygroscopic properties, which means that they absorb moisture from the environment and transfer it to the skin.

Keep reading: Types of Skin Rash and Their Causes

What is a neutral soap for?

Neutral soap has multiple uses, but people use it most frequently for daily general cleansing of the face and body. Due to its properties, those with sensitive skin or with dermatological problems frequently use this type of product.

This type of soap is ideal for dry, oily, and combination skin. In the case of dry skin, it provides moisture, especially if it’s made with glycerin. In the case of oily skin, it helps eliminate the oil accumulated in the pores and gets rid of the sebum that is present in pimples and blackheads.

People also frequently use it on irritated skin. However, there are other uncommon uses:

  • It’s ideal for cleaning wounds before healing them.
  • It contributes to the health of the scalp. In general, it leaves hair clean and moisturized.
  • It eliminates the smell of dampness in closets. A piece of this soap in the closet helps to eliminate bad odors.
  • Utensil cleaning. This type of soap, along with a little vinegar, helps to clean grease from kitchen utensils.
  • Lock maintenance. Cleaning locks with this soap keeps them smooth and in good condition.
  • Lubricating doors and windows. Eliminates annoying squeaks from deteriorated hinges.

Discover: Three Natural Soaps You Can Make at Home

When to use it

Neutral soap on a table.

Many people are allergic or sensitive to ordinary soap, but aren’t aware that soap is the issue. The easiest way to check this is to test to see if there’s any irritation after using the product. If so, stop using it for a few days and then use it again. If the irritation appears again there is an allergy to that soap.

Itching or stinging after using soap, even if there aren’t any visible signs of irritation, is also a sign of an allergy. Any burning or soreness after washing with a soap indicates the same allergy. Soap should never cause uncomfortable symptoms when you use it. If this happens, the skin probably isn’t assimilating the product well.

People with skin allergies or overly sensitive skin react to common components in commercial soaps. In particular, triclosan, formaldehyde, parabens and/or sodium lauryl sulfate. When adverse reactions occur, it’s best to start using a neutral soap.

We can’t guarantee that neutral soaps won’t also cause an adverse reaction, especially on overly sensitive skin. Therefore, it’s best to test it first by putting a little soap on the forearm. If there’s no reaction, it’s safe to use.

D’Santiago, I., & de Marcano, M. E. V. (1996). El pH de los jabones. Dermatología Venezolana, 34(3).