Why You Should Think Twice Before Washing Your Face With Body Wash

When you are taking a shower, you may be tempted to use your body wash on your face while you are at it. Perhaps it smells great, feels amazing on your skin, and cleanses your skin so well that you want to use it on your face, too. Even more, it can feel like the most convenient way to tackle all your cleansing in one go (via Jergens). Plus, it might even make you feel like you are saving money by avoiding a face cleanser altogether. But is it really the best option for your skin?


When you are trying to decide whether or not to use your body wash on your face, you have to consider several factors about the cleanser. Think about the kind of effect its texture, ingredients, and purpose can impact the skin on your face (via The Blushing Bliss). Consider how a body wash is different from a facial cleanser and why one may be the better option than the other for your face

Can you use body wash on your face?

If you are considering using your body wash on your face, you might want to take a step back and think about it for a moment. Your body wash was created with ingredients that are meant for your body rather than for your face. Common ingredients such as surfactants or anti-bacterial elements in the body wash can be quite irritating for the skin on your face, which is also thinner and more sensitive. "Some body washes are designed to eliminate stubborn dirt, debris, and excess oil, and as a result can be too harsh for the face and lead to redness, dryness, and irritation," board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Marisa Garshick, M.D. tells Byrdie.


Body wash simply has a different purpose for the body than it does for the face. Harsh chemicals, ingredients, and fragrances are a big part of body washes that may not mix well with the skin on your face. "The skin on your face is thinner than the rest of your body, and it is more sensitive, so it needs to be treated with a gentle cleanser," dermatologist Ally Wheeler tells Aglow Lifestyle. In fact, many dermatologists wouldn't recommend using body wash on your face because it can have some negative effects. Instead, you need to find something that is specially formulated for your facial skin.

The effects on your facial skin

If you have no other choice but to use a body wash on your face, using it is better than not washing your face at all. However, it should not be a part of your regular routine because it can have damaging effects on your skin. The skin on your face is more delicate and prone to these irritating effects from a body wash. "Using body wash to cleanse the face can cause irritation, raise the skin's pH levels, and disrupt its natural sebum (oil) production, leading to unwanted side effects including dryness, redness, sensitivity, and acne breakouts," board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D. tells Byrdie. Your skin's texture, moisture, and more can be affected by using a cleanser that is not meant for this skin.


Instead, opt for a facial cleanser with special formulas for this more sensitive area of your body. Depending on your facial skin needs, you can find cleansers that might even help improve the condition of your skin. Cleansers that are meant for the face can better target clogged pores, makeup removal, different skin types, aged skin, acne, and more (via Leaf). To do so, these cleansers are often made with special formulas for them to be more gentle on your facial skin than a body wash would be. Ultimately, leave the body wash for your body and a facial cleanser for your face to keep your skin happy.