If you’re like most guys, you wash your face with the same bar of soap you use on the rest of your body. After all, skin is skin, right? Not so fast.

The truth of the matter is that the skin on your face is a lot more delicate than the rest of your body. Add to that the stress of shaving, plus all the dirt and grime your face encounters throughout the day. You need a cleanser that is gentle yet powerful. So, what does this mean for your daily skin care routine? Read on.

Washing Your Face with Bar Soap?

You may not realize it, but body soaps and face washes are not at all the same thing. In fact, they can be opposites when it comes to how they clean. Soaps contain harsh detergents, while cleansers are usually designed to hydrate while cleaning. The basic problem is that body soaps are designed to scrub away dirt and oils, while face wash is made to scrub away dirt while still maintaining the healthy oils and pH balance of your facial skin.

Basically, soap can dry out your face. This leads to itchiness, flakiness and general discomfort. And as if that’s not bad enough, the problem goes much deeper than just dry, flaky skin.

You’ll also be more prone to breakouts. The lack of natural oils on your face can cause your skin to compensate by producing more oil. If you’ve ever tried to deal with oily skin by washing more often, you’ve likely seen the problem. In addition to making you look greasy, the excess oil can clog pores, leading to unfortunate acne breakouts.

You’ll also experience a less comfortable shave. The natural oils produced by your face help to protect your skin when you shave. A bar of soap designed for your body will likely strip away these all-important oils. Any man who has dry skin can tell you the struggles of trying to get a good, clean shave. If razor burn and irritation plague you regularly, the problem may not be your blade. It may be your washing routine.

Don't Wash Your Face with the Same Bar of Soap

Additionally, body soap messes with your skin’s pH balance. Yes, that matters. A great deal actually. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with a lemon on the low end and typical soap on the high end. Depending on which studies you read, your skin actually should maintain a pH of somewhere between 4 and 5.5. So, a typical bar of soap is way too alkaline to be used on your face. It will disrupt your natural acid mantle, the barrier between your face and the world around you. A disruption in this mantle makes your skin inhospitable to the good bacteria that keep you healthy and leaves you more susceptible to any bad germs you encounter.

Can I Use My Girlfriend’s Skin Care Products?

Alright, so you now know that you need a face soap that’s different from your standard bar soap. If you’re the practical type, it might seem simpler to have one less “product” in the bathroom. So why not just use the same face wash as your girlfriend or wife? While many times products marketed separately to men and women are more about aesthetics of the packaging than they are about the contents, face wash should be gender-specific.

You should not use a female face cleanser. Men have larger pores and thicker skin with more collagen in it than women. Women’s cleansers are designed to lightly clean fragile female facial skin. Men, on the other hand, need something formulated to really clean out those pores without drying the skin out or disrupting the acid mantle. If a facial cleanser “for her” is the only option around, it’s better than using hand or body soap, but it’s not nearly as good for your skin as a proper men’s face wash would be.

What Skin Care Should Men Use?

We recommend our Daily Face Wash. It’s specially formulated for a man’s face, and available in our Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 skin care systems, as well as our new Acne Systems. Not only will it get rid of the dirt and grime, but it also reduces redness and inflammation, balances your natural oils and keeps your face looking its best—day in and day out. You’re going to love the refreshing feel and natural healing properties of this amazing cleanser.

What Skin Care Should Men Use?

Need a little more oomph to your cleaning routine? Check out our Facial Exfoliating Scrub, perfect for getting rid of dead skin cells and leaving your face primed for an amazingly close shave. Not only that, removing the buildup of old dead cells will reveal the younger, healthier skin cells underneath. And with amazing ingredients like vitamin B3 and cucumber extract, this soothing scrub will leave your face looking and feeling great!

Also, if you’re interested in skin care products and want to get started right away, Tiege Hanley provides an uncomplicated skin care system that was formulated and designed specifically for men. Check out our line of skin care products and subscribe to start getting the best skin care products delivered to your door every month.