Face vs. Body Skin: What's the real difference?

January 8, 2016



Have you ever used body soap for your face or facial wash to cleanse your body? I’m definitely guilty of having done this a few times in my life, but how much does it matter? It actually matters quite a bit. The obvious difference between the skin on our face and the skin on our body is thickness and this plays a major role in how we should treat our skin. As most of us know, the skin on our face is much thinner than the skin on our body, making it more delicate, wrinkle-prone and deserving of some TLC. However, neck skin is very thin and often neglected, so it’s important to remember to also include this area in your regular skincare regimen. Last but not least, the thinnest skin is found on and around your eyelids, making eye creams an absolute necessity for keeping your eyes looking youthful and awake.


The delicate nature of facial skin makes it much more prone to irritation, cracking and dryness. That’s why it’s not only important to treat our facial skin with great care, but to carefully research products for the least amount of irritants, abrasive ingredients and harsh chemicals. One thing that you should definitely look for in skincare products for both your face and skin is moisturizing ingredients. Although the skin is an excellent barrier, the skin on our face experiences more water loss than the skin our arm does for instance, showing how important it is to keep our faces hydrated. Hydration is key to keeping skin balanced and healthy. Luckily, our skin contains glands that secrete oil to keep our skin naturally moisturized and waterproof. Besides our scalp, most oil glands are found in facial skin, which can sometimes result in our faces being oilier than skin on other parts of our body. Individuals with oily skin tend to wash their faces more often or use products that are overly drying, which strips the skin of its natural oil and can potentially cause oil glands to overcompensate and produce even more oil. Therefore it’s important to maintain a skincare routine that incorporates both proper cleansing and moisturizing in order to help our skin achieve a balanced state.


Thickness and oiliness of skin are the two major reasons why we use different skincare products for our face and body. In general, skincare products made specifically for the body can be too harsh for our sensitive facial skin and could potentially cause irritation or inflammation. Skincare products for the face should be fine to use on the body. Sometimes using the incorrect product can lead to an immediate reaction or continued use can lead to gradual damage to the skin. In my opinion, I don’t think it’s that harmful to use body soap for washing your face once in a while as long as it doesn’t cause instant irritation. However, I wouldn’t recommend this as a regular habit and highly suggest using products that are specifically made for the face or body. Most importantly, remember that the goal is to have balanced, healthy skin, which requires finding the appropriate cleansers and moisturizers for your skin!

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