Cleansing Agent

No known benefits

Soap description

True “soaps” are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and are not required to list their ingredients on the label. They are made up solely of fats and alkali. Many bar cleansers are not soaps, but contain synthetic detergent cleansing agents and various thickening agents that keep the bar in its bar form. Most soaps are considered very drying due to their alkaline base (i.e., a pH over 8). Bar cleansers can be gentler than bar soaps, but are more often than not still drying, depending on their composition.

Soap references

  • Cutis, December 2001, pages 12-19
  • Archives of Dermatologic Research, June 2001, pages 308-318
  • Dermatologic Clinics, October 2000, pages 561-575

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.