Why Does Castile Soap Burn My Face?

Why Does Castile Soap Burn My Face
Although castile soap contains vegetable oils that have hydrating and cleansing properties, it might cause a burning sensation on your face if you are not careful!

The skin on your face is thinner and more delicate than other parts of the body, so you need to pay special attention to it. With proper care and the right products, you too can get a healthy face! You first need to wash your face with a soap or face wash. Although both can wash your face well, many people prefer to use soap for this such as castile soap.

The main difference between castile soap with other regular soaps is that it is eco-friendly. Along with that, soap is effective for different parts of the body such as the face, body, hand, and even clothes for that matter! The soap is vegan, meaning it neither contains any animal fats nor any artificially processed ingredients. Rather it is typically made of several vegetable oils. Despite its natural ingredients, this soap has a chance to burn your face!

So why does castile soap burn my face? You might be wondering about that because it is supposed to be a natural soap made to be friendly for the skin. However, there are many reasons why this might happen. So let’s explore all the possible reasons, from ingredients to how it is used!

Castile Soap: Origin and Ingredients Explained

Castile soap origin and ingredients explained

Castile soap is a natural vegetable-based soap. A versatile as well as environment-friendly soap which is suitable for all skin types ranging from oily to sensitive skin. The origin of this soap is in the Mediterranean region. Then it started to be used in Europe gradually. Its name came from the Castile region of Spain. The most common ingredient of this soap was olive oil. Olive oil and sodium carbonate were mixed to give the structure of a white-colored soap. It was sold within Europe during the 16th century.

Nowadays, castile soap is mixed with other vegetable oils, such as coconut, castor, or hemp oils. It is mixed with avocado, walnut, and almond oils at times. The soap has lathering properties. For the goodness of these oils, the soap contains hydrating and cleansing characteristics. Citric acid, sodium hydroxide, glycerin, and perfume are also present in this soap. You can find the soap in both bar and liquid form. As because the liquid form is easier to use, it is more in demand!

Why Does Castile Soap Burn My Face?

Why does castile soap burn my face

No matter what are the ingredients of the soap, it can give you a burning sensation. This usually happens during the first time use with castile soap. Using it regularly might not pose many problems for most people but still, your skin might not get rid of the burning sensation. The reason behind it must be the presence of any such ingredients in the soap which causes the reaction. Castile soap doesn’t have any preservatives rather it has mostly natural ingredients. But even after that, it can show severe reactions on your face like it can burn your face. The feeling will not exist if you constantly use it for a few weeks.

Regular soaps can’t make enough lather which is necessary for deep cleansing. Sodium hydroxide or lye is mixed with castile soap along with some other vegetable oils to give it the structure of soap and lathering properties. But with that, it gives an increased alkaline strength to the soap up to pH level 13! Because of the presence of sodium hydroxide mainly, castile soap can sometimes burn your face!

Another ingredient that has been used in castile soap is glycerin. Glycerin can be considered one of the superstar ingredients in almost every skincare product! However, in higher concentrations, it might be so good for your skin. It might not burn as much as sodium hydroxide, but you will still have a burning sensation because of it.

Even if castile soap does not feel like it burns your face Now, there are varieties of castile soap that have other ingredients added to them. Some specific brands have essential oils in them, among which peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary are the most common. These are introduced in small amounts but this might not apply to sensitive skin or sensitivity where the burning sensation is more prominent. Instead of a burn, you might feel a tingling sensation from castile soap. It might be because it is your first time using the soap but if the tingling does not stop soon, then it is a sign that it might burn your face.

So, the ingredients, such as sodium hydroxide, glycerin, and essential oils in the castile soap make the soap have a high alkaline pH level, which is the reason why it causes your face to burn.

Dos and Don’ts of Using Castile Soap

There are some things that you should do while using castile soap. Again there are some things you shouldn’t do while you use castile soap. All these need to be followed to get better results or reduce the negative effects like burning your face.

Dos and donts of using castile soap


  • Decrease the amount of soap: Use a few drops of soap while rubbing a castile soap on your face. With a large amount, you might increase the intensity of the burning sensation on your skin, causing it to be more irritated and more inflamed.
  • Dilute the soap: Castile soaps are highly concentrated, which might be the reason why it burns on your face. That is what you can do to prevent that is add a few drops of soap in water to help dilute it. That way, you can get the benefits of the castile soap without it hurting or burning your face.
  • Decrease the amount of lather: You can decrease the amount of lather you make by rubbing it less to form less lather. This can potentially help to decrease the rubbing that you do on your face which might reduce the burning sensation.
  • Introduce a thickening agent: Add cornstarch to your castile soap. The consistency of castile soap is very water and might feel slimy on the skin. That is why with a bit of cornstarch you get a soap that is thicker and easier to use on your skin.
  • Follow up with a dermatologist: Sometimes nothing can work for you and the burning sensation continues. It is best then to go see a dermatologist to help you understand where the actual problem lies since everyone’s skin is quite different from each other.
  • Discontinue using the soap: The best thing that you can do with castile soap if it feels like it is burning your face is to completely stop its use. A bit of tingling sensation is fine as that is normal with castile soap because of its high concentration. However, when it turns into a burning sensation, stop immediately!
  • Change the soap: If the burning sensation does not stop, stop the use of the castile soap immediately! Instead, use a soap that is slightly acidic to match your skin’s pH level and help balance out the alkaline nature of castile soap.


  • Adding acid: Don’t add castile soap to any acidic substances like lemon or vinegar. This will cause the castile soap to curdle up and neutralize the soap, which gets rid of the soap properties from will become more or less like water.
  • Preserving for too long: Much like other soaps, castile soaps have a shelf life of about 2 to 3 years. After that, it will go rancid. That is why you should not preserve castile soap for too long as it will slowly lose all of its cleaning properties.
  • Avoid any other stronger soap: The problem with castile soaps is that it’s very alkaline in nature. If you were to use it with another soap that has salicylic.
  • Using with hard water: Using castile soap with hard water might cause it to leave residue on your skin. If you have hard water, try not to use castile soap with it.
  • Color-treated hair: As castile soap can be used on hair, it can still get on your face. But you should avoid using them on color-treated hair as it will strip your hair of all the colors you might have on it.

Alternatives to Castile Soap That Don’t Burn Your Face

If castile soap is burning your face, then you don’t have to worry! There are many alternatives to castile soap that are as good at cleaning and less damaging to your face! So here are some of the alternatives that you can use instead of castile soap.

Alternatives to castile soap that dont burn your face

1. Coconut Soap

Coconut soap is an excellent alternative to castile soap. Unlike castile soap, coconut soap is alkaline with a pH that ranges from 9 to 10, considerably less than that of castile soap. As a result, it becomes an alternative that doesn’t burn your face. It has an antibacterial effect, is enriched with antioxidants, and has a great hydration effect. Not to mention that coconut soap has exfoliating properties to it as well, meaning that you can get clearer skin! The only problem that you might face with coconut soap is that it is comedogenic, so use it sparingly.

2. Goat’s Milk Soap

Goat’s milk soap is another alternative to castile soap that doesn’t burn your face. It has a pH level of around 6.4 which is around the same pH level as your skin! As a result, your skin can easily tolerate the soap. It can help treat acne, minimize and soothe skin irritation, reduce the signs of aging, and relieves dry skin. However, if you are allergic to goat milk or milk in general then you should avoid using it.

3. Marseille Soap

Marseille soap is also a good alternative to castile soap which is a combination of oil, sea salt, and ash. It is a natural antiseptic which makes it suitable for all skin types. Its hydrating properties make it perfect to use for sensitive skin. Dermatologists recommended this soap for acne-prone skin because of its ability to soothe acne without clogging the pores on your face.

4. Aleppo Soap

The soap is a good alternative to castile soap having no preservatives, artificial colors, or perfumes. It is a mixture of olive oils and laurel oils, much different from the vegetable oils that make up castile soap. Its organic formula is pH neutral which makes this a delicate soap that can be used on even sensitive skin without much worry! It has antioxidant, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. If you have sensitive skin, and your face is damaged by burns, this is an excellent and effective product for you.

✨ You May like: How Long After Microneedling Can I Get Botox?

Additional Ways to Use Castile Soap

Castile soap is very versatile and can be used in many different ways. So here are some additional ways that you use castile soap around the house.

  • Detergent: Adding baking soda with castile soap can make it a very good detergent. With both of its cleaning properties, you can get rid of even the toughest of stains!
  • Floor cleaner: Mix castile soap with water to also clean your floors.
  • Makeup remover: Castile soaps are great at removing almost anything. So mix a bit of castile soap, coconut oil, and witch hazel to make your DIY makeup remover.
  • Cleaning makeup brushes: Because of their great cleaning abilities, you can use castile soap with warm water to help clean your makeup applicators and brushes.
  • Body wash: The skin on your face is thinner than your body which is why you might feel a burn. But instead, you can use it as a body wash to help clean your body! Try mixing castile soap with water and other ingredients such as honey and other essential oil to make your own body wash.
  • Shampoo: A bit of castile soap and a lot of water and you can use castile soap as a shampoo! Just make sure that you dilute it properly so that you don’t irritate your scalp and don’t damage your hair cuticles.


1. What oil is best for Castile soap?

Olive oil is the best for castile soap. Its mild nature and anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe the burns on your face.

2. Which castile soap is best for face?

Baby Unscented Pure-Castile Soap is best for acne. If you have sensitive skin, you can use it. It does not contain any extra essential oils because essential oils may increase irritation levels if you already have inflammation on your skin.

3. Is Castile soap comedogenic?

No, castile soap is non-comedogenic. However, if you don’t use it properly it can create suds which can potentially clog your pores.

4. Is castile soap good for dry skin?

Yes, it is! Castile soap is a must-try product for you if you have dry skin. It is because the soap doesn’t have any harmful chemicals like many other commercial soaps like sulfates, parabens, or synthetic fragrances. Rather it contains plant-based ingredients. It is also free from sulfates, parabens, or unnatural fragrances.

5. Is Castile soap good for acne?

Yes. For many years, soap is being used to treat acne. You cannot get the benefits overnight, but it helps to minimize skin conditions like redness, and irritation. It will protect your skin from future breakouts.

Final Thoughts

The burning sensation caused by castile soap on your face is mainly due to the ingredients and the high concentration that it comes with. That is why it is important to follow the dos and don’ts I have mentioned so that you can use castile soap so that it does not burn your face. Similarly, there are other natural alternatives to castile soap that won’t give burn but you should be careful of these alternatives as they come with their own quirks. And if you bought a lot of castile soap but don’t want to use it on your face, don’t worry! Castile soap is very versatile and you can use it as an effective DIY cleaner around the house and even for other parts of your body!

Key Points

  • Castile soap is a natural vegetable-based versatile soap that is suitable for all skin types ranging from oily to sensitive skin.
  • Castile soap doesn’t have any preservatives and it has mostly natural ingredients. But the concentration is high enough to cause a burning sensation.
  • The ingredients, such as sodium hydroxide and glycerin are the reason why your face might burn from castile soap.
  • Alternatives like coconut soap, goat’s milk soap, Marseille soap, and Aleppo soap can be used instead of castile soap to get rid of face burn.

✨ Next Attraction: Does Baby Oil Help You Tan?

Does Baby Oil Help You Tan

Does Baby Oil Help You Tan?

There are a lot of people that use baby oil to tan. But how much does it help you tan? Let’s find out its effectiveness and if baby oil is good for tanning or not!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like