General Question

TrenchantWit's avatar

Borax and soap for face cleansing?

Asked by TrenchantWit (290points) October 12th, 2008

Some chick today said that Powdered Borax and Dial Soap is good for Acne. Anyone ever hear about this?

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7 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

A quick google suggests that she’s not the only one to say this. Personally I think it might be a bit harsh but then I have pretty sensitive skin.

Bit woried about one of your topics. Can’t really see the relevance

gailcalled's avatar

@Lightly: That’s trenchant wit, doncha know.?

jvgr's avatar

Perhaps, but as lightly seared said “pretty harsh”
2 typical problems in acne:
sebum production
Dial soap, like any other detergent based cleansers, is a surfactant and will certainly deal with the sebum.
The only reason that borax might work is that it’s creates a pH that is way to high for survival of the bacteria involved.
But your skin prefers a lightly acidic pH (around 5–6), and borax can easily irritate your skin because of it’s high pH, and it’s effect on pH would be temporary as your skin will seek too get to its normal pH level ASAP.
If acne is “normal” level for your age, products with benzoyl peroxide (ProActive brand is one of many) seem to be the most effective for the most people.
If acne is severe, check with your Dr. about “accutane”. It’s an internal medication that is highly effective, but should only be used in a worst case scenario as it does present the possibility of other problems.
If you are a teen-ager, then you know that this too will pass.

gailcalled's avatar

@Trenchant:And who is “some chick?”

I use powdered Borax as a substitute for cleanser or other harsh abrasive. You can substitute salt or baking soda, but I wouldn’t rub my face with either of those.

jvgr's avatar

Borax as used by gailcalled is for mechanical exfoliation and many pH friendly alternatives exist like sugar.Depending on your own skin, mechanical exfoliation may be irritating as well (any chemical or mechanical exfoliation enhancer increases sensitivity).
The theory behind exfoliation is sound and it increases the frequency with which the top most skin cells slough off of the skin.
Leave-on products with labeled percentages of known chemical exfoliators (salicylic acid being a common one) provide a continuous action.
You can even do both.
Bear in mind that enahancing exfoliation means the exposed skin cells are more susceptible to UV damage, so sun screen is important.

gailcalled's avatar

jvgr: Oops. I wasn’t being clear. I would only use Borax or salt as a replacement for Ajax on counter tops, for example. (I have also used Borax as an absorber for runny cat poop on cement floors. I don’t even use soap or a wash cloth on my face these days.

jvgr's avatar

gailcalled: Ok, you found me out. Your remark above caused me to look at your original response and had I made it all the way to the end (I would have seen your full answer)
I think the thought of using borax on the face just…

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