Diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders that contribute to abnormal fluctuation in blood glucose (sugar) levels. Diabetes affects all parts of the body, including your largest organ, the skin. Opinions are everywhere, but what are the best soaps for people with diabetes?
The best soaps for people with diabetes are hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Gentle cleansers for diabetics that contain natural products, and are free of chemicals”
I have done some research, and have spoken with staff at the Twin Ports Dermatology Clinic in Duluth Minnesota. Continue on to see what I have learned.
Read to learn about the best products for people with diabetes, according to a local dermatology clinic, how chemical compounds can increase the risk for diabetes, and some recommendations to consider for the skincare of people with diabetes.
Best Bar Soaps & Body Wash For Diabetics (Gentle Cleansers)
When looking for soaps for people with diabetes, it is best to look for natural products or gentle cleansers. Reading the ingredient label on soaps is recommended before buying any products that you plan on using in your daily routine.
Look for moisturizing gentle cleansers that are both chemical and fragrance-free. Select products that are approved by dermatologists or suggested by your doctor.
I took the time to consult with a dermatologist (Twin Ports Dermatology) and they recommended the top 3 gentle cleansing soaps below.
5 Gentle Cleansing Soaps for diabetes:
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser Bar
- Body and facial cleanser
- Paraben-free (preservative used in cosmetic products)
- Contains 5% moisturizing cream
- Multiple formulas including itchy/eczema, dry skin
- #1 dermatologist recommended brand
- 5 star Amazon Choice out of 4279 global users
- A 3-pack (4.5 oz bars) sells for $13.49 on Amazon
- Colleen from Twin Ports Dermatology reports that CeraVe is a #1 product. I found the same in my research. If you go to their website, they will send you a complimentary sample.
Vanicream Cleansing Bar
- For sensitive skin
- Moisturizing, mild, and gentle
- For face, hands, and body
- Accepted by the National Eczema Association
- Dermatology recommended
- 5 stars out of 1096 global users on Amazon
- Pack of 2 bars (3.9 oz) sells for $10.58 on Amazon
Cetaphil Skin Cleanser
- Defends against dryness, irritation, roughness, and tightness
- Barrier for weakened skin
- #1 doctor recommended sensitive skincare product
- Formulated with a dermatologist
- Contains vitamin B3, vitamin B5, and glycerin
- 4.7 out of 5 stars out of 4385 reviews
- 20 oz pump dispenser sells for $13.71 on Amazon
Dove Sensitive Skin
- pH balanced
- Moisture renew blend
- Made with natural products and gentle cleaners
- PETA certified cruelty-free
- Microbiome gentle
- Dermatologist recommended
- 4.6 out of 5 stars out of 24,263 reviews
- 34 fl oz pump dispenser sells for $9.27 on Amazon
Eucerin Advanced Cleansing
- Dermatologist recommended
- 4.7 out of 5 stars out of 4819 reviews
- 16.9 fl oz sells for $8.69 on Amazon
- I have previously distributed samples of Eucerin to my patients. They provided positive feedback, and I enjoy the product, as well.
What Body Washes do other People with Diabetes Use?
When conducting a small poll on social media, I asked the question, “What Diabetic Soap Do You Like the Most?”
Popular answers included the following:
- Aveeno Oatmeal
- Aveeno Anti-itch
- Dove for Sensitive Skin
Dermatology Tips Skin Care: Diabetic Soap & Body Wash
During my consultation with Twin Ports Dermatology, they shared the following tips for people with diabetes:
- They caution patients about Aveeno products, as some have a cover fragrance.
- If selecting a Dove product, make sure it is fragrance-free.
- Use a “cream” consistency cleanser vs. a “lotion.” Thicker products absorb into the skin better and stay on longer.
- Ivory and Irish Spring are two of the worst soaps for people with diabetes.
Do Chemicals In Soap Affect Diabetes?
The most common causes of type 2 diabetes are obesity, lack of regular activity, high blood pressure, genetics, or aging. Other factors can also affect diabetes, such as chemicals.
There are some chemicals found in soaps, such as phthalates, arsenic, polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and bisphenol A, that can increase the risk of developing diabetes, as well.
Chemicals in soaps where studies have been linked to higher probabilities of developing diabetes but further studies are needed:
Phthalate is a chemical compound that is typically used in plastics to make them more durable. It’s found in oils and some personal care products, to a lesser extent. This chemical affects your hormones and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In children, it also affects the reproductive system and sex hormones. In people over 65. The use of phthalates in soaps, perfumes, and creams doubles the risk of diabetes.
Arsenic is a chemical that, in its inorganic form, is highly toxic. It is used for the preservation of wood and the fabrication of special glass. It is used in the cosmetic area on a smaller scale.
When people are exposed to it, it can affect their immune system. Long-term consumption of arsenic can cause cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin damage, and diabetes.
Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are artificial compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine. The combination is highly toxic and is commonly used in manufacturing electrical products, plastics, paints, and rubbers. Although its use was banned in 1979, today, it is still found in everyday products such as cosmetics, soaps, and food packaging.
PCB is associated with problems with the immune, nervous, and reproductive systems and affects hormones. It is currently used in microscopic amounts, but it can develop health problems in the long term.
Dioxins do not have a common use, but they can be found in pesticides. Some dioxin derivatives can be found in hand soaps, deodorants, dish soap, and other primary consumer products. Due to the high concentration of toxins in dioxins, it can cause cancer and damage the immune system.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical commonly used to make plastics and resins. Also, it is found in acne creams, soaps, and other cosmetics. It’s risks to human health include breast cancer, diabetes, and heart problems.
How Can A Person With Diabetes Take Care Of Their Skin?
There are several factors that can be taken into account for skincare, such as:
- Keep your diabetes well-controlled. When blood glucose levels are high, the skin tends to be dry and does not defend itself well from bacteria.
- Try not to take scalding baths or bathe in a tub, as they can dry out the skin. Use moisturizing soaps and use a moisturizer after bathing. Avoid using moisturizer between your toes, as it can invite fungus due to the extra hydration. Use lukewarm water and bathe for 15 minutes max. Bathe no more than once daily.
- Look for mild skin cleansers. Opt for soaps that are natural and gentle that do not irritate the skin. Look for alcohol-free, fragrance-free, chemical-free items.
- Use moisturizers regularly. These lotions help to strengthen the skin, avoiding wounds and ulcers that may appear and, at the same time, preventing infection by fungi and bacteria. In cold climates, moisturize your skin more often to prevent dryness.
- Avoid scratching yourself. Although dry skin can be very itchy, if you rub excessively, you can cause a wound or open area of skin that can become infected. When the concentration of glucose in the blood is high, the immune system deteriorates and cannot fight bacteria as it should. If one area of your body itches, use a moisturizer to ease the sensation.
- People with diabetes are more prone to developing fungi, so preventing moist areas such as armpits or between the toes is recommended. Dry your body well after bathing and minimize sweating.
- Check your body daily, a common effect of diabetes is the loss of sensitivity in some areas, meaning you will not be able to feel infections or abnormalities in your body. If you see something out of the ordinary, contact your doctor or dermatologist immediately for instructions on how to deal with it.
- If you have a wound, treat it quickly. Wounds can be a conduit for bacteria to enter your body. If it is a superficial wound, clean it with gentle soap and lots of water; if it is a deeper cut, visit your doctor to help you treat it.
- Do not rub your skin with a towel when drying your skin. If you’re not careful, the towel material can cause skin irritations and can make the area red, leading to itchiness. The best way to dry the skin is by patting it with a towel and using a towel that is made of a soft material.
- Drink a lot of water. Staying hydrated is an excellent way to control dry skin. So, aside from moisturizing creams and soaps, make sure that you drink enough fluids.
Some chemicals are reported to increase the risk of diabetes in people. It is good to read the ingredients of your products and consult with your doctor before buying them. Also, diabetes increases dry skin, so take the time to moisturize it with the right products, free of chemicals and alcohol.
Some habits can be included in your daily skincare routine if you have obtained the approval of your doctor or dermatologist. Diabetes boosts skin irritation, which at the same time increases the risk of fungi and bacteria that can affect other areas of our health.
Selecting the right products and taking proper care of your skin will make your life much more comfortable. After all, “Life is easier when you are comfortable in your own skin.” -Amy Dickinson