What are the best soaps for skin when bathing a senior citizen?

4 answers | Last updated: Nov 08, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

What do you recommend for soaps for shower/bathing senior adults, if I use perfumed soaps her bottom get irritated - is the basic Dial soap all right, or Ivory soap?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Skin on older people is very dry and can be easily irritated.  Dial is very strong and perfumed, so it is very drying and can be very irritating to the skin.  Also, I know that Ivory is supposed to be "pure" and not perfumed, but it is a very harsh soap.  It will also really dry out the skin.

I recommend baby wash.  I know that it sounds strange, but it cleanses and it is very gentle.  It will not dry out the skin, so it reduces irritation.  Since I have very sensitive skin, I use it myself, and I can tell you it really works!

If you absolutely must use a bar soap, then try Dove.  It is the most gentle bar soap that you can get.

Community Answers

Rsboivin answered...

Castile or olive oil soap is very gentle and non-drying to the skin and will help with any itchy-ness.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Dove soap is highly recommended for sensitive skin. I've always used Dove and can tell you it is very easy on the skin. Plus I remember yrs ago that Consumer Reports magazine tested soaps and the number one rated bar of soap at that time to get a person clean was Dove. :) So not only is it easy on your skin....not like the other harsh soaps...it has the added fact of really cleaning. Dove has been around for ever...I love it and can't imagine using anything but. Ivory is mentioned....I've tried that too...but in my opinion and many doctors I've seen over the yrs always recommend Dove. Good luck.

Katieg answered...

Castile Soap is milder than all other soaps, making it perfect for cleansing aged and sensitive skin. It's milder because olive oil needs less lye to transform into soap! So the more olive oil you can get in your soap, the milder it will be. Stay away from synthetic fragrances as they can irritate the skin. Dove is mild too, but it's not even soap, it's a syndet bar made from synthetic surfactants (fake soap).