Clean without soap – is that possible? For thousands of years, the answer would probably have been no – until well into the 20th century.


How can you cleanse your skin without soap?

Soap dissolves in both fat and water, making greasy dirt water-soluble and therefore removable. However, soap loses its cleansing effect in an acidic environment.

Sebamed, on the other hand, uses synthetic detergents, or syndets for short, which, unlike soap, do not produce or require lye, but instead develop their cleansing power with a skin-friendly pH value of 5.5.

Speaking of synthetic: Soap is also the product of a synthesis (fat + lye + heat = soap). Like most soaps, modern syndets are made from purely plant-based raw materials.

A clean history

2500 BC.
Potash + oil + heat = soft soap

200 BC.
Soap for skin cleansing

19th century
Industrially produced fine soaps

First soap-free syndets for laundry

Syndets for skin cleansing

Why syndets are not too hard

Hard water containing calcium and magnesium and seawater make soap ineffective because insoluble soap scum is formed.

Syndets, on the other hand, do not react with such minerals, which is why soap-free cleaning works without restrictions even with very hard water.

Customisation possible

The cleansing intensity and aggressiveness of soap can only be regulated through the concentration.

The variety of soap-free skin cleansing ingredients allows precise adaptation to the respective skin and cleansing needs – from delicate baby skin to highly dirt and grease dissolving speciality products.


sebamed is soap-free

Instead of soap, the particularly mild formulas of all sebamed cleansing products contain other cleansing agents that make it possible to adjust the pH to 5.5. This preserves the skin’s natural protective barrier and ideally supports its healthy function. This optimises the compatibility of the products, even for sensitive skin.


Soaps form alkaline solutions with a pH between 8 and 14 during washing, which can severely disrupt or even destroy the skin’s natural protective barrier. For healthy skin, washing once with soap means almost 3 hours until its natural protection is regenerated. Soap poses a real risk of dehydration or irritation if you wash frequently or have sensitive skin.

  • Why does soap damage the skin?

    Soap forms an alkaline solution (pH of 8 – 12) that attacks the skin’s natural acid mantle. Its healthy protective effect is reduced and the risk of dehydration and unpleasant skin reactions or damage is increased.

  • How does the soap-free cleansing bar clean if there is no soap in it?

    With cleansing ingredients that are matched to the pH 5.5 of the skin’s own acid mantle, sebamed skin cleansing products provide thorough cleansing and freshness without drying out or irritating the skin. The mild cleansing bars, wash emulsions and shower products maintain the natural barrier function and stabilise the skin’s healthy microbiome balance.

  • What does pH 5.5 mean?

    pH 5.5 means slightly acidic (like mineral water) and corresponds to the skin’s natural acid mantle. Cleansing and caring for the skin with pH 5.5 supports the barrier function against dehydration, irritants and pollutants. In addition, pH 5.5 stabilises the natural balance of the skin microbiome. Together with highly compatible and effective skin care ingredients, sebamed protects the health of the skin, as proven by over 400 scientific studies.