The Truth About Soap Brows

If you've ever struggled with keeping your brows in place, chances are you've read about or scrolled past the sensation that is soap brows. If not, it's essentially what it sounds like: using a spoolie, some water, and a bar of soap to style your brows in place of gel or another styling product (via Cosmopolitan). Why? Well, Teen Vogue claims it's an Old Hollywood secret, but the scientific reason is the glycerin in the soap coats every strand of your brows and then dries. This keeps even the most stubborn, wiry brows in place all day long, whether you brush them straight up or comb them sleekly into place. However, there's more to this trend than meets the eye.

If all you're seeing of soap brows is the soft, fluffy effect of them on Instagram, you're probably not aware of the downsides. It turns out, regularly applying soap to your brows can lead to some serious negatives (via Allure).

The downsides of soap brows

According to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, you shouldn't just pick up any old bar of soap and brush it through your brows (via Cosmopolitan). Bar soap can cause skin barrier disruption and irritation when used on the face, especially on sensitive skin. This is because of the alkaline pH and other irritants, like fragrance. So, it should come as no surprise that regularly leaving soap on your skin all day long can result in red, flaky, itchy skin right behind your brow hairs, which is never a good look. While you can minimize this irritation by choosing a fragrance-free, Syndet bar of soap that is pH-balanced for use on the face, like Neutrogena's fragrance-free facial cleansing bar, it will still cause irritation with regular use over time. 

Another harsh truth about the soap brow trend is it can actually lead to thinning of your eyebrows. According to Alyssa Anderson, resident makeup artist for Anastasia Beverly Hills, brushing your brows with a soap-coated spoolie, or brushing them up after the soap has started to set, can cause you to easily and unknowingly pull out brow hairs (via Bustle). Finally, cosmetic chemist Ginger King warns against wearing soap brows in high heat climates or during a workout, since sweat can cause the soap to drip down into the eyes and sting them (via Allure).