Washing your face is a duck-soup, you’d think. It seems easy enough: splash on some water, enough to wet your face, smear some face wash and rub it in, then lastly splash with water again.
But this is not the case. According to a survey done by Cerave (ok, ok, skin care brand!) in 2017 revealed that 80% of Americans make one or more mistakes. Maybe one of the most contended questions is how often should you wash your face. Ask 10 different people and you’ll get 10 different answers based on their skin type, personal experience, and level of laziness. In very broad strokes, the answers can roughly be divided into 2 camps: People that wash once a day, and those that wash in the morning and at night. So, if you’re wondering if
- You should better wash your in the morning and evening
- Or if this is already considered overwashing
- What TH to use
- How TF to wash
Keep on reading and see how to make your cleansing routine more effective. There are plenty of benefits when you’re washing right. For one, if you remove makeup and grime, this can help prevent spots. Then, if you clear your skin of pollution buildup, it can reduce free radical damage caused by particles in the air.
Now, how often should you wash?
The important word here is “wash”. Wash means that you’re using a cleanser, a detergent, or a soap to get rid of any oils, dirt, grime, and other contaminants. Compared to rinsing, where you only use water to flush “the stuff” away.
Now how often you should wash depends on your skin type, if you wear make, and if you exercise or sweat.
- Dry or sensitive skin – wash at night
- Oily or acne-prone skin – wash morning and at night
- If you wear makeup – wash at night and when needed
- If you exercise or sweat – wash at night and when needed
This means that for most people if you washed at night, you don’t need to wash your face again in the morning and just rinse your face with water.
That being said if you sweat while you sleep you may want to wash also in the morning. So, the only people who need to also cleanse in the morning are oily, acne-prone skin types. Well, how do you know you need to? Check your skin right after waking up: If you find you wake up with a sheen through your T-zone, particularly down the nose and chin, that’s when a morning wash is called for.
A third wash is in order when you just come from sports or anything where you sweat a lot, or if you’re wearing makeup before you go to your gym.
But too much of a good thing is also not good and your skin will let you know it with spots, dryness, or irritation. If you’re overzealous with face-washing, it may give you a squeaky clean feeling. But that’s a bad sign. It means that you’ve damaged your skin barrier. That’s the outermost layer of fats and skin cells that protects your skin against the environment.
How to choose the right cleanser for your skin
First of all, what is a cleanser? It’s a detergent specially made for the skin on your face. When you’re looking for a cleanser, choose one that’s right for your skin type.
Using the right cleanser removes your makeup and any dirt and oil from your skin. Using the wrong cleanser can mess with your skin barrier.
- Dry or sensitive skin – choose a hydrating, nonfoaming cleanser
- Oily or acne-prone skin – go with a salicylic acid based or a foaming cleanser
- If you wear makeup – double cleanse, use an oil based cleanser in the first step and follow up with a water-based cleanser
In general, a gentle cleanser, be it foam, cream, oil, or milk work best for most skin type. If you’re really in a pinch, you may want to use face wipes. But they don’t make up for washing your skin with water and a cleanser. For one, even if they do remove bacteria, dirt, and oil, they leave a trail of residue behind. And you don’t what that as it can lead to spots. Good face washing involves a water-based rinse to fully clean. Secondly, they aren’t really environmentally friendly, making excess trash. Lastly, they often contain preservatives that can be irritating.
Micellar water is all the rage these days. It’s marketed as if it’s magic. But you should still be washing your face with water and a cleanser. But it has its place: You may want to use it as an oil-free alternative to your first step when double cleansing to remove light makeup.
What is the best way to wash
Simply put: Quickly, gently, yet thoroughly.
The steps are: Wet your face with cool to lukewarm water. Use your fingertips to apply your cleanser in a circular motion. Try to aim for 20-30 seconds and don’t forget the jawline. Rinse and carefully pat your skin dry.
It’s not the amount of time the cleanser is on your face or how rigorously you rub that makes the washing process effective. Also, use cool to lukewarm water for wetting your face or rinsing off the cleanser. Hot water can cause blood vessels to dilate and break delicate tissue. It also strips the natural oils and fats in your skin. This may lead to your skin drying out faster and becoming more itchy and flaky over time.
Benefits for skipping your morning wash
Only wash your face as often as you really have to. But this doesn’t mean you can skip the morning face rinse: Splash your face with water to rinse off any residue from the night. This will also prep your face for your morning routine. It will make your hyaluronic acid and your moisturiser more effective. Applying a moisturiser on damp skin will lock in the dampness and keep you hydrated.
- Save time – it can give you another 15 minutes to snooze
- Protect your skin barrier – your skin builds up its skin barrier overnight, so why do you want to strip that off?
- You can prevent a whole host of skin concerns, such as sensitivity or dryness
What signs do you see when you over-or under wash? If you’re not cleaning properly, especially at night time, you may see residue left on your bedding. You can also see more clogged pores that give rise to more spots. You may also see that the skin care products you apply may not be as effective as described.
Overwashing shows itself in tight, irritated, sensitive, or dry skin. You may even see oiliness since your skin goes into overdrive to compensate for the lost natural oils. And this again can lead to clogged pores with all its unwanted companions (zits and so on).
Try to always wash your face at night time, but listen to your skin. If you see your skin is shiny after you wake, that’s a sign to also wash in the morning.