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You’ve probably been led to believe that washing your face at least twice a day is the best thing you can do. Especially if you have oily, acne prone skin. However, that’s not always the case! Is it better to wash your face once or twice a day? Let’s find out how often should you wash your face based on your skin type.
Washing your face twice a day isn’t as good for your skin as you might think. What if I told you that washing your face too much could be causing some of your skin issues?
Keep in mind that skincare is so personal and that how often you should wash your face is completely dependent upon your skin type, skin issues and the rest of your skincare routine.
Why You Still Need To Wash Your Face
Don’t get me wrong, washing your face is still very important and you should be washing it. The issue is not with actually cleansing your skin, it’s just how often you do it.
When you cleanse your skin, you are removing oil, dirt, bacteria and dead skin cells that have accumulated throughout the day. If you aren’t cleansing your skin, then these things will sit on your skin and lead to breakouts and oily skin.
Even if you don’t wear makeup, you still need to wash your face. Aim for only washing your face once a day. If you feel like you need to wash it more, try a splash of water or a toner instead.
How To Tell If You’re Over Washing Your Face
There are some tell tale signs that you’re over washing your skin. If you experience any of these signs, it would be a good idea to cut back.
If your skin feels tight or dry, especially after washing
Your skin should not feel tight or dry. It should feel balanced and hydrated. If your skin feels tight and dry after washing, you’re either over washing it or your cleanser is too harsh, or both.
If your skin feels extra sensitive
Some people do have sensitive skin, but if your skin burns or gets angry when you apply product on it, it could be a sign you are stripping your skin.
If your skin is irritated and red
After you wash your face, if your skin has red patches or is red all over, this is a big sign of over washing your skin.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face
How often you should wash your face depends on you and your skin. Personally, I think everyone can benefit from only washing your face once a day. However, I know everyone’s skin is different.
Typically, I would recommend that you wash your face twice a day only if you have extremely oily skin. Even then I would suggest you at least try out washing it once a day.
But, absolutely, never ever wash it more than twice a day. That’s a sure way to cause some serious skin irritation.
If you only wash your face once a day, only wash it at night. This way you are getting all the dirt, oil and bacteria off your skin that have accumulated throughout the day.
Plus, your skincare products will be able to absorb better.
When you wakeup in the morning, simply splash your face with some water and gently pat it dry. You’ve been asleep all night so you really shouldn’t have anything you need to remove.
What Over-washing Can Do To Your Skin
There are many reasons why you should only wash your face once a day. Over washing can cause some serious skin issues and skin damage. Especially, if you are not using a gentle cleanser. Why should you not wash your face in the morning? Keep reading to find out what washing your face too much can do to your skin.
Many people think the key to getting clear skin is to wash it a lot and use lots of irritating acne products. But that can actually cause more harm than good. If you’ve ever wondered “why do I still get pimples even though I wash my face?” then it’s probably because you are over-washing or your routine is not ideal.
The moisture barrier of your skin is responsible for keeping moisture locked in. Plus other things like electrolytes. A big part of the moisture barrier are the lipids and oils that you skin produces.
The oils naturally lubricate your skin to protect it from debris and bacteria, moisturize your skin and lock in hydration.
When you remove these oils, like when you wash your face, you are making you skin susceptible to bacteria and water loss. When you wash off those protective oils, the moisture from your skin quickly leaves. Leading to dry, dehydrated skin.
This is especially true if you use a cleanser with sulfates and wash too often.
Try switching to a sulfate free face wash and only wash at night. This way, you’re removing less of those protective oils and giving your skin a chance to rehydrate.
Each time you wash your face, you are disrupting your skin pH. Now, hear me out, I’m not going to tell all science-y on you. It’s actually really simple.
You see, your skin as characteristics that keep it happy and healthy. The pH of your skin being one of those.
The pH of your skin is an important defense mechanism! When your skin is at the right pH, it can defend itself from viruses and bacteria. Plus, it will also allow it to retain moisture better.
The pH of your skin is slightly acidic at around 4-5.
The pH of water is 7 and if you have hard water, it’s even higher. This means it’s alkaline. Many face washes are not at the right pH for your skin. Some can even be at a pH of 10 or higher!
Each time you wash your face, you are raising the pH of your skin. This leaves it susceptible to bacteria and moisture loss.
Now, you skin will return back to its normal pH within a few hours. But if you wash your face too often, then it will never really have a chance to return back to it’s normal pH.
Another characteristic of your skin that helps keep it happy and healthy is its microbiome. Yes, you have lots and lots of bacteria that are naturally found on your skin. Yes, this bacteria is a good thing!
Even the bacteria that causes acne (Propionibacterium acnes) is naturally very abundant on your skin! Typically, this bacteria won’t cause any problems with your skin unless your microbiome is messed with.
Much like the microbiome found in your gut, your skins microbiome is a delicate balance. All the bacteria on your skin coexist very happily. Until that balance is disrupted.
Over washing your face can disrupt the balance of your microbiome, which leads to an increase in the number of bad bacteria (like p. acnes) that start to cause issues.
Scientists are still researching our skin and its microbiome, but it is known that over washing causes skin damage which can lead to an overgrowth of bad bacteria.
When your skin is irritated, it might not always show the most obvious signs. Just because your face isn’t red and itchy doesn’t it’s not irritated. Dull, dry, flaky skin and acne can also be signs of irritated skin.
You should always keep an eye out for signs of irritation. Particularly if you use a harsh cleanser. Avoid sulfates and most acne cleansers with ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, etc. that can be even more drying and irritating.
Yes, washing your face too much can cause acne too! When you over wash your skin, you are stripping your skin of its natural, protective oils. This will leave it susceptible to bad bacteria (remember the Propionibacterium acnes we talked about earlier?), and cause your skin to over produce oil.
Too much oil production combined with Propionibacterium acnes, is the perfect combination for acne!
As mentioned earlier, stick with a basic, gentle cleanser and cut back on how often you wash your face.
Why Is It Important To Wash Your Face In The Morning
Although it’s not as important to wash your face in the morning, if you choose to skip your cleanser in the morning, you should still at least splash your face with water or use a toner or micellar water.
While you sleep your skin may still produce oils that should be removed, plus any dirt or sweat. A simple splash with water is sufficient, but if your skin doesn’t feel clean, it’s perfectly fine to use a toner or micellar water in the morning. There shouldn’t be too much on your skin that you need to wash off. After all, you’ve been asleep all night!
Face Washing FAQ’s
Here are some commonly asked questions about how often you should wash your face. If you’ve got questions about how often you should be washing your face, check this section out. If you don’t seen your question, comment down below and I’d be happy to help answer your questions!
Can You Wash Your Face Too Much?
Absolutely! Over-washing your face is actually really easy to do and many people don’t even realize they’re doing it. You should never wash your face more than twice a day, unless you absolutely have to.
Can I Just Wash My Face With Water?
Washing you face with water is perfectly fine in the morning. However, I would not recommend doing it at night because your face will accumulate more dirt, oil and bacteria throughout the day than it will at night, so you need to be sure to do a proper cleanse at night.
Is It Bad To Wash Your Face Everyday?
Absolutely not! You should definitely be washing your face everyday. The issue is how many times you wash your face each day.
What Time Should I Wash My Face At Night?
What time you wash your face is really just a personal preference! I personally like to wash my face pretty soon after I get home each day, but there is no harm in washing your face right before you go to bed either.
How Long Should You Wash Your Face?
The general rule is you should be washing your face for at least 20-30 seconds. Try to not go too much over that because that can also cause issues.
How Often Should I Wash My Face If I Have Oily Skin?
How often you should wash oily skin depends on just how oily your skin is and personal preference. I saw a huge difference in my oily skin when I stopped washing my face in the morning. I would highly suggest you try it out for a few weeks to see how your skin responds. But if your skin is super oily, you can definitely still wash your face twice a day. Just be sure to use a gentle cleanser.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face If You Have Acne?
Like above, this will depend on your skin and what you prefer. Again, my acne improved when I stopped washing my face twice a day. However, not all skin types will prefer this. Sometimes you skin needs to be washed twice a day, but for most people washing only once a day is completely fine. Try it out and see how your skin responds.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face If You Have Dry Skin?
Dehydrated, dry, sensitive and normal skin types can benefit from only washing your face at night. If you have dry skin I highly recommend only washing your face once a day.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face? Wrap Up
See how damaging washing your face can be? It’s important to be mindful of how many times you are washing your face each day and try not to over do it.
To many, washing your face only once a day can be a weird concept to grasp. After all, we’ve been told we should wash our face twice a day our whole lives!
One of the best things you can do for your skin is actually wash it less. Who knew?
If you’ve tried washing your face less and it just doesn’t work for you, that’s fine! Like I said everyone’s skin is different. Some people may really need to wash their face twice a day. However, many people don’t! Simply try it out and see if it works for you.
If you’re still wary of only washing your face once a day, then try using a toner on a cotton pad instead.
How many times a day do you wash your face? Let me know down below in the comments!