The phrase “why don’t you just wash your face?” is the bane of every acne haver’s existence. If only it were that simple, honestly. Washing your face is often acclaimed to be the end all, be all solution to every skin issues but, in reality, it only plays a small role in keeping your skin healthy and blemish free.
Additionally, over washing may actually harm your face and cause even more breakouts. Through this, you may begin to wonder exactly how often should you wash your face.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face?
The answer to this query is not a simple one. Everyone’s face is different and your unique biochemistry dictates how often your skin needs to be cleansed and how much cleaning it can tolerate. Additionally, tons of external factors impact your facial routine as well, such as the climate and humidity levels of where you live and the amount of pollutants that are in your local air.
Even your career of choice and sleep levels impact your skin’s health. Truly, every face is unique and what works for one person may very well not work for you at all.
That being said, health professionals generally have a few points that they recommend you follow. If you choose to workout, always wash your face immediately after. Gyms are not the most sterile of environments and can introduce you to a lot of bacteria.
Between touching equipment, bumping into sweaty people, and working out, your body is pretty much a breeding ground for a host of germ invaders. Showering or at the least cleansing your face with a toner or facial wash is always recommended as soon as you can make it happen.
Try throwing some facial towelettes into your gym bag or car for those after workout touch ups.
How Many Times Should I Wash My Face for Oily Skin?
For oily skin, the general rule of thumb is two cleanses per day. To follow this dermatologist recommended plan, first start your day by washing your face right after you wake up. At the end of the day, cleanse your face again to remove any debris.
This may sound like overkill but think about it; when you sleep your skin sheds as your body rejuvenates itself. This means a lot of dead skin will be sitting on your body when you wake up, alongside sweat and bacteria.
Cleansing twice a day gives you a clean canvas to start everything off and allows you to go to bed squeaky clean as well, which is good for those who produce an overabundance of oil and can help regulate the production levels over time. Even for oily skin, try using a gentle cleanser to prevent over drying.
How Many Times Should I Wash My Face for Dry Skin?
When your skin is overly dry, it becomes more prone to micro tears which allow bacteria to enter your pores, causing acne.
For dry skin types, cleansing once a day is usually enough. Over cleansing dry skin can cause a host of problems, ranging from mild irritation to acne outbreaks due to the delicate, protective lipid layer on your skin’s surface being stripped away.
Many dermatologists urge people with dry skin to wash their face at night so they go to bed with clean skin but if you prefer to wash in the morning you are usually fine. Just try to stick to one set time to prevent any crossover that could over dry your skin and damage your face’s pH balance.
Let’s play the devil’s advocate a bit and discuss the pros and cons of not washing your face at all. The decision to avoid commercial facial cleansers has become quite popular recently with the rise of so called “naturalistas” on social media.
This movement urges women and men alike to ditch the scrubs, creams, and gels and let their skin regulate itself as nature intended it to. Though the thought of dumping your beloved products may cause a bit of pearl clutching, there is a bit of traction to this practice.
Washing Face with Water Only
For one, it is actually believed that your skin retains more moisture when cleansed with just water. You see, rinsing with just warm water removes excess oil without taking anything extra, leaving your skin balance.
When everything is at a skin care equilibrium, your face can self regulate and take in however much moisture it needs. This leaves your face looking healthy and hydrated without the addition of any extra products or processes.
Not using products can also prevent a host of user error related issues. Over-cleansing and over-exfoliating are both rather common issues that are experienced by many people who use commercial skin products. As we have discussed, over-cleansing can cause your skin’s oil layer to malfunction, allowing bacteria to creep into your pores and cause inflammation.
Likewise, over-exfoliating can cause microtears in your skin, allowing the exact same thing to happen. Unfortunately, these two problems tend to go hand in hand and when both are occuring in tandem, a breakout is almost guaranteed. If you are not using products, you cannot over do it.
How to Wash Your Face? Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, you should always do what you think is best for your skin. There is no right or wrong answer here and if you find double cleansing your dry face works best, then do it. A dermatologist’s advice should hold weight but you know what environmental, genetic, and generalized factors impact your skin better than anyone so judge for yourself what your skin needs.
A rule of thumb is simply a suggestion that makes a good starting place; if there is one thing that all skin care lovers can agree on, it is that experimentation is key in finding your perfect beauty routine. Good luck!