Yes, you still need to wash your face. No, we haven’t come up with a better way of cleaning your skin. Yes, you can keep reading to learn why it’s really, really important that you wash your face every morning and evening.
But, do I really need to wash my face before bed?
Your skin (especially your face) is literally bombarded by dirt and environmental pollutants every single day. Add to that things like sweat, excess sebum, dead skin cells, and makeup, and you’ve got yourself a face full of…things that need to be washed off on a regular basis.
What happens when you don’t cleanse your skin? It becomes dull, rough, irritated, and prone to blemishes. Depending on your skin type, it may also show symptoms of skin conditions like eczema, acne, or rosacea. Makeup will pile up on your skin, which will make your skin care less effective. You’ll be wasting time and money on skin that simply cannot look or function its best.
Ok, fine. Tell me what to do.
With the why out of the way, let’s get to the how and how often. Washing your face doesn’t really seem like the sort of thing that needs explaining, but there’s actually a bit of an art to it, and it all depends on your skin type.
Believe it or not, different skin types benefit from greater or fewer washes, from gentler or more aggressive formulas, and even from dry vs. wet cleansing applications. Read on to figure out the best cleansing method for your skin so that you can be putting your time, money, and efforts to good use.
How to properly wash your face
Thoroughly, gently, and regularly. Many people falsely believe that washing their face roughly or for a longer period of time will result in ultra clean skin. That’s simply untrue.
If you wipe down a countertop until it’s clean, and then continue scrubbing for longer than you need to, you’re not making anything cleaner—you’re just wasting your own time. 20-30 seconds of gently cleansing your face is all it takes, and doing more may even irritate your skin.
Does hot water work faster?
Heck no, and it’ll strip your skin of its essential protective oils! Use comfortably tepid water—not too hot, not too cold—for your entire cleansing process.
In fact, tepid water is best for all your bathing needs, since the skin on your entire body needs to keep its protective oil layer intact. If you can stand skipping a steamy shower, bathing in tepid water at all times will help your skin stay softer, happier, and healthier.
Cleanse at least once, but ideally twice
If you absolutely hate washing your face, save it for the end of your day. This gets rid of all that buildup we talked about earlier, like dead cells, old or excess sebum, makeup, and those sorts of things.
But, if you can handle it, washing your face in the morning is really helpful, too. While you sleep, oil and bacteria are easily transferred to your pillowcase by your hair, saliva, and even your nasal passages. Your pillowcase then transfers it all to your face, and you wake up without knowing that your face is now host to a bevy of unwanted bacteria.
Morning cleansing is also helpful if you use any nighttime skin care products, since a buildup of surface residue will then get in the way of your morning skin care routine.
What kind of cleanser do I need?
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll need to look for a face wash formula that’s made without too many extras. It will also need gentle cleansing agents—none of that floor cleaner stuff.
For sturdier skin, it’s still important that your daily cleanser doesn’t contain anything potentially irritating, but you should be able to handle things like fragrances if that’s something you prefer.
When it comes to texture, you can mostly let your preferences decide for you, though there are a couple of skin factors which may dictate which sort of cleansing texture you should use. A classic foaming cleanser is still the favorite of most skin types, since the rich, lush texture is both fun and functional to use.
For those who need extra help melting their makeup away, using a gel cleanser on dry skin (and then rinsing it all off) will do wonders for makeup and dirt removal.
It goes without saying that acne-prone skin should use a cleanser designed to battle excess sebum and acne-causing bacteria. These features can be accomplished by either an anti-acne gel or anti-acne foaming formula, so the choice is yours when it comes to clarifying face wash.
Some cleansers also come enriched with extra moisturizers and calming ingredients for dry, sensitive skin, or even pro-microbiome ingredients to reinforce the skin’s protective barrier. For people who want to multitask their cleansing experience, these pumped-up cleansers are a great choice.
For real though—wash your face
Even if you use a different cleanser every day, or you refuse to give up your hot showers, let this be your takeaway: regularly washing your face is the #1 thing you can do for the health and function of your skin.
Make the promise to yourself that you’ll wash your face every night before bed for two weeks, and let the proof be in the pudding. You’ll be so in love with your happier skin that it won’t be hard to continue your new self-care habit. Happy scrubbing!
Head over to our cleansers page now to find the right cleanser for your skin.