HomeBeautyDermatologists Suggest This Is How Often You Should Wash Your Face

Dermatologists Suggest This Is How Often You Should Wash Your Face


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Dermatologists Suggest This Is How Often You Should Wash Your Face If you are like me, you probably have one or more friends who claim they never wash their faces—after all, they have dry skin—while you wash your oily, acne-prone skin up to three times a day.

Washing your face is an important step when preparing your skin for any products you are applying, but it is also a necessary step to take at the end of a long day—whether you have been wearing makeup or not—to rid your skin of any excess dirt and oil before hitting your clean sheets. The rules surrounding face washing are indeed a little hazy, but one thing is certain: “Everybody should wash their face,” says Mona Gohara, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Connecticut.

According to double-board-certified dermatologist Angela Casey, MD, “our skin comes into contact with so many potential irritants, and we want to get all of that off of our skin so that our skin can rest, regenerate, and renew.” That means that your friend who seems to have great skin but does not wash their skin frequently may not have noticed any negative effects from that habit yet, but it is not always the best thing for anyone’s skin health, she adds. (Noted!)

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Alright, now let us talk about how often and exactly you should wash your face. Some of the answers are specific to your skin type, but some general guidelines apply to everyone.

How frequently ought one to wash their face?

Although washing your face twice a day, in the morning and at night, is the standard recommendation, Dr. Casey notes that this depends on the individual. For example, if you have oily, acne-prone skin, you may feel the need to wash twice a day; however, if you have dry skin, you may only wash once a day because too much washing can irritate it.

If your skin is more mature—which is more likely to become dry, according to Dr. Casey—you might want to wash it once a day to avoid removing any important oils. (If you start to notice changes in your skin, such as loss of elasticity or oil production, especially during perimenopause and menopause, that might be a sign to start washing your skin just once a day.)

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As for morning versus nighttime washes, go with the latter because, as Dr. Gohara says, “it is when your skin naturally regenerates.” Additionally, skin cells are exfoliating themselves during the night.

When you work out, should you wash your face?

It is generally a good idea to wash your face after working out because, as Dr. Casey puts it, “you want to get that sweat and also any of the germs that you have come across in the gym off of your face.” However, if you have dry skin and do not sweat much during your workouts, it is okay to forgo that extra face-washing session. Dr. Gohara says that this depends on your skin type and how much you sweat.

What products should you use to wash your face?

Additionally, according to Dr. Casey, you should never wash your face with water alone; water lacks surfactant, which is “the primary component of a cleanser to break down the fats and the oils and the grease on your skin,” so it will not be able to dissolve dirt, oil, and other impurities from makeup.

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How much time should you spend cleansing your face?

It is challenging to remove makeup, sunscreen, and other substances from your face in the few seconds it takes to wash it, according to Dr. Casey. To remove dirt, pollutants, and oil, you should be able to massage your skin for a full minute, working your way up to the hairline.

You should spend roughly 20 seconds cleaning each area of your face because the recommended hand washing time is 20 seconds, and “we have a little bit more surface area on our face,” according to Dr. Gohara. If you are not into numbers, you can also just take two full passes from the middle of your face and nose, followed by an upward and outward motion.

Is there too much face washing for you?

As for how often to wash your face, that depends largely on your skin type and lifestyle. If you work out or wear makeup, you should wash your face more frequently. “Although there is no exact number when it comes to anything on grooming, one to two times a day is generally enough,” says Dr. Gohara. “Too much can dry out the skin leaving it more vulnerable to irritation. Too little can clog the pores making acne more likely.”

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