You’ve probably not thought twice about when you cleanse your face. Some do it whenever they shower, some do it as soon as they wake up, and some every time they leave the gym.
So when you’re asked “Are you washing your face enough, or too much?” that seemingly simple question becomes scary to the uninitiated and perplexes the practiced alike. How often should you wash your face? Am I doing it wrong? Will doing it too much or too little hurt my skin?
Potential problems with over- or under-cleansing
Firstly, these are some issues that could arise if you wash your face too often or too little.
Overwashing: If you’re cleansing more than your skin needs, it could start to become dehydrated, irritated and sensitive. This is because of a disruption of the balanced sebum that forms the skin barrier which keeps moisture locked between skin cells.
Underwashing: If you’re not cleansing often enough, your products may not sink into your skin effectively because of the old products and oils in their way Also, not cleansing off the grime from the day could lead to breakouts and even further free radical damage that causes ageing.
Factors to consider
There are a couple of things to take into account when figuring out how often you need to wash your face. What the right amount for you is will depend on:
- Skin type: Dry skin will need to be washed less often than oily skin, as a rule. If you are greasy, water isn’t enough to remove that film. However, if your skin is oily due to dehydration, you might have to tough out some oily days and cleanse less frequently to help bring things back in balance again. It should all calm down soon.
- Product weight: Those who use heavy occlusive creams or wear lots of makeup will need to remove these more frequently. This is to make sure your fresh products can penetrate effectively and aren’t being hindered by old products or makeup.
- Skin condition: People with eczema or sensitised skin might be more comfortable cleansing less to avoid unnecessary loss of precious moisture. Contrarily, those with acne could benefit from more frequent (but still gentle!) cleansing to combat bacterial spread.
So, what’s the best number of times to wash your face in a day?
In my opinion, once in the evening is a must. This cleanse will remove the dirt, dust, oil and pollution from the day, as well as any leftover sunscreen, makeup or makeup remover that’s on your skin. I believe everyone should cleanse at least once at night.
If you feel like you need to remove old product or oils, or just to start off fresh in the morning then cleanse then too! You only need to cut back if you’re experiencing irritation or dryness. I’d say that most people choose to cleanse in the morning also, making twice a day the norm.
In other words, listen to your skin. Once a day might be enough for you, but feel free to cleanse twice if it makes you enjoy your routine more or get the maximum effectiveness from your products.
I advise against cleansing more often than this, though, as your skin will start to feel dry and stripped. If you go the gym and get really sweaty during the day, try something like a micellar water to gently remove the sweat without doing a full cleanse – and always follow with moisturiser!
How often do you wash your face?