As someone who grew up with oily skin and now has a combination of oily and dry skin, I’ve always had to wash my face. The oiliness is annoying to me if I don’t wash my face. But over the years, I’ve heard so many people say that they do not cleanse their skin other than perhaps when they shower and that washing just consists of letting the water run over their face.
This has surprised me, especially when it’s people who use other skin care products but they simply don’t wash their face before using them. There is actually a reason behind washing your face as part of your skin care routine, even if you don’t have oily skin!
Here’s some reasons why you should start to incorporate cleansing into your skin care routine!
Why washing your face is important
First, think of what your skin is exposed to throughout the day. If you wear makeup, there’s that of course, but even if you don’t, the pollution in the air and other particles in the environment, as well as sweat. We wash the skin on the rest of our bodies for these reasons and the skin on our face is much more exposed then the rest of our skin!
This dirt and pollution can accumulate on your skin and cause breakouts, dehydration and signs of aging.
Your skin produces what is called sebum to protect itself from environmental damage. While this is a good thing, if it stays on your skin too long it will mix with other buildup on your skin and this can cause enlarged pores and create a blockage which can cause bacteria to penetrate the skin which can lead to inflammation and a dull complexion.
Regular cleansing can also help to keep your skin hydrated.
The other important factor is that if you put your products on your skin without cleansing first, you’re putting it on top of all that dirt and grime so it’s not penetrating your skin as deeply which means you’re not getting the full benefits.
When you wash your skin at night, you’re washing away all that’s gotten on your skin throughout the day as well as any makeup you might be wearing.
And in the morning, dead skin cells can be washed away as well as excess oils that were secreted through the night. Balancing your skin out with a fresh surface for the day is important for better penetration of skin care products and smoother application of makeup.
Washing your face is important for many reasons.
What you do with your face is probably the most important thing you do every day. And yet, many people do not wash their face at all!
In fact, washing your face should be an instinctive habit for any woman at any age who wants to look good.
And yet, there is a good reason why most women don’t wash their faces:
If you take a closer look, the many benefits that are associated with washing your skin are often not based on science. They depend instead on the common belief that washing your face can help you look younger or fresher or cleaner (in fact, both benefits might be true). But if we ask whether this belief is based on science, it becomes clear that washing our faces has very little in common with what science says about it.
This article discusses the current state of knowledge and makes recommendations for how we can improve our understanding of these benefits while still keeping the benefits of washing your face in mind.
Skincare reason one: Removes dirt and oil
In this post, we will discuss the relative merits of using a facial cleanser on your face versus soap.
Why should you use a cleanser on your face?
There are generally two main reasons:
- To remove dirt and residual oil. This is important as it can lead to skin dryness and also can actively add oil to the mix, which can be problematic in some situations (as discussed in our previous post).
- To remove makeup or other cosmetics that have been applied to the skin.
Skincare reason two: Reduces acne
Let’s start by reviewing your current skin regimen. Are you using products that contain benzoyl peroxide as one of their active ingredients? Are you using them in concentrations that exceed the controls for toxic ingredients set by the European Union?
If have your skin under control, do you know how to measure and monitor your skincare regimen (i.e., what is the right concentration of benzoyl peroxide on your face and how often do you need to reapply)? What measures will help prevent future breakouts? What if they happen anyway?
If these questions apply to you, congratulations! You are ahead of schedule! If not: then let’s discuss why this might be. Let’s start with acne itself:
Acne is largely caused by hormones such as estradiol and dehydroepiandrosterone; excess sebum production; inflammation; lack of adequate vitamin D3 (a hormone produced when sunlight penetrates skin) production; excess sebum excretion; and too many pore-clogging chemicals called free radicals. If a person has acne, they are more likely to have other conditions such as eczema or psoriasis as well.
For most people who develop severe forms of acne, other medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease may also play a role. However, many people do not have any underlying medical conditions that may contribute to their acne before age fifteen years old, suggesting that acne is not triggered by these factors alone.
Other factors include diet (for example eating sugar or dairy products); oral contraceptives; stress; cold sores; soap use (such as detergents containing phthalates); antibiotic use (for example antibiotics given for bacterial infections); smoking cigarettes;
Skincare reason three: Prevents aging
This is a tricky one because we live in an age of extreme pressure on health, and the results of it can be seen in our faces, skin and body:
- Dry skin
- Pores, lines and wrinkles
There are already a lot of products out there containing expensive ingredients, glycolic acid and retinol. In some cases these can be effective (especially when used in combination with an anti-acne product). But there are side effects: irritation, redness and dryness.
The latter can be avoided by using an oil-based cleanser before washing your face. In any case, the most effective way to prevent aging is to use fresh ingredients like fruit juice or vegetable glycerin to hydrate the skin instead of trying to remove all the natural oils from it with harsh cleansers (which will only make the problem worse).
So keep your skin moisturized by putting on moisturizer before you wash your face (and then apply makeup over it). If you have sensitive skin try choosing a soya based cleanser instead of one derived from acne-causing bacteria like lactic acid bacteria if possible — most soya based cleansers are gentle enough for this.
Use plenty of water but not too much — if you have dry skin take a small amount at a time (like a drop) and rinse well with warm water after every application or use warm water as per usual advice for washing your face (not cold).
Skincare reason four: Moisturizes skin
Hydrating, skin-quenching and anti-aging skincare products are used by millions of people every day. But there’s a problem: the way we apply them is too often a mess. We load our face with products that displace the watery essence of the skin; we use so much that we get skin with little moisture; and we don’t wash our faces in enough water to cleanse and moisturize properly.
The results? Aging, fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone — all because we’ve neglected our skin as part of our everyday routine.
Here is an idea that may be new to you, but it should not be new to you: before you buy any product, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this product do what it says?
- Is this product right for my face type?
- What else can I use with this product in order to get the full benefit?
Asking these questions will help you make sure that you are buying only what is best for your face type and skin type. It will also help you avoid buying a product that does not help your face keep its natural glow — or even worse let it go prematurely! The same goes for skincare products: before spending money on anything else on your face, think about if this product works with other products in order to get the full benefit! If not, don’t buy it!
Beauty benefit: Makes you look awake.
We are tired of using products that make you look tired. Washing our faces in the morning and after a big day of work is one such example. It’s not so much that we don’t like washing our face, but we also don’t like feeling washed-up.
This is a big deal for the very reason why people should wash their faces. That is because, if you go out and meet lots of people, chances are they will be in your face, which will make it hard to talk to them (unless they’re extremely attractive). So it is important to wash your face otherwise you will always feel like an imposter.
In fact, I was chatting with my friend about this a few days ago and he made me rethink how I perceive my life (and him too). He pointed out that he has washed his face many times and never felt washed up or tired for two or three hours after doing so (and I am pretty sure he does this every day).
He said that he feels calm after washing his face and instead of feeling pulled or stressed-out, he actually feels good about himself.
So, I started wondering: Is there a real benefit from washing your face? And did it even used to be as important as we thought? Let me put all the evidence into perspective:
1) Yes – there are real benefits from washing your face twice daily, even if only just for the sake of looking awake in the morning;
2) Yes – there have been studies supporting the benefits of regularly washing one’s skin;
3) Yes – there have been studies showing that regular skin cleansing removes fine particles from our skin and makes them easier to remove later on;
4) Yes – there have been studies showing that regular skin cleansing reduces wrinkles and improves overall skin tone;
Beauty benefit: Gives you a healthy glow.
So you’ve heard about the “cleansing” benefit of washing your face. But do you understand how it works?
First, it may help if you know what the different types of skin are:
- Normal skin: normal and oily (you can have oily/normal skin);
- Oily skin: oily and dry/combination;
- Combination skin: combination and dry (from the combination of oily, dry, and combination);
- Dry skin: dehydrated with a lot of acne-prone areas.
When you wash your face with soap, the water is stripped away from the solution that is applied to your face, so that facial bacteria can grow. The bacteria cause pimples (which are actually an indication of dehydration) as well as breakouts and blemishes. Soap strips out water from your face which is in turn stripped away from your skin.
This makes your body produce more oil, which leads to more acne-prone areas on your face (and it also dries out your hair). That’s why washing too often or too often will lead to breakouts… soap does not strip moisture from your skin like water does.
Makeup also strips moisture from your face — this is why makeup removal wipes work so well — but make sure you don’t add extra chemicals to make up remover wipes! They should be gentle enough! Your body needs moisture on its own to remove makeup, so use shaving cream instead! Skin should be moisturized but not over-moisturized!
So when people say they need twice daily washing their faces after using soap or other cleansers — they mean they use twice daily soap or other cleansers… not twice weekly! Two times a day is not enough to cleanse your whole body of dirt after a shower; nor is one week enough to cleanse yourself before going out for the day.
Also note that there is no evidence that soap drying off your face causes breakouts; all research points to a “cleansing effect” where water acts as a moisturizer for acne pores due to its polarity with oxygen (a little bit like shampoo). When we take away water from our faces it makes them more prone to acne outbreaks.
Washing your face twice a day is the best way to keep your skin healthy and beautiful.
Most people would agree that avoiding the temptation of makeup and doing your homework to make sure you get enough sleep is a good investment. But do you really need to do those things?
Most, if not all, of us have found ourselves in situations where we’ve had a few seconds to spare and don’t want to waste them on makeup. This is especially true if you are doing something that requires you to use your hands (like painting, say) and can’t just throw on some mascara. If you are like me, then there is an easy solution: just wash your face twice a day.
While it might seem like it would be something that could be skipped, washing your face is really the most effective way to attain a bright, youthful complexion!