Washing your face is absolutely the most basic part of your skincare routine, and everyone should be doing it. Even if you don’t have a skincare routine, you still should be washing your face. Daily cleansing is crucial to healthy, glowing skin.
How often you wash your face and with which face wash you should use largely depends on your skin type. Once you know your skin type, you can find products and develop habits that will work best for you. To help you out, we’ve broken down the best face washing tips, including advice for each skin type, so that you can keep your skin looking fabulous no matter what your skin’s unique needs are.
IN A NUTSHELL
Main Takeaways: It’s important for everyone to wash their face at least once a day, but which cleanser you use and how often to wash your face depends on your skin type.
Good to Know: You don’t need to scrub or wash your face with much pressure. Gentle, circular motions are enough to remove excess dirt, oil, and bacteria. It will also keep your skin from getting red or irritated.
Recommended Products: So Clean! Facial Cleanser.
How Often Should You Wash Your Face?
Everyone, regardless of skin type, should be washing their face twice a day: in the morning and at night.
Oily skin and combo skin
If you have oily skin or combination skin, you should definitely be washing your face twice a day. During the night your skin still produces excess oil, so it’s important to wash your face in the morning. It’s doubly important to wash your face at night, even if you don’t wear makeup. Dead skin, makeup, oil, and bacteria all build up on your skin throughout the day, and if you don’t cleanse at night, they will likely clog your pores.
Luckily for you, you don’t suffer from excessively oily or excessively dry skin. However, bacteria and dirt can still build on your skin causing breakouts and clogged pores. It’s still best for you to wash your face in the morning and night to keep your skin healthy.
If you have dry skin (which means your skin is underproducing oil), it is still important to cleanse your skin morning and evening. Dry still is more likely to have dead skin clinging to the surface of your skin, which can also clog pores. Your other skincare products, including your toner, serum and moisturizer, are not as effective if not applied to clean skin.
How To Wash Your Face
It may seem like a simple task, but washing your face wrong can mean you’re not cleansing enough or you’re cleansing too much. Both of which can lead to skin issues. Here are the best tips for how to wash your face properly.
You may think you need to get in there and scrub to slough off dead skin cells or excess oils, but rubbing your skin too hard can lead to irritation. Gently rubbing your face wash in a circular motion with your fingers for 20-30 seconds is enough to cleanse your face, jawline, and neck without your skin getting red and irritated.
This also means using the proper tools for cleansing. The texture of a regular washcloth can be too harsh for your skin, and it’s not necessary for a thorough wash. Try using a konjac sponge or gentle facial cloth.
If you are exfoliating, be sure to only do so 1-3 times a week. Exfoliating daily can be too harsh for your skin and strip it of its natural oils causing more harm than good.
Turn Down the Heat
Washing your face with hot water can damage your skin and strip it of its natural oils leaving it extra dry, flaky, and irritated. Instead, use lukewarm water when washing your face. The lukewarm water is gentler on your skin.
After cleansing, follow up with a moisturizer or face cream. Even if you use a gentle cream cleanser or a cleanser with moisturizing ingredients, it still won’t be enough to replenish the natural oils you just rinsed away.
A good moisturizer will put vitamins and nutrients back into your skin, keeping it hydrated, helping to minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, and evening skin tone. We recommend following a natural skin care routine that also includes a toner, vitamin C serum, eye cream, and sunscreen in addition to a cleanser and moisturizer.
If you have oily skin or wear heavy makeup, you may want to try a cleansing method known as double cleansing. Use an oil-based cleanser to remove dirt and makeup, and then follow it up with a gentle water based cleanser to remove the excess product.
Double cleansing isn’t necessary for everyone, and it’s generally only necessary to do at the end of the day.
Additional Face Washing Tips
- Check for hard water - Hard water is water that has a high concentration of minerals like calcium and magnesium, and it can dry out your skin or clog your pores. You can pick up hard water test strips for less than $10 on Amazon.
- Don’t just use a makeup wipe - Makeup wipes are super convenient, but they’re not great for the environment, and can leave behind a film that needs to be washed off as well. If you do use them to remove your makeup, be sure to use a gentle cleanser afterwards.
- Use a separate eye makeup remover - Most cleansers aren’t designed to be used around your eye area, so if you wear eye makeup use a gentle remover like micellar water to remove your eye makeup.
- Don’t over wash - Washing your face more than twice a day can lead to dryness and irritation. If you still experience oiliness throughout the day, try using a gentler toner throughout the day to refresh your skin.
- Read the label - It’s important to read the label to make sure your product is a gentle daily cleanser, free from irritating ingredients, and that you're using it as instructed. Not doing so can mean you're using the wrong cleanser, or using the right cleanser incorrectly.
Best Face Wash
There are all sorts of different types of face wash, and choosing the right face wash for you largely depends on skin type. However, everyone should avoid cleansers with harsh ingredients like sulfates, artificial fragrances, and parabens. Look for gentle cleansers, like our So Clean! facial cleanser, made for daily use.
Here are tips for picking the best face wash for your skin type:
If you have oily skin, you’re prone to clogged pores caused by excess oil. Look for a cleanser that can help balance your skin’s natural oils and unclog your pores. The best ingredients for oily skin include tea tree oil, clays, charcoal, and green tea.
Combo skin has the best and worst of both worlds, with some dry areas and some oily areas (usually the t-zone). Your cleanser needs to address both issues by using ingredients to help balance natural oils and won’t overly dry your skin or lead to excess oil. Look for face cleansers that include aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, or tea tree oil.
If you have dry skin, washing your face can leave your skin feeling ultra dry, flaking and tight. Be sure to use a cleanser that includes hydrating ingredients like aloe, glycerin, rosehip oil, or coconut oil. This will help your skin from feeling super dry and tight after you cleanse.
Sensitive skin is prone to redness and irritation. You should avoid harsh products and look instead for gentle, non-irritating ingredients like squalane, glycerine, and chamomile.
Finding the Right Routine for You
Everyone’s skin is different. Knowing your skin type and using that knowledge to influence your face wash choices and skin care routine will go a long way to keeping your skin healthy and happy.
Frequently Asked Questions About Washing Your Face
How to wash your face without drying it out
It’s important to use a gentle daily cleanser that’s free of common irritants like sulfates, artificial fragrance. Additionally, be sure to wash your face with lukewarm water – hot water will further dry your skin. Finally, it’s important to follow up your cleanse with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
Should you wash your face everyday?
Yes! Everyone needs to wash their face twice in order to cleanse dirt, bacteria, dead skin cells, and any makeup from their skin. Cleanse in the morning and the evening. Not doing so can lead to buildup and clogged pores.
Do I need to wash my face in the morning?
Yes – all skin types will benefit from cleansing in the morning. While you are sleeping, your skin is still producing oil and shedding dead skin, and your skin is collecting pollutants from the air around you.
Is it okay to be washing your face in the shower?
The issue with washing your face in the shower has to do with water temperature. Most of us take hot showers, but hot water isn’t good for your skin (or hair). If you do wash your face in the shower, be sure that the water is lukewarm and not hot. This also applies to the skin on the rest of your body.
Can I just wash my face with water?
The short answer is no. You should be using a cleanser in the morning and in the evening to effectively remove any dirt, bacteria, excess oil, or makeup.
Why does my face feel tight after washing?
When you wash your face, you’re removing the natural oils from the top layer of your skin, which can leave it feeling tight and dry. If you feel overly tight after washing, you may need to switch to a different cleanser that includes hydrating ingredients and doesn’t completely strip your skin. You can also try using a less cleanser when you wash – this can sometimes provide the same level of clean, without the tightness.
Why does my face look better when I don't wash it?
Most likely you’re not using the right cleanser. If your skin is overly dry or irritated after you cleanse, then your cleanser is probably too harsh. You should switch to a gentle, non irritating cleanser that won’t completely strip your skin of its natural oils. It’s still important to wash your face to remove bacteria, dirt, or makeup.