Should You Be Washing Your Face In The Morning And At Night?

Everyone, you figure, has done it at least once. And once you do it the first time, it's easier to let your guard down and do it again. So, how bad can it be to skip washing your face at night and wash it only in the morning? As it turns out, pretty bad.

Perspiration that builds up during the day or overnight irritates the skin (via the American Academy of Dermatology Association). And unwashed faces, by day or night, are more likely to incur breakouts (via Heathline). But these are the negative consequences. Consider the benefits of washing twice a day, too. Washing rids your face of excess oil and impurities, many of which aren't even visible to the eye. Washing also keeps pH levels (acidity levels) in balance so that moisture outranks bacteria (via Everyday Health).

And though it may not even occur to you, twice-daily washing ensures that your face remains a clear canvas so that any other facial treatments you're using work properly. Naturally, you're the best judge of your skin. If you're not washing your face in the morning and at night, try to make a concerted effort to do so. You may stop just short of calling your skin radiant. But there's no doubt that it should look healthier, particularly if you follow some common-sense cleansing steps and choose the right cleanser for your skin.

Wash like dermatologists recommend

Your face-washing routine may reach back to your childhood when one of your parents gave you the lowdown. You may have made some tweaks to your routine over the years, but if you want to know how the professionals do it, start a new routine based on suggestions from the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Begin by using your fingers to wet your face with lukewarm water. Using your fingertips alone, while banishing even a soft washcloth or sponge from your usual routine, maybe the biggest challenge of all. But you have an incentive: your chances of irritating your skin drop considerably when you use your fingers. (Hard, scratchy, scrubby pads can cause even more skin damage.)

Once your face is wet, apply a gentle cleanser all over your face before rinsing your face with more water. Then pat (don't rub) your face with a towel. Or let it air dry. Right after, apply a light moisturizer. At night, dab eye cream under your eyes if you're in the habit of doing so.

Healthline makes two suggestions to this routine that may make good sense for you. If you tend to wear a lot of makeup, use a gentle makeup remover to clear your pores before you begin washing your face. And as you wash your face and reach your jaw, keep going south until you reach your neck. It's easy to overlook this area, but oil and dirt accumulate here, too.

Choose a cleanser based on your skin type

If you could use help selecting a gentle cleanser, narrow things down by focusing on your skin type. If your skin is oily or frequently breaks out, choose a foaming cleanser instead of a rich and creamy one (via Prevention). Dry or sensitive skin usually needs hydration, and a cleanser with aloe vera can provide it. So can a cream-based cleanser. Alternatively, try washing your face with micellar water, a gentle cleanser that contains purified water and glycerin (via Medical News Today). Look for it in beauty stores and in the specialty skin section of discount retailers.

If you have combination skin, it may be hard to settle on only one cleanser, especially if your skin quality changes with the seasons. You may wish to experiment, letting the condition of your skin be your guide. Along the way, remember that you should deviate from your twice-daily washing routine if you're perspiring heavily after a workout or just from sitting in the hot sun. Sweat is moisture, but it's no friend to your skin. It seeps into your pores and potentially clogs them while inviting bacteria (via Insider). On days like these, you may end up washing your face three times, but that's okay!