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No, You Don’t Have to Wash Your Face Twice a Day

There are plenty of alleged skincare sins out there, but washing your face only once a day shouldn’t be one of them

Contrary to popular belief, your personal skincare routine can be whatever you want it to be. There are some options that might eventually give you a rash (like this TikTok of a man wiping his face with a Lysol wipe) or maybe encourage the signs of aging to reveal themselves faster, but it’s still your decision. 

There is, however, one skincare rule you’re supposed to never violate — washing your face both in the morning and then again at night. 

But you know what? 

This, too, is kinda bullshit. 

That is, you really don’t have to wash your face twice a day if you don’t want to. I, a young woman with more skincare products than I can handle, only routinely wash my face in the evening and after I exercise. Maybe some people find that gross, but I’d behoove anyone who is concerned to take a good look at my skin. It’s decent. My routine works for me. And your routine should work for you

Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t wash your face twice a day. Maybe once a day is enough for you, maybe not! Is your skin particularly greasy in the morning? Do you find yourself becoming sweaty overnight? Do you just enjoy a refreshing rub-a-dub of the mug in the a.m.? Fantastic, wash away. 

For some, myself included, face-washing too often leads to dryness. This can be remedied with moisturizer, but it might be better to avoid the problem in the first place. In fact, excessive oil can actually be the result of dryness: When our skin is stripped of its natural barriers, it can over-produce oil to compensate. So it’s possible that cutting back on face-washing could make you less oily, rather than more

In the event I wash my face more than once a day, it’s usually because I’ve showered in the morning after exercising. But depending on how hot you like your showers, that might not be recommended. Hot water is harsh on your skin as a whole, but especially your face. This is because hot water itself can remove oils from the skin, and further exacerbate any skin conditions you might have like acne or eczema. As such, warm to lukewarm water is typically recommended by dermatologists

If your face is your sole area of concern yet you still prefer a steamy shower, consider skipping washing your face while you’re in there and just using cool water from the sink afterward. 

Bottom line, though, it’s really not any of my business how often you wash your face. Maybe dry skin doesn’t bother you. Maybe that extra oil gives you a natural glow. Unless your partner is complaining about your scratchy/slimy face, it truly doesn’t impact anyone else. The only real skincare rule I think everyone should abide by is wearing sunblock since the sun, you know, causes cancer. To an extent, developing skin cancer is your own business, too, but still. I guess I’m just tired of seeing judge-y posts online from people convinced you’re going to hell if your skincare routine is anything short of 10 steps — or twice a day. 

Those dudes who wash their faces with dish soap probably have nicer skin than most of us, anyway.