Would you be surprised if I said as little as once day?
As a skincare lover it was hard for me to transition from my 10-step morning and night 1,000-dollar skincare routine into a 2 step $15 dollar one, BUT going from washing my face twice a day to only once- that was just complete insanity. I'm not talking about the hardcore where you don't even let water touch your face, no. Although I've always thought that idea was a little crazy, now I am down to washing my face only once a day and seeing real results- so, perhaps it isn't completely out there.
Why I Stopped Washing My Face Twice a Day
I didn't start out with any specific goal in mind; the idea actually came from a place of frustration. I had tried countless creams, diets, supplements, exercise, you name it, and of course they all worked temporarily or I was at least optimistic enough to think I was seeing results. But, in the end my acne would almost always return leaving me to buy the next product, and temporarily put my hopes into the next cream to work its magic on my skin. After this past breakout, I broke the acne cycle.
I stopped putting junk on my spots, I quit masking every day, I stopped washing my face twice a day, I quit worrying about my over restrictive acne-free diet, and I just generally quit touching or worrying about my face. I was at the point where I said "screw it", this is who I am, if I get a spot I get a spot. I'm beyond over it. Plus, it's my face so really- who cares? I was done stressing about something that felt so out of my control. And It worked.
I won't say that I'm cured because as of right now in 2017, there technically isn't a cure but it really has helped. I will get maybe one spot around that time of the month but besides that, my skin has remained calm and clear. I feel a huge part of that was from putting less on my skin. Hey, they do say less is more, right? Guess what else? I started poking around on acne message boards and found that many other have experienced the same thing after they stopped washing their face.
Now, finally, I am here to tell you I am only washing my face (at the maximum) once a day at night. for good. Here's a few reasons why.
Your Face Isn`t Getting Dirty While You Sleep
Might seem like a no brainer but it's pretty counter intuitive to wash your face once before you go to bed and then again right after you wake up. Washing at night is sensible because as the day progresses you are collecting dirt, oil, pollution, and other irritants on your skin that could potentially clog your pores and cause acne. But washing your face as soon as you wake up after you've just washed it 6-8 hours ago? Doesn't seem as logical. Unless your pillowcases, sheets, or blankets aren't clean you're not getting dirty while you sleep so it doesn't make sense to wash your face first thing in the morning.
You May Be Stripping the Skin of Natural Oils
Over-washing your skin (even twice a day can be considered over washing) can lead to skin irritation and more breakouts. If you ever get that squeaky-clean tight feeling OR if your skin feels super tight when you get out of the shower, it could be due to over washing. Stripping the skin of its natural oils can compromise your skin barrier, leaving it more susceptible to bacterial infections, sunburns, acne, you name it. Our skin barrier works to lock moisture in and keep all of the bad stuff out, giving us a natural balance of oils that are essential for our skin to function properly. Once the barrier is compromised you can expect to experience extremely dry skin, rashes, acne, and inflammation.
Your Skin May Be Sensitive
For the longest time I believed my skin was oily, that is until I quit washing it. I was expecting to be a complete oil slick but within a few days (much to my surprise) my skin was actually normal. It didn't feel too oily or too dry, in fact my dry patches disappeared along with all of my odd spots. That was when I realized that this whole time I thought was cursed with overly acne ridden skin and had been over washing and over treating, when I actually have extremely sensitive skin. I was going through a vicious cycle of constantly using harsh products , irritating my skin, and stripping it of its natural oils. My sebaceous glands would try to overcompensate the loss of natural oils by pumping out more oil, and thus clogged pores and acne was born.
Washing Twice a Day Can Lead to Dryness
It probably goes without saying that in addition to stripping your skin of its natural oils and creating an overly-oily canvas, washing twice a day can lead to some serious dryness as well. Dryness is a concern because it is known to cause wrinkles and premature aging skin (and we all want to look young forever, right?). Plus, dryness can actually lead to acne and exasperate other conditions like eczema and rashes.
Should You Stop Washing Your Face Twice a Day
Of course, everyone's skin is different, but never in a million years did I think that putting less on my skin would actually, improve it. That's why I am here to share my experience and a tidbit of science and facts- to hopefully persuade you to try it as well. I wish someone would have saved me from countless dollars and energy spent on creams, lotions, and heartbreak! After all, as an acne sufferer who shares their journey publicly, one of people's favorite things to ask me is "why don't you just wash your face?" Now I can gladly tell them that I don't and they can't make me.
Have you tried washing your face less or even trying the caveman regimen? Let me know in the comments below!
Banish Starter Kit
Kali Kushner, known as the Instagram alias myfacestory, is a natural beauty advocate in the greater Cincinnati area who is passionate about using organic skincare and holistic remedies to heal acne from the inside out. Her dedication lies in her own chronic acne struggles as she continues to restore herself while helping those around her.