How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

January 18, 2013

The frequency of face cleansing and washing depends on the type of skin and the activities performed during the day. All dermatologists agree that no matter what kind of skin you have, washing more than twice a day may be harmful for your complexion because it eliminates the beneficial oily sebum protection that acts as a natural barrier, and has several other key functions, such as thermoregulation and reduction of inflammation. However, if you exercise, you should wash your face after every workout no matter how many times you performed face cleansing that day.

Cute Girl Washing Her Face

Girl Washing Her Face

Dry Skin Requires Less Face Cleansing

For individuals with dry, sensitive skin, which actually translates into less protective sebum on the surface of the skin, washing the face once a day, preferably before going to sleep, should be sufficient. Washing the face more often can expose the unprotected skin to environmental threats, cold, toxins and dry air, which may lead to irritation, rashes and excessive skin dryness.

How Does Sebum Protect Your Skin?

Sebum is an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands that acts as a protective layer covering the skin. Its main purpose is to keep the skin moisturized and protected against environmental threats. A completely clean skin with no sebum on it is vulnerable to irritants and temperature variations, which can occur in people with dry skin if they wash it excessively. Sebum prevents the sweat from evaporating too quickly, which preserves the heat of the body, and it also helps keep rain drops from staying attached to your skin, which prevents excessive cooling, thus acting as a solid thermoregulatory method. Research has revealed that sebum contains biologically active substances that reduce inflammation and irritation of the skin, besides acting as a physical protective layer.

Preserving The Natural Skin Protection

How can you prevent excessive removal of sebum from your facial skin? It can be accomplished by adjusting the frequency of face cleansing to your skin type. If you have oily skin, you can safely wash your face twice a day and after each workout. For dry skin types, stick to once a day. Also, avoiding harsh soap as an ingredient of cleansing solutions and alcohol-based toners prevents excessively dry skin because they completely eliminate the sebum and make the skin vulnerable to irritation. An excessively oily skin is also bad because it makes the face susceptible to acne and blemishes due to increased fat production.

What To Look For In A Cleanser?

If you want your face to look smooth and healthy, then you need to adjust your cleanser choice to your skin type. There are a few ingredients to avoid because they may be harmful to your skin. These are parabens, which are relatively toxic preservatives, fragrance, which can be an allergen or cause irritation, and harsh soap, which completely removes the sebum and dries the skin. People who have excessively dry skin may choose a cleanser with added moisturizers, such as shea butter or glycerin. For oily skin types, a foaming ingredient in the cleanser helps remove excessive sebum, which protects against acne and blemishes and leaves the skin feeling very clean.

Besides these basic tips on face cleansing frequency and cleanser choice, remember that your face reflects the health status of your entire body. Don’t neglect healthy nutrition, regular exercise and visits to your dermatologist whenever you suspect a medical problem with your skin.

Neil Chrysler is a skin care consultant. He mainly writes for beauty and health blogs where he enjoys passing on his insights. Learn about the range of Korres cleansing products that are suitable for your skin type.

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