How Often Should You Be Washing Your Face? We have the answer...

I recently received an interesting beauty question to my inbox. A reader was asking if there was a proper amount of times that you should be washing your face per day. Now, I could give you the short answer—twice daily; morning and night—and leave it at that. But the more accurate answer would be to encourage you to get to know your own skin and the signs that you might be cleansing it too much or not enough.

For Oily Skin Types

There are some things that can never be too clean; your face is not one of them. If you have very oily skin, excessive washing throughout the day could strip your face of its moisture and in turn cause it to produce even more oil. Cleaning your skin too aggressively can also exacerbate acne and cause inflammation. So while it sounds counterintuitive, people with oily skin should generally wash their face less often than those with a drier skin type. The p.m. wash is usually still a must to remove makeup and any other debris. But after an initial adjustment period, skipping the a.m. wash could help to balance your oil production. Just make sure to sleep with a very clean pillowcase!

For Dry Skin Types

If you have dry or combination skin, don’t think that means you can skip washing your face. In most cases, you should still be washing your face twice daily. You need to get debris out of your pores so that they can breathe and so that whatever products you apply will be properly absorbed. It goes without saying that you should never go to sleep with makeup on. But even if you weren’t wearing makeup that day, it’s a good idea to give your face a wash. Just make sure to follow up washing your face with a moisturizer thick enough for your skin type. I have dry skin and I always apply Egyptian Magic before bed.

All of that said, how often you should wash your face also depends on your lifestyle. You may want to cleanse midday if you log in an afternoon sweat sesh (or in my case, have a face full of heavy makeup after a photo shoot). But other than that, 1-2 times daily should be the general range.

One other factor to take into consideration is whether you’re using the right products (cleanser, moisturizer, etc.), and not just how often you’re washing your face. If you’re not sure of your skin type, I’d highly recommend meeting with a dermatologist or aesthetician at least once to get you started on a proper skincare regimen. No matter what, just keep in mind that the goal is for your skin to feel dewy and moisturized—not taut and tight or overly greasy.

Here are a few great cleansers to try…

How many times do you wash your face per day?

I’m a twice-daily gal.

Share your own answer in the comments.

XO Lauren

Photos: Cosmopolitan
  • Hanny

    I wash my face once a day (at night)

  • Laura Lightheart

    I have to admit I dont wash my face…but then again I dont wear any makeup and only use a natural moisturizer/suncreen in the mornings.

    • Hanny

      What’s your recipe for natural moisturizer/sunscreen?

  • Lindsey Mae

    Washing my face at night only has made such a difference. I change my pillow case after 2 days (I flip the pillow case over after one night) and my skin is so much happier.

  • Jasmine

    I have battled with oily skin and acne for most of my adolescent and early adult life. I now have near perfect skin, I rarely break out, and my skin stays balanced most of the day (I live in South Texas, so no small feat). The secret? Realizing that oily skin is not a skin type, but a symptom of overly dehydrated skin. I started drinking at least 75% of my body weight in water (oz), and paid attention to the ingredients in my face products. I only wash my face once a day – the in the morning with a hydrating non foaming cleanser (the chemicals used to make things foam are usually very drying and its only purpose is aesthetic) . In the evening, I remove makeup with a cleansing cloth. I use a hydration spray and moisturizer immediately after cleansing. This simple regiment has changed my skin.

    • lisette

      what specific products do you use? 🙂

  • Andrea Realpe

    I wash once in the morning and once at night. However, If I skip makeup that day, I don’t wash my face at night.

  • mrs bond

    I also wash once a day and I have oily skin. My skin is clear most of the times and I only break out if I skip a washing. I also use all natural skin care products. I wash with a goat milk soap (tea tree oil) and I moisturize with an all natural age defying night cream by Natural Body by BEKKH. That seems to make a huge difference in the health and clarity of my skin. No more itchy face.