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