“You should wash your face in the morning for various reasons,” she says. “Bacteria can accumulate throughout the night and, also, you should prime your skin by cleansing it for your morning skincare routine, not to mention to remove your nighttime creams and serums used the night before.”
Your skin works hard all night building its own natural barrier against the world (a layer of helpful oils keeps skin soft), so why strip it all away as soon as you wake up with a face wash? “Washing your face in the morning can strip your natural defense barrier,” says Carlen.
Have no fear – we've done our share of research, and the answer is clear: post-shower is definitely the way to go. Sure, washing your face in the shower saves time but it can also do more harm than good – like, clogging pores with other products (gross) or drying out skin with hot water (ouch).
"Most dermatologists recommend face-washing twice daily, once in the morning and once before bed," says Zeichner. "In reality, this doesn't always happen. If you're going to skip [a wash], then it's better to skip the morning one than the evening one.
Acne is caused by factors like bacteria and hormones—not a dirty face. Still, you should remove dirt and oil by washing your face morning and night with a gentle cleanser.
By cleansing with water only, you're less likely to over-strip the skin's natural oil and therefore reduce the risk of damaging your skin barrier. Cleansing your face with water only not only reduces the oil-stripping action but also the physical rubbing action, which would reduce irritation to the skin.
In general, you should wash your face twice a day—once in the morning and once at night.
Lukewarm water is advisable to wash your face with, but cold water has its benefits, too. Cold water tightens the appearance of your skin, so it may make you look renewed and refreshed. It also helps boost your circulation, which can help give your skin a healthier appearance, albeit temporarily.
Your Skin Is in Protection Mode
Do you ever feel your skin looks better in the morning? The reason is often attributed to the fact that your skin gets thicker in the morning, as it prepares to protect against stressors throughout the day.
Dr. Chwalek still recommends that her clients wash their face at least once a day with a gentle cleanser, preferably at night (when your face is coated with a day's worth of dirt). "Not washing your face could cause the buildup of oil and dirt that may lead to acne, more prominent pores, and inflammation," she says.
Taking a cold shower first thing in the morning has more benefits than just acting as a wakeup call. In fact, washing your face with cold water may help your skin look more youthful. Cold water works similarly to an astringent, toning your skin and making it look refreshed and younger.
Washing your face several times a day can further irritate your skin, leading to more breakouts. What to do instead: Wash your face twice a day — when you wake up and before you go to bed. You'll also want to wash your face when you finish an activity that makes you sweat. Dry out your skin.
For beginners, we recommend starting with a basic three step routine—cleanse, moisturize, and apply sunscreen. Of course, this can be modified, and products can be added depending on your individual skincare needs. For example, if you're struggling with acne, you may consider adding a spot treatment.
A morning skincare routine, however, can help to protect and preserve the skin throughout the day. Skipping your morning skincare routine has the potential to cause a variety of issues, such as clogged pores, acne, and leaving the skin more susceptible to damage caused by pollution and the sun's harsh rays.
Your morning skincare routine is just as important as your evening one, which focuses on cleaning the skin to get rid of clogged pores and remove any impurities which have collected on your skin throughout the day.
Using a clean, soft washcloth is effective for cleaning your face, but unless you use a new one every day, you should probably stick with using your hands to scrub, Dr. Green says. Also, ideally, you should change the towel you use to dry your face every couple of days to keep bacteria at bay, adds Dr. Gohara.
You may be using unnecessary products. "Some people may just not be genetically predisposed to breakouts or may produce less [oil],” says Batra. If that sounds like you, you may actually find your skin looks better when you ditch your cleanser.
A warm room causes pores to contract and expand. Once sweat gets in, pores can become clogged and prone to blackheads and breakouts. They'll also become more visible in the morning, said Dr.
CeraVe is the #1 dermatologist-recommended moisturizer brand for acne*, and our new Acne Control Cleanser with 2% salicylic acid is formulated to clear acne, reduce blackheads and improve the appearance of pores, while purifying clay helps absorb excess oil.
You should absolutely moisturize your skin even if you have active acne. It's an absolute myth that moisturizing your face will worsen your acne. In fact, moisturizers are necessary to keep acne-prone skin as relaxed as possible.
It's still advisable to wash twice a day and use a gentle formula “that removes impurities, deep cleans pores, helps remove makeup, and leaves the skin feeling refreshed, clean, and hydrated,” says Tim. Also, don't overlook foaming cleansers. These can remove oil and aren't too harsh on dry patches.