The Scary Things That Happen When You Don't Wash Your Face
As far as skin care commandments go, washing your face twice daily and applying SPF are the two you’ll hear time and time again. By now, we’re almost positive you’ve heard the importance of sunscreen spiel—how it’s the best form of protection for your skin against harmful UV rays, and how we’re not allowed to skip it even when it’s cloudy—or else. That “or else” includes putting your skin at risk for premature aging—read: wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots—and even more serious conditions like skin cancer. But what’s the “or else” when it comes to neglecting to cleanse your face of dirt and grime every day for prolonged periods of time? Turns out it’s not so pretty. Below, the gross things that can happen to your skin if you avoid your facial cleanser like the plague. Don’t try this at home, folks.
1. YOUR SKIN COULD BREAK OUT
I know—duh. Think about it: You put your makeup on in the morning and go about your day. As time passes, smog, dirt, dead skin cells, sweat, and oil mix together and pile onto the bandwagon. (Ew.) You head home, hit the sack without wiping your skin down, wake up and repeat. It’s asking a lot of your skin to be able to hold onto all that buildup and muck without breaking out in zits. Less than five minutes of cleansing or pimples galore—the choice is yours.
2. SIGNS OF AGING MAY BECOME MORE VISIBLE
During deep sleep, our skin undergoes self-repair. That’s why derms recommend a solid evening skin care regimen followed by the appropriate amount of shut-eye. But failing to rid your skin of environmental aggressors can have devastating consequences. Pollution can accumulate onto the skin and disrupt the skin’s ability to renew itself at night, making extrinsic skin aging signs—like pigment spots and wrinkles—more apparent.
3. PORES MIGHT LOOK ENLARGED
When your pores become clogged with excess oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities, they can look larger than usual. Keep up with a steady cleansing routine to help keep pores clear of gunk, which can make them appear smaller. For more tips on how to diminish the appearance of large pores, read this.
4. YOUR SKIN MAY LOOK DULL AND LACKLUSTER
Wearing makeup offers many advantages to your skin, like concealing blemishes and adding an enviable, dewy glow. But when it’s not removed from your skin at night, those advantages can become disadvantages very easily. Sleeping with makeup on not only hinders the skin’s overnight self-repair process, but can also dehydrate your skin and make it appear gray, lifeless and less radiant.
5. DRYNESS CAN BECOME A NEW REALITY
If you’re not removing dirt and grime from your face every day, chances are you’re not moisturizing your skin either. Big no no! All skin needs moisture to keep it from drying out. But if your pores are already weighed down with so much dirt, it likely won’t be able to absorb much moisture anyway. That’s why you should cleanse your skin first and immediately follow up with your favorite moisturizer while your skin is still damp.
6. YOUR SKIN’S TEXTURE MIGHT FEEL ROUGH
After you cleanse your face, skin should feel soft and smooth. When you’re not cleansing, dead skin and dirt builds at the surface and skin might begin to feel rough and coarse in texture as a result.
Now, tell us: Is any of this really worth skipping a good ‘ol skin cleansing? That's what we thought.