QQ: Do I Really Need to Wash My Face in the Morning?

June 16, 2022
Samantha Holender
By: Samantha Holender | skincare.com by L'Oréal
cleansing face

I wash my face like I brush my teeth: religiously and twice a day. But after my best friend and a handful of beauty influencers started swearing that their glowy looking skin is a result of skipping their morning cleanse, I was tempted to switch up my skincare routine too. Is cleaning my face only at night the way to go? Before deciding if once-a-day washing is right for me, I wanted to get an expert’s opinion. Here, Skincare.com consulting expert,  Dr. Alicia Zalka, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Surface Deep, is breaking down whether or not cleansing your face once or twice a day is the way to go. 

Is Washing Your Face Only at Night Enough? 

The number of times you wash your face a day is largely dependent on your skin type. So while some people may be able to skip a morning cleanse, others may need to cleanse away dirt and oil that may have accumulated on their skin’s surface overnight. “For those with very delicate, allergic or dry skin types, it may be better to only cleanse once daily,” says Dr. Zalka. These skin types generally won’t accumulate much oil or dirt while sleeping, so Dr. Zalka feels that there’s no need to formally cleanse with face wash in the morning, too. 

While some may experience hydrated, less irritated skin after skipping a morning cleanse, others could experience clogged pores and breakouts. “For my patients who have very oily or acne-prone skin, I strongly advise them to cleanse their face twice daily in order to keep up with removing the build-up of excess sebum and oil,” says Dr. Zalka. “If you live in a big city with exposure to pollutants in the air, you’ll also benefit from twice-daily cleansing.” 

washing face

If You Don’t Wash Your Face, Should You Still Apply the Rest of Your Skincare Products in the Morning? 

Just because you skip your cleanser in the morning doesn’t mean you should skip skincare altogether. “In the morning, it’s ok to skip a scrub or deep cleanse, but still proceed with your morning serum, like vitamin C formulated serum, moisturizer and SPF,” says Dr. Zalka. “Most skincare products will do their jobs better when applied to damp skin, so I still recommend a quick rinse with just water before applying layers of morning skincare.”

Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn

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