Step Away from the Sink: How to Wash Your Face the Right Way

August 03, 2018 by L'Oréal
By: by L'Oréal | by L'Oréal
Step Away from the Sink: How to Wash Your Face the Right Way


First things first, the million-dollar question: can you actually over-wash your face? In short, definitely. “Despite how important cleansing your skin is, it can be damaging if overdone, which many people don’t realize,” says board-certified dermatologist, and CeraVe ambassador, Dr. Shari Marchbein. “Washing your face more than twice per day can cause dryness.” This drying out occurs because excessive washing can strip skin of its natural oils—the sebum that helps to lubricate and hydrate our skin. If you have oily skin, stripping natural oils can trick your sebaceous glands into thinking your skin is too dry, leading to hypersecretion of oil.

To wash your face the right way, try to keep your trips to the sink to no more than twice a day, depending on your skin type. If you have dry skin, cleansing once per day could be just enough to keep your skin clean without unwanted dryness. If your skin is oily, cleansing twice per day could be a better option. Any more than that, however, is where you could lead to trouble, especially if you’re using a harsh cleanser.

Despite how important cleansing your skin is, it can be damaging if overdone, which many people don’t realize. 

Which leads us to our next question: how do you know if your cleanser is too harsh? An easy way to know is to assess the way your skin feels post-wash. Does it feel dry and tight instead of fresh, light, and comfortable? That could be an indication that it’s time to switch to a gentler option. “I recommend using a gentle and hydrating cleanser that contains ceramides, which help to restore the skin’s natural barrier, lock in moisture and seal impurities out,” says Dr. Marchbein. “The CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser is one of my favorites because it effectively cleanses skin to remove oil and toxin buildup from the day, and it features hyaluronic acid to help retain the skin’s natural moisture.”

In addition to using the right cleanser, be sure to keep a moisturizer handy to use immediately after cleansing. This goes for oily skin types too—everyone must hydrate their skin after cleansing, no matter how gentle your face wash is. During the day select a moisturizer that has a built-in SPF to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays while you keep it hydrated. At night, after you remove your makeup and cleanse, follow up with a moisturizer that’s formulated with ingredients that can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles or ones that can help give your complexion a brightening boost.


1. Use gentle formulas that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils and gentle massaging movements to avoid irritation. “All CeraVe products contain three essential ceramides, are fragrance-free and are non-comedogenic so they won’t clog your pores,” says Dr. Marchbein.

2. Avoid using water that’s too hot which can dry out your skin. Stick to lukewarm water.

3. When it’s time to dry, use a soft towel to pat your face instead of rubbing, which can be aggressive.

4. Wash your face daily, even if you’re not wearing makeup. “The skin really is the first line of defense for your body and it encounters so much more than we realize,” says Dr. Marchbein. “Even without makeup, consumers should wash their face to cleanse it from microscopic dirt and pollution particles that contact the skin.” To learn more about the damaging effects of pollution on the skin, click here!

5. Don’t solely rely on makeup removers, especially if you’re wearing a lot of cosmetics. Dr. Marchbein explains that makeup removers alone cannot adequately cleanse the skin. “I recommend starting with a makeup remover, like the CeraVe Hydrating Micellar Water or Cleansers Cloths to remove makeup and follow this step up with a full facial rinse to ensure all traces of dirt and other residue are fully removed,” she says.   

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