Up until recently, I was a dedicated two-or-more-times-a-day face washer. I’d wash my face in the morning, wash after a workout, and then of course, wash before I went to bed.
But then, the pandemic happened.
Like a lot of people, I got incredibly depressed during lockdown. I can always tell when my mental health is going down the drain when I stop enjoying my skincare routine. So, when I stopped washing my face in the morning and instead opted to just throw on a robe and attempt to work through a pandemic, I knew that my mental health was in shambles.
As I slowly crawled my way back into the land of the living (with many thanks to therapy and finally being fully vaccinated), I started washing my face again regularly in the morning. But I noticed something—my skin actually felt and looked better on the days when I didn’t wash it in the morning and instead focused on a thorough nighttime routine. I’m someone who’s grown up with incredibly oily, acne-prone skin and have been taught since my early skincare days that I absolutely had to wash my face in the morning. But something had shifted. Now that my skin is firmly in the dry land of the mid-30s, I’ve found that I truly don’t need to wash my face every morning.
My skin actually felt and looked better on the days when I didn’t wash it in the morning and instead focused on a thorough nighttime routine.
So like the Sagittarius I am, I set off to do some more exploring to answer the question definitively and once and for all: Do you *need* to wash your face in the morning? Keep reading for my findings.
Who Should Skip Washing Their Face in The Morning?
If you have normal, dry, or sensitive skin, skipping your morning wash might be a good option for you. Now, this doesn’t mean that rinsing your skin is out of the question—in fact, I love to splash my face with lukewarm water in the morning just to wake up and feel refreshed. Remember, our skin likes water!
However, if you’ve washed your face, and then you’ve gone out for a late night Taco Bell run and a quick stop by the corner store to get some movie snacks (hey, I’ve been there, not judging), you may want to wash your face in the morning regardless. Even just a couple of moments out in the elements can deposit some dirt and pollution on your skin.
Benefits of Not Washing Your Face in the AM
So, there are a few benefits to not washing your face in the morning.
If your skin is traumatized after too many chemical exfoliation sessions or is irritated from a sunburn, it’s totally okay to not wash your face in the morning. Your delicate moisture barrier could do without the extra sudsing and touching, and that little bit of extra oil can actually help repair your barrier.
Nighttime products can actually do their job
When you’re layering on all those expensive serums and barrier-loving oils at night, and then you get up seven to eight hours later and just wash them off, you’re really missing out on some skin-loving benefits.
Gives you more time in the AM
I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for shortcuts to make my life a little bit easier in the morning. Getting up, making coffee, and getting dressed just makes more sense to me, instead of spending another 15 minutes in the morning doing a skincare and makeup routine. My first few hours after waking are precious, and I really enjoy having just a few more minutes to myself in the morning to stretch, journal, take a short walk, or anything else my heart desires.
Skin is naturally hydrated
When you skip out on your morning wash, your skin barrier works to keep itself naturally hydrated. In other words, your skin is doing what it’s designed to do. This helps keep your barrier nice and protected, while allowing it to do its own thing. I feel like I’m giving my skin some love by just allowing it to … be.
Okay, That Sounds Great. But Who *Should* Wash Their Face in the Morning?
If you have incredibly oily, acne-prone skin, you should definitely wash your skin in the morning. Oily and acne-prone skin is known for harboring bacteria, and we all know what happens when our skin does that—more breakouts. By keeping your skin clean in the morning and at night, that bacteria has less of a chance to really wreak havoc.
Also, if you’re like me and have normal to dry skin but still deal with hormonal acne, it’s probably a good idea to still lather up your face in the morning during your PMS week, just to keep the pimples at bay.
So, how do you feel about washing your face in the morning? Let me know in the comments!