Turns Out You May Be Washing Your Face Too Often

When it comes to skincare, there are no shortages of very strongly-held opinions. Whether that's regarding physical exfoliants, chemical SPF, or added fragrance, there are sure to be people on both sides of just about any stance. Case in point: the simple question of how often one should wash their face. According to Healthline, for instance, twice a day is ideal for most skin types (unless you're dry or sensitive), plus an added wash if you sweat or workout. However, it's possible this general advice might cause more skin issues than it solves.

It turns out that washing once per day might actually be better your skin. The reason? Over-washing can strip the skin of oils, causing it to over-produce sebum in order to re-establish balance. This is why even oily-skinned, acne-prone individuals could benefit from washing less often, since acne-fighting cleansers in particular are harsh enough to damage the skin's moisture barrier, causing inflammation and more breakouts in the long run (via Cosmopolitan). As a result, cleansing just once per day might help your skin return to equilibrium and reduce breakouts. But, if you're using a gentle cleanser, is it really such a bad idea to cleanse twice a day? Luckily, there are a few sure signs that will let you know if you're over-washing. 

How to tell if you're over-washing your face

According to aesthetician Athena Hewett, if your face feels tight or dry after cleansing, you're likely over-doing it (via Allure). You'll also want to look out for dry patches or signs of increased sensitivity, since those are also hallmarks of stripped skin. In fact, even Vogue Australia recommends skipping your morning wash in most cases to avoid the negative effects over-washing can have. Plus, as an added bonus, your facial cleanser will last you twice as long!

If you're looking for some celebrity endorsements, it turns out Kristen Bell only cleanses at night, while Shawn Mendez and Senator Elizabeth Warren never wash their faces (via HuffPost). Of course, this doesn't mean you should stop washing your face all together, just that you should be more mindful about how, and how often you do it. In order to get the most bang for your wash (without stripping the skin), you might want to look into a cleansing oil or balm. These are perfect for deep-cleansing and removing dirt and even water-proof makeup (something a typical, water-based cleanser can't do), then washing away clean without stripping your skin (via HuffPost). Finally, make sure the water you're using to wash isn't too hot, since this can also have unwanted drying effects on the skin.