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Does It Matter What Time You Wash Your Face?

Wondering when to wash your face? You know you should do it in the morning and at night but are there certain times that are more optimal? We explore.

Ever have one of those days that just goes on forever and next thing you know you don’t get a chance to double cleanse until midnight or later? It happens to the best of us.
We’ve always been told that we have to cleanse your face twice a day, once in morning and once at night, but does it actually matter what time we cleanse? We reached out to a derm to find out if time plays a factor.

Does it actually matter what time you cleanse?

Dermatologist Neil Sadick says: “Cleansing first thing in the morning after you’re up from bed and before you apply any products, and last thing at night before putting any night cream is the best approach.” While this may seem simple in theory, in real life, this doesn’t always hold up. Everyone’s schedules differ, but keep in mind that the general rule is that it’s best to cleanse when you wake up and before you head to bed, no matter what time of the day that may be.
“Use your judgement and cleanse as needed during the day,” says Sadick. “For example if you feel your skin needs a wash after a sweaty workout then definitely wash it no matter what time of the day it is.” So, in reality, there are exceptions to the rule but it’s always important to at least make sure to thoroughly cleanse morning and night to maintain proper skin health.

What about on those long, tiring makeup filled days?

This advice is especially important for those days where you’re stuck in makeup for extended periods of time: Instead of worrying about the exact time to cleanse, be mindful of the type of makeup you plan on wearing that day. “An oil-based foundation and makeup that is powdery can clog your pores as well as dry out the skin, increasing the risk for infection, acne eruption, and compromising skin health and radiance,” says Sadick. Real life means that long days are inevitable, but just like with skin care, it’s best to choose skin-healthy makeup versus pore-clogging ones that could cause acne.
So, if you know for sure it’s going to be a long day, try skipping out on full coverage foundation and instead reach for a lightweight and hydrating BB cushions like the Missha Signature Essence Cushion. This particular cushion actually contains 42.6% moisturizing essence to brighten skin and promote a clear and glowing complexion. Plus, it contains SPF 50 which will protect you from harmful UV rays.
“A non-comedogenic foundation, and moisturizing makeup formulation that contains SPF, is actually beneficial for the skin,” says Sadick. “It adds an extra barrier of protection from environmental irritants, shields from UV rays, and seals the moisture within the epidermis.”
Consider taking a no foundation day and instead smooth and brighten skin with the Son & Park Beauty Filter Cream Glow. This whipped cream contains pearl extract to illuminate the complexion and rosa damascena flower to help control sebum production. You can think of this cream as an effortless way to achieve a “filter-like” complexion without heavy makeup. If you need more coverage, try using the Son & Park Custom Cover Concealer kit to spot conceal and blur imperfections so you get coverage exactly where you need it.

What if I skip cleansing in the morning and only cleanse at night?

When it comes to skin care we hear about all types of tips, but the one we often hear about the most is the idea of skipping cleansing in the morning and instead just rinsing with water or using a cleansing water and then continuing on with the rest of your routine.
Sadick says that no matter how clean your face may appear, you still need to cleanse. “While [we] twist and turn in bed [our] faces interacts with bedding and pillows that contain allergens and contaminants,” he says. “Moreover, remnants of night-time skin products and dead skin cells need to be removed before applying a new layer of moisturizer and makeup.”
So while skipping cleansing may seem like a great time-saver, it might not be such a good idea. Remember that skin care is extremely personal, so if you find that method doesn’t work for you, stick with what makes your skin look and feel the best.

Bottom Line

We all have those long days, but at the end of the day (pun intended), as long as you’re taking the time to cleanse thoroughly, your skin will thank you.

+What’s your best advice on when to wash your face? Let us know in the comments below.

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