You might not have to wash your face twice a day, dermatologists say

Washing your face once a day is fine, unless you have oily skin

Washing your face at night is a great way to avoid oil and dirtbuildup. It’s habitual to keep the same routine in the morning. However, according to dermatologists, it might not be necessary.

“If you are cleansing your skin morning and night, you may be over-stripping your skin, which results in a barrier dysfunction, breakout, redness, and more skin concerns,” Maja, a medical aesthetician— who goes by and has more than 200,000 followers— said on TikTok.

A good skincare routine is a great way to practice and keep good hygiene. Athena Hewett, an aesthetician and founder of Monastery skincare, told Allure skin continues to produce natural oils at night — a necessary provision to the “first defense barrier for the external factors of the day.”

Although it’s important to be mindful and wash your face sparingly, experts say the once-a-day rule doesn’t necessarily apply to those with oily skin.

For oily skin, it’s recommended to wash your face twice a day — and possibly three times. If you exercise or are outdoors in the middle of the day, certain activities can produce more sweat, oil and dirt buildup, requiring additional cleansing.

However, for oily skin it’s not about how much you wash but what you wash with.

For oily skin, using foam or gel cleansers are typically recommended because they cut through dirt and oil better than other products. If the cleanser has an active ingredient, such as salicylic acid, “you may only want to use that formula once per day and opt for something milder for your second wash,” board-certified dermatologist Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD told Byrdie

Facial skin is sensitive, and overwashing it can cause dryness, irritation, peeling, redness and skin damage.

“On the flip side, not washing enough can lead to clogged pores, a dull complexion and acne,” Robinson said.

So if you’re stuck on what to do with your routine, its best to listen to your skin. According to Adore Beauty, a few signs of overcleansed skin are a change in complexion (typically super oily), new breakouts, and skin that looks and feels “super-dry.”