How To Tell if You’re Overwashing Your Face

How To Tell if You’re Overwashing Your Face

Published by Jil Goorman on May 3rd 2023

You’ve probably heard that cleansing your skin is one of the most significant parts of your skincare routine, which is accurate information. However, many people don’t realize it’s possible to wash their faces too frequently. Whether you cleanse on a set schedule or only once your skin feels oily, you should know the best practices for washing your face. Follow along to learn how to tell if you’re overwashing your face.

How Often You Should Cleanse

You might hear many different suggestions when it comes to how often you should wash your face, but one answer seems to outweigh all the rest. For most skin types and concerns, cleansing twice daily is the best skincare practice for a healthy and happy complexion. Many would agree that cleansing in the morning and evening is the golden rule of skincare.

You may ask why you should wash your face in the morning since you just did the night before; interestingly, a lot of acne-causing bacteria, dead skin cells, and oil may accumulate on your face throughout the night. If you don’t cleanse in the morning, you could be more likely to develop acne and other unpleasant skin conditions.

During the day, you might wear makeup, produce sweat, and make more oil, which can be a recipe for disaster. Additionally, many environmental pollutants come in contact with your skin, which can cause more damage. As a result, cleansing at night is the best way to ensure your face is clean and clear before bed.

Signs of Overwashing

While you might think you need to wash your face every time you touch it or whenever you notice shiny oil on your forehead, you can cause more harm than good by cleansing your skin more than twice every day. That said, there are a few signs you may notice if you’re cleansing more than you should. Read on to learn the distinct signs your skin needs a break from cleansing.

Increase in Acne

Overwashing your face can strip your skin of its natural oils, called sebum. With that, you might notice an increase in breakouts because your body responds to the stripping by making more sebum than necessary. If you have acne-prone skin, excess oil could clog your pores and result in more breakouts than usual.

Excessive Oiliness

As previously mentioned, stripping your skin of its natural oil isn’t a good thing. Because your body knows there’s not enough oil on your skin, it’ll send sebum-production glands into overdrive to compensate for the loss. As a result, you might notice oilier skin. For many people, the increase in oil on their faces makes them want to wash even more. If you notice an increase in oil production after overwashing, your skin may restore to its normal conditions if you give it the hydration it needs with the right moisturizer.

Dry or Irritated Skin

If your skin feels dry, irritated, red, etc., it might be due to frequent cleansing. Because you’re removing too much moisture from your face with overwashing, it’s completely possible to see dryness, flakiness, and irritation. If you notice any of these signs, your face most likely needs an increase in hydration, which moisturizer can help with.

Tightness After Cleansing

If you’ve ever noticed tightness after cleansing, it’s usually a sign that you’ve stripped your skin of its natural oils. Even though overwashing is a common culprit, scrubbing your skin or using harsh ingredients can also cause tightness due to the intense removal of natural oil and hydration. There’s nothing worse than dealing with taut skin after washing your face, but you may be able to fix it with a few simple adjustments to your daily routine.

How To Fix the Damage

If you think you’ve been overwashing your face, it’s time to reconsider your skincare routine. You might not know where or how to start fixing the damage, but that’s okay.

To put it simply, you need to give your skin a break from drying ingredients and cleansing multiple times per day. Even though the standard practice is to wash your face twice daily, you should consider dropping down to once daily—preferably in the evening—to begin the healing process. When you arrive home for the night, remove your makeup using a gentle oil cleanser and avoid using anything else on your face.

After a few weeks of using a cleansing oil to wash your face, you’ll probably start to notice your skin returning to its normal state. You can then incorporate acne-safe face wash and other products back into your skincare routine. Once your routine is back to normal, stick to cleansing twice daily to maintain your skin’s moisture barrier and natural oil production.

Not All Cleansers Are Equal

Now that you know how and when to wash your face, you should also know what to use. You could walk into a store and buy several different cleansers that claim to work wonders for many different skin types, but you should focus on finding one that best suits your skin type and concerns.

Finding the right cleanser is a personal journey, and you must know that all cleansers aren’t equal. For instance, many options you see lining the shelves at the store contain harsh ingredients that strip your skin of moisture and can leave you with an irritated rash. Additionally, anything with fragrance should be avoided.

For most people, a gentle, hydrating, creamy cleanser is the best choice to ensure high-quality skin. Cleansing oils are great options for removing makeup, as water-based cleansers won’t remove oil-based makeup products. It’s not unusual to have more than one cleanser for different purposes—you just have to find the products that work best for you.

Hopefully, learning how to tell if you’re overwashing your face will help you take better care of your skin and overall health. Even though you might not think your oiliness and acne are a result of overwashing, cutting back on cleansing and using a high-quality, hydrating moisturizer are sometimes all it takes to restore happy, healthy, clear, and beautiful skin. Get in the habit of washing your face twice daily—no more, no less—for the best possible results.

How To Tell if You’re Overwashing Your Face