Don’t be thrown off by the title. This article is about skin cleansing and new information that may help you better understand how your skin works, and how to better take care of it, although not washing you face is talked about as well.
For a long time I have searched for the perfect face-washing method that is best for my skin. For years I have noticed my skin going through many different stages: oily, cracked and dry, and acne-ridden. I have tried many different skincare methods, and I have had interesting results:
Conventional face washes: Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, Olay, Aveeno, and a couple other brands
With all of these face washes, I have noticed that all of them dry out my skin, no matter what moisturizers I used. They didn’t really seem to have any apparent affect on acne either.
On Not Washing Your Face, With Soap:
I finally gave up on face wash when I read about oil cleansing. Oil cleansing is when you use natural oils on your skin instead of soaps or face wash. The nice thing about oil cleansing is that it is not as harsh on your skin and it does help the skin maintain some moisture after cleansing. I did find however that it still caused skin dryness for me and made my skin break out. I tried this method for about 2 years and it didn’t help. I tried different oils that were not as pore clogging, such as jojoba oil (which is still great for your skin). The main oil I did use for the majority of this time was coconut oil, which had a moderate comedogenic rating (the rating that is given to determine how much an oil can clog pores). I went to a lower comedogenic rating oil, jojoba oil, but that didn’t seem to be a solution. It seemed that no matter what I did, my skin wasn’t pleased. I was eating healthy foods, and even tried a detox, but it only helped a little bit.
Now many beauticians say that you should wash your face twice daily, once in the morning and then in the evening. However recent information may show that this is too often.
In one article written by Erica Tempesta, she does an experiment where she goes without cleanser for 31 days. In this experiment, she notices that for the first time in her life her skin tone had balanced and her skin also got less oily overall.
Also, a writer named Breizh wrote about how she had tried everything she could to combat acne and what eventually worked for her was to give up regular cleansing altogether and only wash her face with water twice a day, and lightly. She states,
“My skin looks healthy and glows. My scars are slowly fading away, much quicker than what they used to do when I was using tons of products to help them fade. Tomorrow, for the first time, I’m going to school with bare skin. No foundation, no powder, maybe just one little touch of concealer on one or two scars. I feel free.”
Shivanidarji (from Acne.org) also had a similar experience – specific webpage has since been erased, but what she said is listed below:
“I was surprised I didn’t break out when my skin felt dirty the first week, and my scars usually stay for months and they’re usually very dark. My scars are completely gone with a little powder coverup if I am going to a party but now I can walk out the door confidently without any makeup on. My liquid and powder foundation were sensitive to water so they washed right off with water. I did exfoliate just once in these 2 months so I did not follow this regimen completely but the exfoliation was much needed and I did not breakout when I did it. Other than that, no moisturizer, toner, pimple treatment, or soap was used. I am also not the healthiest person, but I do drink a lot of water and I believe that that helped a lot too. I have saved soooooo much time and money by doing this so its really worth a shot.”
On Not Washing Your Face, Period!
A popular website called acne.org shows reviews of many who have tried the “not washing” or “water only” techniques, and it shows to be a high success rate. Over 66% of reviews showed a high rating of 4/5-5/5 stars and shared their personal experiences while only about 29% didn’t find these methods effective.
We all have different skin types, but this begs the question, “Are we messing with our skin too much?”
The fact is, our skin thrives best at a pH of about 5.5, slightly acidic. Skin products alter our skins pH and throw off it’s balance. This also alters our skin’s ability to protect itself from the outside world.
There are many other good stories of others who gave up washing their face that had beneficial effects:
Pale Osprey (previously owning website: http://beyondtheblackmountain.com, a now lost website):
“The amount of oil my face was producing almost went to zero. My acne has changed from obnoxious blackheads, breakouts around my chin and on my cheeks, large cystic zits a couple times a month, to minuscule whiteheads and maybe a couple zits here and there – you know, like a normal person’s skin.”
I haven’t washed my face in 10 YEARS…I had acne in my early adulthood, and I asked my friend, Africa, with flawless (makeupless) skin, her secret. She said she NEVER washes her face, only rinsing thoroughly. I laughed into each of her flawless pores, and ignored this advice for 5 years, until one day, I gave it a try. Sure enough, after a rough week, the oily-to-dry-to-acne cycle stopped. Face cleared. Problem solved. I recently passed on this advice to a friend with bad acne, who feels she has to wear heavy makeup for work. She uses baby wipes and face wash to take it off. Each process takes about 10 minutes. After using less makeup, thus less cleansing product, her skin has been much better. On her 10 days vacation, when she stopped using makeup and washing her face at all, her skin COMPLETELY healed. Now back to work, the acne is back too. There is nothing natural about washing your face daily with natural or chemical washes, other than humans falling for institutional marketing, which seems quite natural.
“I stopped washing my face and it cleared up the acne and my skin began to heal. Its been a few years now. But its true you must remove make up. Now I don’t wear any and I do moisturize. its been a few years now and its changed my perspective on the skin care industry. they’re just out to make money and not help people feel and look beautiful.”
There are many amazing stories that should make us question how often we should really wash our face, and also consider what we are washing them with. Going water only might not be for everyone, but it does seem to help about 2/3 of people with acne. If you are the 1/3 that it doesn’t, perhaps you should consider that it may be diet related or that you have a food allergy or allergy to something else. I wouldn’t give up on this method just yet.
If you suffer from acne, dry skin, or oily skin, I encourage you to consider this information and experiment where you see fit. I am not a doctor or dermatologist, but what I can say is that not everything works the same for everyone, and in most cases the natural solution is often the best, especially when you remove harsh chemicals. Of course use your best judgement.
I can personally say that when I have “forgotten” to wash my face when I was younger, I did remember noticing it was clear when I thought the outcome would be the opposite. I am going to try this method for a while and wash when I feel necessary. Overtime, I’m sure I will learn what is best for my skin, and hopefully you will too. If you realize that it isn’t your skincare routine, but your diet, this may really help you. I found it to be very informational and helpful in better understanding the inner workings of your body and how it can affect you on the surface. Also it doesn’t just heal the skin, but the body as a whole. Every part of the body is connected, so it certainly makes sense.
I hope this information has been useful to you in some way. Feel free to leave any feedback and/or comments. Have a great day, and may the healthy skin be with you!
Have you tried not washing your face, and has it worked for you?