Do you need to wash your face first thing in the morning?

Feb 21, 2022

Do you have to wash your face in the morning?

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive is whether you need to cleanse your face in the morning and evening. With one exception, our recommendation is 'no'. Learn why skipping your face cleanser in the morning can boost your skin barrier health, how it relates to acne, blemishes and even anti-ageing, and what alternative we recommend should you still want a morning freshness boost. 

What happens if you cleanse your face too often?

Every time you wash your face with water, it attacks the skin barrier on your face. This means that the skin barrier needs to regenerate itself. The skin is able to regenerate itself but it takes time but also increasingly slows down with age. In particular, already challenged, stressed, sensitised skin will struggle even further to regenerate itself easily.

The core issue of the cleansing step is the following: A cleanser cannot distinguish between particles such as make-up on the skin and the skin's own lipids. It simply washes both away.

This means that the more often you cleanse your face with cleansers, the more likely you are to rinse out too many of the skin's own lipids and thus weaken the skin barrier. This is an effect that may take several months to occur and could manifest as sensitive, flaky skin and redness and accelerate the aging process as the skin loses its subtleness and elasticity. Other symptoms could be sudden reactions to care products because the skin barrier is disturbed due to over-care (too much soaping, peeling, exfoliation). In addition, sebum production in the face is stimulated as the skin tries to prevent possible dryness - triggered by water.


When should you cleanse your face in the morning?

If you used products with potent actives at a very high percentage such as retinols or strong acids on your skin overnight, as a precaution, cleanse your face in the morning. However, first rule of defence when it comes to these actives, wear a sun lotion, in particular when you used potent actives during the night. As the young skin cells will be exposed and will need an extra cushion of protection. 


Is there an alternative to cleansing in the morning?

You can skip cleansing altogether. However, most of us need a freshness boost in the morning. And some of us wake up with an oily film on your skin that you want to get rid of (although might be worth exploring to review your evening routine instead - then contact us here). Based on this, we suggest to give your face a freshness boost using carbonated water if you have dry water. If not, you can use the tab water. 


What are the benefits of a strong skin barrier?

Every technique, every product that we will offer and bring to market must answer the following question:

"How does it help to maintain and strengthen the skin barrier?"

Research and medicine show that a skin barrier in balance tends to be less sensitive and dry, and even ages more slowly. In addition, a strong skin barrier is better able to regulate inflammation and ultimately slows down the ageing process. This can reduce the likelihood of blemishes and support faster healing of existing blemishes.


Why is this a necessary step in your winter skincare routine?

Especially in winter, the skin can benefit from the carbonated water technique, as the skin's own lipids protect it from excessive water loss and dryness can be prevented. In particular oily skin and mature skin can benefit from this cleansing technique. Read more here about the carbonated technique. 


How to break the habitual morning routine?

If you cleanse your face every morning with a cleanser and your skin is fine, then stick to it. Ideally use though an oil-based cleanser to nourish your skin with lipids and avoid at all cost depriving it of its lipids. But if you have symptoms like dryness, itchiness, redness, sensitivity, even blemishes, we recommend you skip cleansing in the morning. Give it a go and see how your skin is doing.


In Summary: the right way to do it

To break this vicious circle, it is advisable to carry out the usual cleansing programme only in the evening. After all, it is very important to remove the make-up, sunscreen and pollution when you’ve been outside from the face in the evening, and water is indispensable for this. In the morning, on the other hand, you wouldn’t necessarily need to wash your face. For those who feel uncomfortable, we recommend wiping the skin using a cotton pad and carbonated water before applying a moisturising cream and, of course, sunscreen as usual.

Who would have thought that doing something good for your face could be so easy? Even though you might find it difficult to change your years-long routine at first, it's worth putting our tip into practice. After all, it will avoid over-cleansing your skin and protects your skin barrier for years to come. As a result, it is less stressed and appears healthy and radiant instead. Have more questions? Why don’t you contact us here. 

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