Ask any skin expert what the most important thing you can do for your skin is and they’ll likely tell you two things, SPF and thorough cleansing. But while SPF is a no-brainer (use it daily, apply a generous amount as directed, and reapply regularly) there is a lot of confusion and debate about how and, most importantly, when you need to cleanse.
So we reached out to Resident Skin Wizard (“Dermal Therapist”) Yadira Cauchi to help us figure it all out.
First up, why is cleansing so important?
It’s not as exciting as your actives or as enjoyable as a lovely face mist but make no mistake, cleansing is an essential part of maintaining skin health for two reasons:
If you’re not properly cleansing then all that SPF, makeup, grime, excess oil, and sweat that gets on your face each day will build up and can create congestion, clogged pores and breakouts.
- Without it, all those fancy serums and lush face creams can’t properly penetrate your skin and do their job.
So, should you be cleansing every morning?
Cleansing in the morning can certainly have its benefits, but whether or not you should depends on your skin type, your key concerns, and your personal preference. “All skin types can cleanse morning and night,” says Cauchi, noting that it’s very individual as some skin types may find their skin may prefer just a PM cleanse. “If you are rosacea prone or more of a sensitive skin type you may find that your skin benefits from skipping the morning cleanse.”
What skin types would benefit from a morning cleanse?
Combination, oily and acne-prone skin types may like a morning cleanse to remove any excess oil or sweat that occurs overnight. A quick gentle cleanse is a clever way to clear all that away and give the rest of your AM routine a fresh base to be applied to.
Alternatively, if you have dry skin and love to layer up lush face creams or rich sleeping masks at night, you may also benefit from a quick AM cleanse to remove any excess product before you get stuck into your morning skincare routine.
Although there are often differing opinions on AM cleansing, the one thing that everyone agrees on is this: If you work out in the morning, you should definitely wash your face afterwards to help prevent sweat-induced congestion.
Either way, if you are cleansing in the morning, stick to one gentle cleanse only. (A double cleanse is brilliant at night for removing makeup and SPF, but it’s not essential in the AM.)
What to do if you don’t need a morning cleanse.
If you’re prone to redness, have sensitive skin, or just prefer not to cleanse in the morning, a splash of water on your skin will work just fine as the first step in your routine. Just make sure the water is lukewarm, never hot, to avoid irritating your skin/causing any redness.
If you like an early morning workout or if your skin type is oily/breakout-prone: A morning cleanse is a good idea.
If you have rosacea-prone or sensitive skin: A splash of water is totally fine as your first step.
If you just enjoy a morning cleanse: Go for it. So long as you’re using something gentle that doesn’t strip or irritate your skin, there’s no reason why you can’t cleanse every morning. Enjoy the ritual! Enjoy your day!