5 Reasons Why I Stopped Washing My Face In The Morning

This changed my skin for good.

Why I Stopped Washing My Face In The Morning getty

This goes against every basic hygiene principle, but not washing my face in the morning has actually saved my skin. Three months ago, I probably would have grimaced at the thought of my night sweats and oils being left on my face for the whole day, so you might be thinking, “This girl is gross.”

But hear me out about why I don't wash my face in the morning. Over the course of the past year, my skin has been slowly but surely deteriorating to the point that I’m actually envious of 13-year-old me who thought one or two pimples was the end of the world.


I went from being someone with dryish skin and the occasional PMS breakout on my chin, to full-blown acne, redness, and irritation across my entire face. This was not what I had envisioned for myself in my early 20s, and was completely getting in the way of my plan to have a 13 Going On 30-style glow-up after my awkward teen years!

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As superficial as it might sound, my skin problems also destroyed my confidence. I found myself feeling completely baffled that I had ever been someone who left the house without makeup or answered impromptu video calls while bare-faced. 


My immediate reaction to these breakouts was to try as many products as possible, as often as possible.

I would come across some “quick fix,” use it several times a day, rinse and repeat. But my skin just kept getting worse. I was eating clean, chugging liters of water, and constantly thinking “What gives?” 

I realized I needed to get the root of my problem, so I decided to strip back my skincare routine and figure out what worked — or, more importantly, what didn’t. I did a lot of research, and when I say a lot, I mean that I’m basically an amateur esthetician now.


I watched, read and listened to every YouTube video, product review, skincare expert — you name it. All this taught me one basic thing: when it comes to my skin, less is more.

By cutting down on my cleansing and choosing to only use the few products that I knew were working, I found my skin becoming less irritated and more clear every day. And, most importantly, my confidence was starting to come back. 

I don’t want anyone to think that they need clear skin to feel good about themselves. In fact, I’ve learned to love breakouts because they’re part of my body’s natural cycle.

But I do know that learning what works for skin helps cope with painful, irritated acne. And there are plenty of reasons for why not to wash your face in the morning.

So, here’s what I learned along the way that prompted me to ditch my morning cleanse and clear my skin myself.

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1. Your nighttime skincare routine should last until the morning.

The key to pulling off this new minimalistic skincare routine was making it so that I didn’t even need to wash my face in the morning.

My nighttime skincare features a strict double-cleanse, a sebum-fighting serum, retinol cream, and a moisturizer. I make sure I get all the dirt of the day off before bed, and I choose products with no fragrances or alcohols that will irritate my skin.

This means that I wake up without leftover makeup on my pillow, but I also don’t have an excessively oily face. If anything, my skin just looks more dewy and glowy before I even put makeup on.

It’s also a great time saver. If I need to feel refreshed, I’ll splash my face with warm water, but other than that I just use my morning serums, moisturizer, and SPF. Then, I’m good to go. 


2. Cleansers cause skin to become more oily.

Yes, too much oil and sebum production does cause breakouts, but washing your face could actually contribute to this problem rather than help it. In order to tackle makeup and dirt, our cleansers strip away all of the oils from our skin.

According to dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, "Drying products tend to make our skin overcompensate by producing more oils.” By washing my face less often, I actually trained my skin to produce oil at a less rapid pace.

Once I rinse my skin and apply a moisturizer, my face produces hardly any excess oil as the day goes on, and my acne isn’t worsened. 

3. Skin doesn’t get “dirty” in your sleep.


Washing your face at night is a necessary part of maintaining healthy skin. Throughout the day, our skin is exposed to makeup, pollution, food, and whatever else might come into contact with your face.

The same cannot be said for the nighttime unless you’re rolling around in dirt when you're in bed. “There isn't a need to rewash our face in the morning as there isn't anything to remove such as makeup or sunscreen," Athena Hewett, aesthetician and founder of Monastery skincare, says.

If you clean your skin enough before bed, you should wake up feeling just as clear and blemish-free.

When I decided to stop my morning cleanse, my skin didn’t even miss it. I just make sure to change my pillowcases at least every two weeks and alternate what side of the pillow I sleep on. That way, any dirt that might get on my pillows doesn’t repeatedly touch my sensitive skin. 


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4. Your skin needs a break.

If you’re someone who picks at your skin or pops zits, I urge you to stop! By leaving my skin alone a bit more, I discovered that what I thought were blemishes, weren’t really blemishes at all.

Actually, by rubbing cleanser on my face twice a day, I was irritating my skin even more. This was causing more redness and more breakouts.Skin is like a toddler throwing a tantrum: if you give in, they’ll do it again; if you leave them alone, they’ll eventually stop.

Now that I only cleanse in the evening, the swelling of my inflamed pimples is reduced overnight, and I don’t reaggravate them in the morning.


5. Natural oils are not your enemy.

Our bodies protect us in weird and wonderful ways, including by producing oil. Adds Ciraldo, "The natural oil our bodies produce is good for our skin — it provides a first defense barrier for the external factors of the day."

The layer of oil that our skin produces actually forms a protective barrier for your face. By cleansing your face in the morning, you’re exposing your bare, raw skin to the pollution and grime of the day.

Without surface oils, these factors penetrate under the skin and cause blemishes, irritation, and aging. Instead of stripping away these natural oils, I embrace the glowiness.

And honestly, my skin has never looked better. 


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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.