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Why Shouldn't You Wash Your Face in the Shower?

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Our lives are built around convenience, like the 2-in-1 products that line the beauty aisle. Even if you’re looking to save the most amount of time possible, there are some shortcuts that should be re-evaluated. It makes life so much easier to make your shower a one-stop-shop to clean everything from head to toe. But, it’s a bad habit you may be guilty of. 

Why shouldn't you wash your face in the shower, you ask? Well, let's take a deeper dive into why this practice should be reconsidered.

Are You Washing Properly?

There's a fair chance that if you are cleansing your face in the shower, you might be doing some face washing faux pas. Changing some of these bad habits could yield some pretty rewarding results if you gave it a go! Let’s break down where you could be going wrong:

  1. How Often Are You Washing?  This can be a game-changer in terms of how your skin looks and feels. The general rule of thumb for cleansing your skin is twice daily, once in the morning and then once at night. The exception lies with those who suffer from sensitive skin, who can rinse in the morning and cleanse at nighttime. Removing the skin's protective oils with too much rubbing could cause further irritation to already delicate skin. If you are getting your sweat on, another wash will definitely do you good. Just be mindful of how often you cleanse each day because overwashing can definitely work against you in terms of maintaining a healthy oil balance. If you wear makeup,  removing all of the day's dirt and oil build-up will allow your skin to properly repair while you sleep.  
  2. What Type of Products are You Using?  Technique means nothing if you aren’t using the right product for your skin needs. If you have dry or sensitive skin, gentle cream cleansers are more hydrating. If you wear a lot of makeup, try double cleansing or using micellar water to thoroughly remove even stubborn mascara. For those with an oily or acne-prone complexion, choose cleansers that will thoroughly cleanse your pores, and treat with ingredients like salicylic acid. Finding the proper face wash based on your skin type will be highly beneficial to properly balance your skin's oils. Each skin type possesses unique issues to be focused on. The right product aims to target those specific problems, and will help fast track the skin to being resilient, clear, and glowing.  
  3. How Are You Washing?  The correct answer should be: as gently as possible.  Washcloths may seem convenient or helpful, but can actually create damage like microtears to your skin if used too roughly. You really only need your fingertips or a gentle brush to thoroughly cleanse the dirt and oil from your pores. Follow it up by a thorough rinse with lukewarm water and a gentle pat down from your towel. Seal in your skin’s moisture with a good moisturizer. In the morning, be sure to use SPF to protect your skin from sun damage. 

Bad Habits To Break

Let's face it, we are all guilty of enjoying a nice hot shower to unwind. While this is relaxing, it can be quite draining on the skin. Hot water dehydrates your skin, making it vulnerable to the elements and leaving it irritated. Not to say that you can never wash your face in the shower again, but for most of us, the hot water is not a conducive environment to cleanse your face.  

So, how do you break this bad habit, or at least modify it to fit your lifestyle? Some simple tips to follow:

  1. Be Gentle. Save the loofahs and washcloths for your body, and stick to cleansing your face with your fingertips or a gentle brush. You still get that exfoliating power without being too harsh on your skin. 
  2. Change your water temperature. If you started your shower with the hot water on, when it comes time to wash off your face, take it down to lukewarm status to ensure you aren’t burning your face off. If you save the face cleaning step for the end, it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience to incorporate this step. 
  3. Remove Your Makeup.  Before washing your face, you’ll see better results if you first remove your makeup with gentle micellar water or oil cleanser, Using soft cotton pads will provide some gentle exfoliation to remove even stubborn makeup. Cleansing will remove some, but added dirt and oil may be trapped under the makeup as a result, so the best bet is to ensure your skin is clear of makeup before cleansing.     
  4. Steer Clear of Harsh Chemicals.  Not all cleansers are formulated with skin-loving ingredients. Be on the lookout for chemically enhanced additives such as sulfates in your cleanser. While it may give that sense of complete cleanliness, the reality is that bubbly sulfates strip the skin of natural oils that our skin actually needs for protection. Additionally, those who suffer from sensitive skin may see a reaction from using this chemical ingredient. Parabens are another item to add to your watch list, as this engineered preservative is also found in numerous beauty products. The threat it poses is its unique capability of mimicking our body's natural hormones. No thanks!
  5. Clean Everything. This means removing cleaning agents such as conditioner and shampoo from your face and hairline, where residue often remains.  
  6. Clean Your Face Last. Saving your face until the end will ensure that it will not have to be subjected to water temperatures which are too warm. Switch the water to be lukewarm, and cleanse away all product. 


While washing your face during your shower may be efficient, the hot water and abrasive nature can be damaging to your skin. The best scenario for your face is a separate face washing session with clean hands and gentle fingertip massaging, thorough rinsing with lukewarm water, patting dry with a towel, and of course, moisturizing. 

This is just the basic routine of course. Boost your beauty routine by incorporating exfoliation, toners, or serums. It is all modifiable based on your skin's specific needs. Healthy and clear skin can be yours so long as you fully embrace and understand the basics of taking care of your skin. Good luck!



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Author: Akhila Jerripothula

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