How Many Times a Day Should You Wash Your Face?

Updated February 21, 2017

Your skin creates ceramides, fatty acids that protect your skin, according to Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz, authors of "YOU: Being Beautiful." These fatty acids maintain skin hydration and prevent irritation from bacteria. In order to keep your skin in good condition you should wash your face no more than twice a day. Daily washing removes bacteria and excess oil from your face and decreases the likelihood of acne breakouts. Your skin type (combination, oily, dry or sensitive) determines the type of product you should use, and whether you should use additional products to manage your skin.

Facial Cleansers

Your face also has a protective layer called an acid mantle that protects the skin from bacteria, according to Roizen and Oz. Some facial cleansers lower the acidity on your face, which leaves your skin susceptible to damage. According to Roizen and Oz, ordinary soap lowers the acidity on your face, which causes your face to lose moisture. Use pH-balanced facial cleansers to lower the risk of damaged skin. Your pores can also benefit from washing twice daily, as they look smaller when free of oil and dirt build-up. Avoid using cleansers with fragrances and colors due to the the likelihood of an allergic reaction.


Exfoliating your skin can assist in sloughing away dead skin cells, which gives your skin a healthy glow. Choose an exfoliator that does not contain harsh scrubbing beads. Although at the time it feels like your face is being thoroughly cleaned, the scrubbing can actually cause irritation by making tiny scratches on your face. Redness can also occur if you use harsh exfoliation; instead use a light exfoliator at night once a week to keep your skin in good condition.


Acne and oily skin are sometimes synonymous, but with a gentle cleanser and proper moisturizing you won't need to overwash your face to control oil production. Look for facial cleansers with salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid that works as an exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. Facial cleansers with salicylic acid should be used no more than twice daily, or as directed on the package, due to the risk of drying the skin out, which can lead to irritation. Get rid of those pimples by washing your face with a coarse washcloth and a mild cleanser, Roizen and Oz advise.

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