Effects of not washing your face, positive and negative

This may seem like a bizarre and foreign thing to do.

Not washing your face? Isn’t washing your face meant to remove all the impurities and give you that fresh clean feel on your skin?

There are negative and positive side effects to not washing your face that you might want to think about.

This article looks at the negative and positive effects of it.

Effects of not washing your face


You keep the moisture locked in your skin

Some face washes and even cleansers give us an undesired side effect: dry skin, dry skin can be damaging to your skins moisture barrier.

In order for face washes to lather and give you that clean feeling, they have to be formulated with sulphates which dry out the skin.

If you can find products that don’t contain sulphates then your face won’t be stripped of its natural oil so harshly when you wash your face.

If you want to wash your face but want to avoid drying out your skin then opt for a moisturizing cleanser over a face wash.

This is a well-loved hydrating and moisturising cleanser

You can’t over wash or over-exfoliate

Over-washing and over-exfoliating are definitely things that can happen to you if you overdo cleansing and exfoliating.

There are people that swear by washing their face 3/4times a day but this is not a good idea.

When you over-wash or over-exfoliate your face it gets stripped of the sebum that keeps the skin healthy. It also damages your skins moisture barrier.

A damaged moisture barrier opens your skin up to environmental irritants and these can cause reactions on your skin.

If you really want to exfoliate daily this is a very gentle chemical exfoliator that you can use daily.

You avoid becoming a product hoarder

When you step back you might realize that you are using too many products, much more than you need to. Your skin doesn’t need as many products as you think it does.

On top of that, you might be using products that are doing the same thing over and over and wasting money.

This is especially true if you’re one of the lucky ones who don’t really need to wash their face daily because of genetics.


Makeup spread:

This is for the people who wear makeup, make up has a variety of ingredients that can clog pores. That is why it is recommended to remove the makeup very well at the end of the day.

Your make up can transfer onto your sheets and pillowcases and create a dirty breeding ground for bacteria. This breeding ground will be touching your skin every time you sleep.


This is especially true if you have acne-prone skin.

When you wash your face the face wash or cleanser clears off the excess sebum (skin oil) on your skin as well as anything else that may be on your skin.

If you don’t wash your face then this sebum will mix in with your dead skin cells (which are also still on your skin because you didn’t exfoliate).

This will eventually clog up your pores causing breakouts.

On top of that, the breakouts won’t simply be whiteheads or blackheads. They will become pimples if any bacteria get into the clogged pore.

If you pop the pimples the result won’t be good (read what will happen here).

Large pores

When you don’t wash your face your pores will become enlarged with sebum and expand.

They will fill with oil, dead skin cells and all kinds of external irritants making them look large.

Luckily you can remove them relatively easily (read how here).

Early ageing

When you wash your face before bed you create the optimum environment for the skin to renew itself.

The night time is a great time for the skin, this is when it rejuvenates itself.

It gets rid of old dead skin cells and replaces them with new fresh cells making your skin more elastic, taught and thus younger looking.

When you won’t wash your skin all the impurities and pollutants of the day stay on your skin. This will build up and your skin can’t rejuvenate itself as well. In addition, it can cause you to get leathery-looking skin.

Read more about skin issues that can be caused by a lack of sleep here.

Oilier skin

The skin (especially oily and combination skin) is constantly producing sebum in order to hydrate and moisturise itself.

When you don’t wash your face the sebum becomes too much for you to handle. You might not be so keen on the shiny face look.

Dewy skin is what makes people look young. Having an almost wet look on the skin doesn’t give the same effect.

There are ways to combat oily skin though, read more here.

Irritations on the skin

This happens if you wear makeup and don’t take it off.

When you sleep in your makeup the products can cause irritation on your skin or in your eyes. Makeup was never meant to be worn for so long.

If makeup gets into your eyes, especially while you’re sleeping, it can slowly get into the oil glands of your eye where the follicles grow.

You might assume that what forms is a whitehead, but in reality, this is called a stye. This can also cause inflammation, redness or swelling of the eye.

Your skin can also get acne from makeup.

Effects of not washing your face

Is it okay to wash your face with just water?

There isn’t a clear cut answer to the question “is it okay to wash your face with just water”. Washing your face with just water can give you similar effects as not washing your face.

If your skin works well with water only washing then you should go ahead.

There are a couple of factors that will affect if your skin can handle being washed with only water. It’s mainly linked to your skin type

Dry or normal skin:

If you have dry or normal skin then your skin won’t naturally produce too much sebum in the first place. Sebum is the natural oil that the skin produces in an effort to moisturise and hydrate itself.

As the day goes on, dirt, debris and pollutants from the environment can attach themselves to the sebum on our skin and cause breakouts and blocked pores.

All this gunk won’t attach itself to your dry or normal skin so easily so you can get away with water only washing.

If you decide to water only wash the skin will regulate itself and balance the oil levels on the skin making your skin look pretty good

Oily or combination skin:

If you have oily or combination skin then you probably can’t get away with water only washing. Your skin produces excess sebum.

This sebum can become a hotbed for dirt, debris pollutants and any other external pollutants you can get from the environment.

In addition, the excess sebum that your skin produces needs to be removed, so do your dead skin cells.

Water only won’t cut through all of this, you’ll need a cleanser or face wash to clean your skin.

That being said, skipping some days of washing your face with products can prove to be beneficial. You may currently be over-washing or over-exfoliating your skin and that can lead to a whole set of other problems.

Skipping some products occasionally will allow your skin to take a break from the routine.

What is the best facial cleanser?

If you want a gentle cleanser that will clear your pores, help deal with blemishes and will deliver antioxidants and nutrients to your skin then look no further than the Istanatural Vitamin C Facial Cleanser.

This facial cleanser contains vitamin C, vitamin C gives you a brighter more even complexion.

The cleanser is great at cleansing the skin and fading dark spots and sun damage while moisturising the skin and soothing it at the same time.

After use, your skin will feel clean but not stripped and moisturised but not oily.

What is the difference between a cleanser and a face wash?

Face washes and facial cleansers have the same objective. To clean the face and get rid of all the dirt and gunk from the day. They simply do this job in different ways. They are both good substitutes for soap

Face washes: Face washes come in gel-like formulas. They’re probably what most of us gravitated towards as teenagers because they are usually used to treat acne.

The formulas contain sulphates which break up dirt, debris, external pollutants and sebum on the skin. They give you a matte look after use but they can be quite drying on your skin especially if you already have dry or normal skin

Face cleansers: Face cleansers also cleanse the face but they do this in a more gentle way than face washes. Cleansers usually have a creamy base, are white in colour and are gentler than face washes. They don’t contain sulphates but still clean the face effectively.

In addition, cleansers are usually moisturising to the skin. They can be used by people with dry or normal skin as they won’t dry out the skin as much. They don’t mattify the skin and this is perfect for dry and normal skin types.

Which soap is good for face?

A good soap for the face is the Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar. This soap is chocked full of essential oils.

These include extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, sustainable palm oil, sunflower seed oil, and organic castor bean oil.

These oils all have a range of benefits for the skin delivering essential nutrients to the skin helping it stay healthy and looking radiant.

As a bonus, the soap is chemical-free, preservative-free and organic.

Soaps are well known for being harsh on the skin. If you use the wrong soap on your face it can make your breakouts worse.

In addition, it can damage the natural moisture barrier of your skin and this can be very drying.

The drying effects of soaps can lead to you developing wrinkles because your skin is so dried out.

On the flip side if you use the right soap on your face then this can be a godsend.

They can work just as well if not better than face washes and cleansers and as a bonus they more affordable, environmentally friendly, and easy to travel with.

Why should u not wash your face in the shower?

Washing your face in the shower is such a convenience. You wash your face and body all in one go but doing this won’t be the best decision.

The skin on our face is different from the skin on our body. The skin on our body is much less sensitive than the skin on our face.

Using the same hot water on our face as we do on our bodies can strip the skin of the sebum and cause dryness. 

In addition, after you wash your face you may want to give your skin a splash of cold water, this will wake your skin up. I’m sure you don’t want to do this to your whole body.

Is it ok to wash face once a day?

Yes, it is ok to wash your face once a day. This goes for all skin types.

If you wash your face once a day, during the nighttime, you are in a good position to clean away all the dirt and grime that has accumulated on your face throughout the day.

This is also a good time to exfoliate your skin and use all your skincare treatments.

When you exfoliate you remove all the dead skin cells on the top of your skin. In turn, the treatments you use afterwards will work better on your new fresh skin.

After you exfoliate your skin becomes a little more delicate because it isn’t protected by your dead skin cells.

If you go out in the sun with your skin unprotected your skin can become vulnerable to the sun that is why you should rather exfoliate at night.

Lastly using all your hard working and ultra-nourishing products at night will allow your skin to rejuvenate itself in optimum conditions.

Effects of not washing your face

What should apply on the face in the morning?

If you’ve washed your face at night then you don’t have to do your full skincare routine in the morning. As you sleep you will produce some sweat and this can be removed with a splash of water or rosewater.

Using rosewater in the morning to wipe your face down will gently remove the sweat as well as deposit some nutrients into your skin.

Rosewater contains vitamins A, C, E and B. It also has anti-inflammatory properties so it will do will at depuffing your face a little bit.

This is a favourite rosewater.

Is milk good for skin?

People in the beauty community are divided on milk and its benefits for the skin. Some use raw milk overnight on their skin and others apply boiled milk right onto their faces. Others simply drink it or don’t

I will be looking at the effects of milk consumption on the skin. There are pros and cons to drinking milk. Thus there is no clear cut answer to the question “is milk good for the skin”

The positives: Drinking milk will deliver a variety of nutrients to your body. These include zinc, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. All these will help in your overall health and subsequently your skin health.

The negatives: Dairy cows are fed hormones as they age. These hormones make their way into the milk and we drink it. These hormones have been said to affect our skin badly.

There is no hard science that cutting milk out of your diet will help with your skin but many have attested that their acne disappeared when they stopped drinking animal milk.

Dairy affects people differently and if you’re really trying to find a way to clear your acne then cutting out milk may be the way to go.

Is ice good for face?

Yes, ice can be good for the face if used correctly. If you wake up with a puffy swollen face then applying some ice or something cold will help reduce your swelling as well as reduce the blood flow in your face.

If you have bags under your eyes then you can also use a cold compress under the eyes to depuff.

The ice can even be used on your acne. Ice can help reduce swelling, redness and pain on the pimple helping it go away faster.

That being said, you need to be cautious when using ice on your skin. You should not be using ice directly on your skin.

If you apply the ice directly on your skin for long periods of time you can get frostbite and can damage the tissue of your skin.

How often should you shower?

Just like the question “how often should I wash my face” the answer to the question “how often should I shower” isn’t a cut and dry answer.

Depending on what you’re used to you may shower every day or you may choose to skip a day or two between showers.

The truth is, if you shower every day this can actually be a negative. It would be a better decision to only shower every other day or even two or three times a week.

If you are very active during the day, you live in a hot environment that causes you to sweat a lot or it’s summer you may feel the need to shower more often but taking three showers a day is too much

So if you want to know how often you should be taking a shower you should consult your skin. Everyone’s skin is different and reacts differently to different environments.

Even though the skin experts recommend that you scale your showers back doesn’t mean this is a hard and fast rule. It depends on how dry or oily your skin gets, how much you sweat and how your body reacts to the weather. In conclusion, shower as often as your skin needs/can tolerate.

Can I wash my face with baking soda?

We’ve probably all read an article telling us that baking soda is a great product to use to wash your face with. It is seen as one of the staples of clean and natural beauty.

Baking soda is supposedly meant to heal and clean the skin, treat UTI’s, clean your hair and help in soothing the skin. In reality, this product shouldn’t be used on your skin at all

Baking soda and the skin are opposites on the ph scale. The face is slightly acidic and baking soda is too basic. If you use baking soda to wash your face you can alter the pH of your skin, irritate it and even remove your skins protective barrier.

In addition, the baking soda can irritate your skin. You might even develop a rash on your skin after using the product, you can also develop burning on the skin if you use it.

If you use baking soda you also run the risk of over-exfoliating your skin. Baking soda slightly exfoliates your skin. If you’re using it in addition to other exfoliating products this can lead to over-exfoliation.

Is baby shampoo a good face wash?

It may seem a little weird but using baby shampoo on your skin may actually be a good idea. Because cleansers and shampoos are both meant to get rid of dirt and grime they contain similar ingredients. These ingredients can be used on the skin or the hair.

The ingredients that break down oil and grime are called surfactants. They break down oil, dirt and any other extra irritants allowing them to be washed away as you rinse your face or hair.

The surfactants in baby shampoo are made for a  babies precious mane. They are more gentle and don’t sting your eyes or cause irritation.

That being said, if you have sensitive skin then you should be very careful when introducing any product to your skincare routine including this one. The shampoo is made for the hair, not the skin and may still cause a reaction.

Also, not all baby shampoos are created equal, the good baby shampoos are hypoallergenic and tear-free. If you find a baby shampoo that contains fragrances and chemicals that can irritate the skin then you shouldn’t use it on your skin. If you don’t want to use it on your face you can use it to clean up your make up brushes

That’s it for this article looking at the effects of not washing your face. I hope that you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you did then please share it.

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