How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

There’s nothing more satisfying than the feeling of a freshly washed face. It immediately feels lighter, younger, and fresher. And if you’re anything like us, you probably want to be washing your face constantly just to achieve that same feeling.

While it might feel natural to want to wash your face every time it feels a little oily, you may be doing some more harm than good. There’s a happy medium where you can wash your face a few times a day without getting to the point of danger.

So how often should you wash your face? Let’s discuss that as well as some other face-washing FAQs.

Why Is Face Washing Important?

Overwashing might be a bit better than never washing your face at all. Throughout the day, your body naturally secretes sebum, an oil that comes from the sebaceous glands

These oils help keep your skin hydrated, but in excess, they can clog your pores and lead to acne, pimples, and other unsightly features.

Washing your face is essential for keeping sebum levels under control. Facial cleansers work through a process called micellization, which breaks down larger molecules into smaller ones so that they can be easily rinsed off. 

Face soaps break down oils and physical dirt particles so that they can be easily scrubbed away.

Daily face washing is especially essential during times of your life where major hormonal changes occur, particularly during puberty. During this time, sebum production is increased, so you’ll be more prone to acne and other blemishes.

With that said, face washing is a healthy practice that should be done throughout life at least once a day. But if you start to use it too often, it might lead to some unwanted effects.

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Most experts recommend that washing your face at least one time at the end of the day is a good practice. This lets you remove all the dirt, oil, and other pollutants that gather on your face throughout the day.

Washing again in the morning wouldn’t hurt, though there’s not as clear of a consensus on how essential this step is. If you care about your skincare routine, washing your face once in the morning and once at night can provide you with a ton of benefits, and it’s unlikely that this would be too much.

Additionally, you should wash your face after participating in an activity that causes you to sweat a lot, such as exercising or being outside on a hot day. The longer that sweat is on your skin, the easier it might clog your pores, so you’ll want to wash it off as soon as possible.

Finally, it’s essential to face wash at night, especially if you wear makeup during the day. Caked on makeup can clog your pores and easily cause breakouts, so you’ll want to wash that off with a Purifying Ocean Mist Cleanser.

Signs of Overwashing

Facial cleansing can dry out your skin, especially if you already have a dry skin type. If you wash too often, it can cause flakiness, dryness, wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of skin aging. That’s why you want to make sure you’re not using your cleanser too often.

When you remove the oil from your skin with a cleanser, your body needs to overcompensate by producing more oils. 

Oil levels and moisture levels are two different things, so a face that lacks moisture can still be oily. This might lead to more breakouts and have the opposite effect from what was intended.

You can usually tell if your skin is overwashed if it feels tight and dry. 

Sometimes you’ll notice some white flakes on the surface, or you may even see some reddish patches to indicate that the skin is sensitive to the product. If you wake up in the morning and your skin feels dry and flaky, skip the face wash for the day and just do it at night instead.

While washing your face too often can have some abrasive effects, it’s usually much less about how often you’re cleansing and more about what you’re cleansing with. 

The type of products that you use can directly affect the state of your skin after use.

How To Alleviate Overwashing

If your skin has the above reaction to face washing, the first step is to stop using the cleanser that you currently have. It might be that the cleanser itself is irritating, not the frequency with which you’re using it.

Next, you’ll want to give your skin a bit of a break to let it repair itself. 

While it might feel weird not to use any products for a few days, it might be necessary to allow your body the time it needs to heal. With that said, facial oils, like the Ultra Hydrating Algae Oil, don’t dry out the skin, so you can still use these to lock in hydration and protect your skin’s natural biome.

In fact, using an oil-based cleanser might be the best option if you’re obsessed with overwashing your face. This way, you won’t dry out the skin as much, and you’ll be able to cleanse a bit more often than you can with a water-based product.

The Right Face Washing Tools

It might not matter how often you wash your face if your product falls flat. Finding the right facial cleanser for your skin type and your preferences is an equally important step.

First, you’ll want to learn what your skin type is. To do this, wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove all oils and dirt. 

After a half-hour, take a look in the mirror. If your skin is shiny with oil all over, you likely have oily skin. If it’s dry, you probably have dry. And if you only have oil in your T-zone (forehead and nose), then it’s likely you’ve got combination skin.

In general, if you have oily or combination skin, you’ll want a light cleanser that gently removes oils and leaves your skin feeling fresh without dehydrating it. But if you have dry skin, you may need a heavier cream cleanser to restore some natural oil and moisture.

When you first try a new cleanser, it’s normal for your skin to have a mild reaction for the first few days as it adjusts to the new product. If it continues longer than a week or becomes severe, stop using the product immediately. 

Additionally, you’ll want to use a moisturizer, like the Replenishing Daily Deep Sea Moisturizer, after cleansing in order to provide hydration to your skin that may have been lost during the cleansing process. 

For oily skin, make sure it’s a water-based moisturizer to not clog your pores with any excess oil.

The Perfect Ingredients

At One Ocean, we are dedicated to adapting new formulas as new knowledge becomes available. 

We also recommend looking for clean ingredients in any skincare product that you decide to use. Clean ingredients are ones that have not been shown to be harmful to human health. Some solid examples of clean ingredients include those derived from natural sources, such as vitamins.

A good rule of thumb is that if you can’t read the ingredients on the label, they may not be the best to put onto your skin.

In Conclusion

Washing your face is one of the more enjoyable personal hygiene activities that you get to conduct throughout the day, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. 

In general, you should wash your face at least twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. Additionally, you’ll want to wash off excess oils after wearing make-up or sweating excessively.

But when your skin starts to feel tight or looks visibly dry, you might be overwashing. If this happens, take a cleanse from your cleansing for a few days, or just switch to an oil-based cleanser instead.

Finally, the type of product you use might be more important than how often you use it. Make sure you’re searching for products that utilize clean ingredients for the best results.



Sebaceous gland lipids | NCBI

The role of critical micellization concentration in efficacy and toxicity of supramolecular polymers | PNAS

Puberty Pimples: A Guide for Teens | WFMC Health