“I Stopped Washing My Face — And It Looks So Good”
I’ve always been obsessed with skincare. But lately, due to a growing list of things to buy and do, and a penchant for laziness, face wash has sort of… slipped my mind.
A month ago, I ran out of my favourite face wash. It’s pretty pricey and not at any nearby store so I’ve been going without it for a while. Instead, I’d been just rinsing my skin with warm water in the shower and drying it with a towel. I didn’t think it was a good idea until I posted this selfie to my Instagram stories.
A friend commented that my skin looked “amazing” and wanted to know what I’d been doing. I thought hard. Could stress be making me this glowy? Science says no. I realised that I hadn’t washed my face in ages, too. Surely that couldn’t be it?
And yet, the science backs up my suspicions. “The skin, dermatologically speaking, is like a wall,” dermatologist Yashmita Lalloo tells me. The wall is made up of bricks and mortar, mortar being the oils (lipids and ceramides) that surround the bricks. “That oily layer is of extreme importance for what we call barrier function because the skin is the main organ for immunity, it’s the first organ between the outside and the inside of the body,” she says. Basically, that oily layer of the skin protects you from getting infections. Our insistence on washing every day, especially when using a harsh face wash, can actually be detrimental. “On a biological level, it’s not necessary for us to bath every day,” says Lalloo. Added to that, water is totally fine to use, says Yashmita.
It’s been over a month of no face wash and my skin is still looking great. But truth be told, the oil does build up and become gross. Every few days, I deep cleanse with a mask and finish off with argan oil.
My ultimate fave is the Kiehl’s Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Masque, but I’m also deeply invested in the GLAMGLOW GravityMud Firming Treatment – it’s a silver masque that peels off and leaves your skin super firm. Another super-favourite is the Lush Cup O’ Coffee: it is honestly, truly like a cup of coffee for your skin. After one application, my pores are squeaky clean, my skin is invigorated and kind of… alert. Is that a thing?
Mostly, I’m using just water. My skin is still looking amazing, and I don’t plan on going back to daily scrubs any time soon.