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Are You Washing Your Face Too Much?

While washing your face is a great way to ensure that any dirt, dust, or other particulates don’t find their way into your pores and cause break outs, it’s important not to wash your face more than once or twice a day. The surface of your face is made of a delicate balance of old and new skin cells and layers, sebum (good oils secreted from glands beneath the dermis), and whatever additional things you have put on your face (such as moisturizer or sunscreen). Washing your face too often may get rid of the nutrients that should be there. If you’re not careful, it can cause problems over time.

Why You Should Limit Your Face Washing

As with hair, washing your face multiple times a day will not lead to less oily skin— in fact, chances are that washing your face too much will actually stimulate an increase in sebum production in your face glands, due to how much of it is getting washed away on a regular basis. If you’re truly concerned about your face’s oil production, instead of washing with cleanser and/or astringent multiple times a day, rinse your face off with cool water or use disposable rice paper blotting squares to soak up all of the additional oil while leaving your skin with the sebum it needs in order to properly withstand the elements.

Sebum is your natural protector from skin damage, and washing away too much of it can lead to sunburn, dryness, even premature aging of the skin. And too much exfoliation is just as bad— if you run out of dead skin to slough off and continue to exfoliate, you’ll end up damaging healthy skin cells and irritating your skin, as well as causing premature aging as you go through layer upon layer of your skin entirely too quickly.

Signs That Your Skin Is Overwashed

If you notice your face feeling sore and reddish, or that your skin feels particularly tight over your scalp, then you may be washing your face too often. Likewise, if you notice a marked increase in sebum production and you’ve been washing your face more than twice a day, it’s time to cut down.

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