Ask a doc: ‘Do I need to wash my face every night?’

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You likely brush your teeth every night — but you may not realize how important it is to wash your face before going to bed every night, too.

It’s not just about removing makeup, preventing wrinkles or washing away the remnants of a hectic workday. 

To learn more about why face-washing should be on your bedtime to-do list, Fox News Digital asked two dermatologists for the clean truth.

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Here’s a deep dive.

Why is washing your face so important?

When you look in the mirror, you likely don’t see the buildup of substances on your face from that day. 

Woman washing face

“Throughout the day, your face accumulates dirt, bacteria, pollutants and other impurities from the environment,” a dermatologist said. (iStock)

“Throughout the day, your face accumulates dirt, bacteria, pollutants and other impurities from the environment,” Anne Chapas, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and founder of UnionDerm in New York City, told Fox News Digital.

“Washing your face before bed helps to remove these impurities, preventing them from clogging your pores and potentially leading to acne breakouts or other skin issues.”

It also allows your skin to breathe, promoting cell turnover and renewal while you sleep, the expert added.

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Nightly face washing also promotes skin regeneration. 

“Cleansing before bed allows your skin to breathe and facilitates the natural regeneration process during sleep,” Chapas said. “This helps lead to a healthier and more vibrant complexion.”

For those who use skincare products, washing before bed enhances those products’ effectiveness.

By washing away the day’s residue, you create an optimal environment for your nighttime moisturizers and serums to penetrate the skin, Chapas noted.

Man washing face

“Men with significant facial hair may need to pay extra attention to cleansing the skin beneath the beard or mustache to prevent oil and bacteria buildup,” a doctor said. (iStock)

Washing your face also removes environmental toxins. 

Throughout the day, the skin is exposed to environmental pollutants and toxins, especially for those who live in densely populated metropolitan areas, according to Chapas. 

“Washing your face before sleep rids your skin of these harmful substances, reducing the risk of skin irritation and damage over time,” she said.

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While face-washing is important for everyone, it may be a bigger focus for women, Chapas said, as women tend to use cosmetics more often. 

However, “men with significant facial hair may need to pay extra attention to cleansing the skin beneath the beard or mustache to prevent oil and bacteria buildup,” the doctor added.

Tips for effective face-washing

Making a commitment to washing your face every night doesn’t have to mean splurging on fancy products or incorporating detailed skin regimes, experts agree. 

“I am a huge proponent of drug store facial cleansers and moisturizers,” Lauren Fine, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Fine Dermatology in Chicago, Illinois, told Fox News Digital. 

Moisturizing

Experts recommend using moisturizer to replenish lost hydration after washing. (iStock)

“Certain skincare ingredients can be pricey, but your face wash does not have to be one of them. I recommend sticking with a gentle cleanser without other active ingredients for all skin types.”

It is possible to over-wash your face, Fine said. 

“Overuse of skincare products is one of the biggest mistakes people make,” she said. 

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“I never recommend any cleansers that have any sort of ‘scrubbing’ particles,” Fine noted. “These types of cleansers are considered a form of mechanical exfoliate, which can be too abrasive and irritating, even for oily skin.”

Instead, she recommends opting for gentler ways to exfoliate without using a facial scrub.

woman washing face with soap

“Washing your face too frequently or using harsh cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to over-drying, increased oil production and skin irritation,” a dermatologist warned. (iStock)

Chapas agreed that washing the face excessively can harm the delicate skin and disrupt its natural balance. 

“Your skin has a protective barrier made up of oils, also known as the lipid barrier,” she told Fox News Digital. 

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“Washing your face too frequently or using harsh cleansers can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to over-drying, increased oil production and skin irritation.”

If you have specific skin concerns, like acne or excessive oiliness, it’s important to choose products that are formulated to address those issues without being overly harsh, she said.

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After washing your face, Chapas and Fine both recommend following up with a moisturizer to replenish lost hydration.

Those who have any concerns about skincare or questions about a specific product should consult with a board-certified dermatologist who can provide personalized advice.

For more Health articles, visit www.foxnews.com/health.