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THE BEST WAY TO WASH YOUR FACE: CAN I WASH MY FACE WITH JUST WATER?

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Does Washing Your Face With Only Water Benefit Your Skin?

While washing your face only with water can seem appealing due to its simplicity, this self-care practice isn’t the best way to maintain great skin or a beneficial skincare routine. This cleansing routine can seem like a good option for a few reasons; it saves time, seems more natural, and the reduced amount of rubbing can seem like an excellent way to combat fine lines and surface irritation. However, washing your face with water alone simply isn’t sufficient to remove the build-up of dead skin cells, oil, make-up, or other bacteria, which can lead to skin becoming dehydrated, greasy, or blocking pores.

What About Oily Skin? And Washing Your Face With Water Only?

Using water alone will not deliver the oil-balancing, cleaning, or hydrating properties that oily skin needs, which is why cleansing is one of the most critical steps in a skincare regime for oily skin. This is because it helps to remove the excess sebum, dead skin cells, and dirt that can block pores, leading to breakouts. Cleansers also allow your skin cells to regenerate, though you should use one that focuses on cleaning and rehydrating, rather than one that strips the skin of its natural oils. This skincare recommendation can sound counterintuitive retaining oil when your skin is already oily, but your skin needs oil, just the right balance.

Can Washing Your Face With Water Alone Help With Acne?

Although many of us wonder if washing our face with just water can naturally help with acne issues, there are several reasons why this is not the best approach. Water alone is not sufficient to remove dirt, make-up, and other impurities. Therefore, washing your face with only water does not provide very many benefits. In addition, the pH levels in water can be damaging to the skin; the average pH level of water is a 7. The optimal pH value for the skin on the face and body lies between 4.7 and 5.75. A pH of 7 (that of pure water) is considered neutral. Anything below that is acidic and above is alkaline, so, skin’s natural pH is mildly acidic. This mildly acidic pH is created by the skin's acid mantle, the water element of the hydrolipid film that protects the external layers of skin. 


Consequently, it’s crucial to find an appropriate skin cleanser that works to re-balance your skin’s ideal pH level. Understanding the type of skin you have and its demands is crucial, as is establishing a routine to take care of your skin. Choosing a cleanser and moisturizer suited for daily use, products that are not too harsh or intense is very important. 


Cetaphil’s cleansers and moisturizers are designed for daily use and contain beneficial ingredients that are easily tolerated by both sensitive and combination to oily skin types. Products such as Cetaphil’s Daily Facial Cleanser and Daily Oil Free Facial Moisturizer SPF 35 can be used on a daily basis and contain ingredients that are tolerated by combination to oily skin types. 


Using these products is the best way to promote healthy-looking skin and begin a skincare regime that works. It’s also important to remember that washing your face with water only, if you have oily skin, is not necessarily the best way forward, it’s always better to establish both a skincare schedule and routine.

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How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

The skin type you have will dictate the regularity that you should wash your face and the facial cleanser you should use. 


The ideal products for your skin depend on what type of skin you have. To find out more about your skin type, take a look at our skincare finder

If You Have Dry Skin?

Washing twice a day with a gentle cleanser is the best approach in order to not irritate your skin. A creamy cleansing and non-foaming wash like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser will work best, it’s formulated with Micellar Technology that works to gently remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities. Working in a dual capacity, Micellar Technology uses oil and water to draw out impurities at a surface level. It’s also important to avoid taking showers or baths that are too hot or too long with hot water, and using warm water rather than hot water is also important. 


Head over to our article on the 5 signs of skin sensitivity to learn more.

If You Have Oily Skin?

Oily skin can often tempt people to wash their faces regularly, however, it’s important to limit the cleansing to two times a day, otherwise, you run the risk of triggering too much surface oil production. This is why it’s key to choose a tailored product such as Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Removing Foam Wash, a foaming cleanser specifically designed for oily skin. 


If you suffer from irritable or acne-prone skin, the Gentle Clear Clarifying Acne Cream Cleanser which contains salicylic acid, used alongside an effective makeup remover, will work to reduce breakouts and acne flare-ups. 


Skin that produces too much oil needs to be maintained, so products like the Dermacontrol oil removing foam wash or Foaming face wash for redness prone skin work well to re-balance your skin’s pH and surface oil levels.

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If You Have Combination Skin?

If you experience a combination of oily and dry skin, a gentle cleanser is best. Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, used with an oil-free hydrating moisturizer (with hyaluronic acid and glycerin), should be used with water in the morning, massaged into the face in a circular motion. As different parts of your face require different levels of care, it can make sense to create a skin routine that is unique to you. Observe how your skin reacts when you wash it once or twice a day, and then implement a routine that follows. 


Head over to our article on the 5 signs of skin sensitivity to learn more.

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