Home Skincare Can I Wash My Face Three Times A Day?

Can I Wash My Face Three Times A Day?

by Gabbi

We all have unique skin types that require a specific routine and certain products for it to look and feels its best. Your perfect skin care routine should be curated to suit your needs and address your concerns to provide you with a radiant and glowing complexion.

The start of any ideal skin care routine starts with washing your face to rid it of any build up, and to give it a fresh canvas for your additional products to absorb completely.

Washing your face with the proper cleanser will eliminate any excess oil production, clean away any makeup or leftover skin care, and eliminate any buildup of dirt, sweat, or debris.

It is the most important part of your skin care routine that will begin to address your concerns, however washing the face too much can also create issues for your skin in the future.

Is it okay, or recommended, to wash your face three times a day? It’s not usually recommended to wash your face more than twice daily, as it can cause dehydration. It may seem like washing more often can prevent breakouts, clogged pores, or excess oil from appearing on the skin, washing your face too much can have the opposite effect.

Below, we’ll discuss what is recommended when it comes to washing your face, the best products to use in your skin cleansing routine, and the side effects of washing your face too much.

Can You Wash Your Face Too Much?

Yes, it can easily happen that you can wash your face too much. If you are washing your face more than twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, you run the risk of your skin’s moisture barrier becoming damaged and your skin becoming dehydrated.

For normal, daily activities, washing your face twice a day is a suitable amount to maintain clear, clean skin.

For oily or acne-prone skin, it can seem like the solution to clearing up any breakouts or eliminating excess oil buildup. However, over-washing can increase the oil-production in the skin as it attempts to rehydrate itself, which can lead to more breakouts popping up.

While washing the face twice a day is the recommended routine to start with all skin types, there may be some occasions where a third wash can be required.

For example, after an intense, sweat-inducing work out, washing the face afterwards will help to remove the excess sweat and dirt from your pores. You may also need an additional wash after using a specific skin care treatment, like a face mask, that your need to rinse off.

However, those instances are the exceptions to your routine, rather than the rule. Washing the face three times a day or more daily can lead to drying out your skin and creating new skin care concerns.

Side Effects of Washing Your Face Three Times A Day

If you are washing your face three or more times a day, it can easily disturb the pH balance of your skin and the moisture barrier it has. The skin can easily become dehydrated if it is washes too much, with the natural oils being stripped away. It can cause the skin to feel tight, itchy, and uncomfortable.

When the skin becomes dehydrated, it can also take away the natural radiance from the complexion giving the skin a dull appearance.

As the skin naturally produces oil throughout the day, it provides a healthy glow to the skin while also helping to add moisture. Stripping the skin of its natural oil production could cause an imbalance in the pH and moisture barrier.

Once the natural oils are stripped from the skin, it will attempt to produce more oil to compensate for the loss. This can lead to skin that still feels tight and uncomfortable, but has a shine, an increased number of breakouts, or a scaly appearance when makeup is applied.

Best Face Washing Routine For Different Skin Types

Often times, keeping your skin care routine as simple as possible is the best way to go. Washing the face twice a day is typically suitable for all skin types, the optimal times being once in the morning and once at night.

However, some skin types can get away with washing the face only once a day, to prevent dryness from occurring.

While a morning face wash is ideal, if you are only washing your face with a cleanser once a day it is always recommended to be at night.

It allows for a thorough cleanse to rinse the skin of any dirt, oil, or makeup buildup that has accumulated from the day. If you are going to skip a morning wash, it is still recommended to rinse the face with water to wake up the skin.

The differences in the best face washing routine for your skin types is also largely focused on what products you are including into the routine, and what steps you are completing.

Dry skin, for example, benefits from adding a hydrating serum to their daytime skin care routine, while oil skin may be better suited to only using a toner and lightweight moisturizer.

Best Products To Include In Your Face Washing Routine

Depending on your skin type, and the concerns you have for your skin, you are going to require different ingredients or products to receive the best results. You may also need different products to be used at night versus during the day, based on your skin’s needs.

While washing the face in the morning and night may be with the same cleanser, the additional products, such as your moisturizer or serums, may have different ingredients or textures that work best at night versus the morning.

Dry skin can work best with cleanser that are milky or creamy in texture. It will thoroughly clean the skin, while being gentle enough not to strip away any of its much-needed moisture.

During the day, using a hydrating or antioxidant-based serum will help to add moisture to the skin, while also protecting it against harmful free radicals that can disturb its moisture barrier.

Dry skin can also benefit from ingredients like ceramides, as they help to add hydration. Looking for moisturizers with a product like glycerin can also help to lock in existing moisture, but also attract additional moisture to the skin from its surroundings.

While it is important to rid the skin of any buildup of dead skin cells, dry skin can benefit more from using products with a chemical exfoliation to improve its texture and radiance.

For dry skin, it is crucial to use a moisturizer that is rich in texture to impart added hydration throughout the day. For your nighttime moisturizer, you may find one that has a thicker texture than what you prefer during the day.

Although it may seem like oily skin types do not need added hydration, it is crucial not to overlook maintaining the skin’s moisture levels. Although the oil glands are slightly larger than dry skin types, it is still important to not strip the skin too much of its natural oil.

Oily skin benefits the most from lightweight products that can absorb into the skin easily, while still providing hydration and balancing the natural oil production.

For cleansers, oily skin responds well to gel-based cleanser that can clean the skin thoroughly while also controlling any excess oil. For oily skin, washing the face in the morning and at night is going to keep the skin feeling balanced and clear of breakouts.

It can also work well with lightweight, gel moisturizers as they absorb quickly into the skin without being too heavy, like a thick cream.

When looking to balance the skin, while also adding hydration, oily skin can work well with ingredients like niacinamide or hyaluronic acid. Both products impart moisture to the skin, but are also thin in texture that they can quickly penetrate the layers of the skin without adding extra shine.

With oily skin, pores can easily become clogged with excess oil or buildup of debris, so using a detoxifying treatment throughout the week will be helpful.

While washing the face in the morning and at night will help from daily build up, using a clay or charcoal detoxifying face mask at least once a week will help to deep clean your pores thoroughly while also removing any excess oil.


Creating and perfecting your unique skin care routine will help you to achieve a balanced, even, and clear complexion. Starting your routine with a thorough, non-stripping face wash is an important step that will set up the rest of your skin care products to perform their best and provide you with the desired results.

While there may be some instances that occur where a third wash of your face will be required, overall washing your face twice a day, morning and night, will be the ideal basis for your perfect skin care routine.

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