Home Skincare Washing Your Face With Just Water In The Morning – A Hack Worth Trying?

Washing Your Face With Just Water In The Morning – A Hack Worth Trying?

by Gabbi

Sad news: chemists still haven’t invented a skincare product that can give you perfect skin after a single use. It’s difficult to swallow, we know. Until that momentous day finally arrives, we’ll continue formulating the perfect care routines for our individual skin types.

It goes without saying, but skincare regimes are never one size fits all, so finding a product or trying out a change in routine that actually works is something worth celebrating- but, have you ever wondered how not washing your face could work for you? 

We empathize with how counterproductive it sounds, but it’s worth the ask: could washing your face with just water in the AM clear your skin up?

Is washing your face with just water in the morning a good idea? For certain skin types, yes, a splash of water in the mornings could actually be all you need. Depending on the oiliness of your face and the sensitivity of your microbiome, washing with a cleanser once daily may be enough to keep your skin happy.

The question begs to be answered: how do you perfect not washing your face? Discover the method behind the madness, and who can benefit from water washing the most in this article.

Washing Your Face With Only Water Benefits

You were likely taught that washing your face twice a day is the only way to maintain clean, acne-free skin. After so long of living by that rule, making the switch to water-only washing in the mornings may be hard.

However, if you’ve tried every cleanser or product on the market, and your skin can’t seem to calm down (or is getting worse), water-cleansing is definitely worth a try.

Though you have good intentions, washing your face twice a day may be the root of your skin’s breakouts! Even the most gentle face washes and cleansers can prove stripping to the delicate skin of your face, especially if you tend to over-exfoliate.

Switching to water-only washing can allow your face to relax and produce skin-protecting oils in between washes. 

If your skin is already in an irritated state, particularly with open acne or active breakouts, splashing your face with water could prevent the spreading of these issues.

When using cleansers, you rub the product into your skin and risk popping pimples before they’re ready, and you could potentially be exposing your face to any germs and bacteria on your hands (always wash your hands before/after touching your face). 

And if the above reasons aren’t enough, water-washing takes significantly less time than a deep cleanse. This is perfect for those of us who like to hit the snooze button in the mornings.

Makeup wearers may be worried about what this means for their cosmetic routine, but rest assured that water-washed skin won’t compromise the look of your makeup at all!

Washing Your Face With Water Only For Oily Skin

For oily skin types, you may feel extra hesitation about washing your face with only water, and rightfully so! It’s possible that the only times your skin feels relief is after a cleanse with sudsy soap, but did you know that over-washing your face could actually be the reason why your skin is oily to begin with?

Though dry skin after over-washing is common, oily skin is just as possible! A damaged skin barrier can start overproducing oils as a means to compensate for how dry your skin is. Thankfully, you can retrain your skin through a simple change in your face-washing routine. 

If your oily skin isn’t due to a damaged moisture barrier and is just your natural skin type, we would proceed with caution when switching to water-only cleansing. Try it out for a day or two to see how your skin reacts, and continue accordingly. 

Noticing an increase in oil production can be taken as a sign of your skin not liking this new routine.

However, if you still feel that a gentle approach is what your face needs, switching to a water-based cleanser in the morning can break down oils, while preserving the health of your protection barrier – we like Cosmic Dew Water by the brand Good Light.

Washing Your Face With Water Only For Acne 

A sudden spike in acne and rosacea is one of the first tells of a damaged microbiome. When you notice breakouts, dry skin, etc, you wouldn’t be alone if your first instinct tells you to whip out the face masks, AHA/BHA masks, exfoliators, and retinol.

However, your attempt at speeding up your skin’s cell turnover process could be worsening your acne. Placing actives on damaged skin won’t do anything but aggravate existing conditions.

Unfortunate as it is, the only way to heal a compromised microbiome is by being extra gentle, and extra patient – and there isn’t a more gentle cleanser than pure water! Be that as it may, we still recommend using a gentle cleanser at night to whisk away any irritants. 

As we mentioned above, using a soap or face wash in the mornings could potentially spread existing acne breakouts. Not only that, but your cleanser could dry out the skin more, making it more susceptible to acne-causing bacteria and germs. 

Making the switch to water-based cleansing with acne-prone skin may seem scary, but when done right, it can save your skin! We suggest using warm water as a cleanser as compared to cold or hot. Hot water could damage your skin even more, while cold water won’t be able to effectively break down oil.

Who Benefits Most From Water-Only Washing?

In terms of who will be able to see the most notable results from water washing are dry skin types, and mature skin types, both for different reasons.

Drier skin types will be able to find relief by allowing their skin to produce oil in between washes. Washing your face twice a day, especially when your skin isn’t necessarily dirty, can inhibit your skin from producing the oils it needs to keep itself moisturized. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be mindful of how much water you use on your face.

Standing underneath a showerhead and allowing your skin to be rinsed by hot water may feel refreshing and renewing, but when it could dry your skin out more. Be aware of your water temperature, and don’t rinse your face out more than it needs to be clean (just one minute). Always follow up with a good moisturizer – we like CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion

Though a gentle cleanse should never be something to stray away from, mature skin will find that water cleansing aids in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.

Reducing the number of times you pull at your skin, even if it’s for a necessary act like face washing, can seriously reduce the amount of stress you put on your face.

Due to a distinct lack of collagen production in your skin as you age, your face won’t be able to bounce back from stretching and pulling like it can when you’re young.

This is why mature skin types are constantly told to be careful with product application. When compared to using a cleanser, splashing your face with water won’t cause damage to your delicate skin. 

How Long Can I Do Water-Only Washing?

If you’ve made the change to washing your face with just water in the mornings and noticed a significant difference in the state of your skin, you shouldn’t be worried about stopping!

No two skin types react the same to certain routines, so you should take any advice telling you to cleanse twice daily with a grain of salt. 

Despite the wonders it does for your face, there are still some instances in which you’ll need to wash your face in the AM:

Going To Sleep In Makeup

It goes without saying, but if you accidentally hit the hay after a night out and forget to remove your makeup, a deep cleanse is absolutely necessary the following morning!

Letting cosmetics sit in your pores is a surefire way to invite bacteria to your skin, so we always recommend a deeper-than-usual cleanse the morning after sleeping in yesterday’s #MOTD. 

Sweating In Sleep

Waking up to a sweaty face usually means you slept deep, but one can only wonder how long that sweat and oil has been sitting on your skin! Depending on how greasy you are, you may be able to get away with a quick splash of water.

However, if you try that out, and find that your skin is still feeling a little dirty, a wash with a gentle cleanser can provide relief and prevent irritation.

Time Of Month

Noticing an oil production increase around your period is a normal symptom of menstruation. If your time of the month is coupled with a breakout or two, washing your face in the mornings can fight against hormonal acne and lessen how intensely your pimples come in.

Related Questions

What temperature water should I water-cleanse my face with?

For normal skin, you can wash your face with cold, lukewarm, or hot water (sparingly). Cold water can refresh skin, and tighten pores, while lukewarm to hot water can break down existing oils more effectively.

For dry skin, avoid using hot water on the face. Too high of a temperature could irritate your skin, and suck even more moisture out of it.

For oily skin, cold to lukewarm water can help fight against oil production but should be used to close pores after you break oil and dirt down with warm/hot water. 

Can I use my other skincare products if I didn’t use a cleanser?

Yes! You should never skimp out on your other skincare products, especially if they’re tailored to your specific skin concerns.

As a rule of thumb, you should always apply a moisturizer and SPF in the mornings, as they’ll help protect your skin against potential aggressors.

If serums, hyaluronic acids, or AHAs/BHAs are part of your morning regime, you can freely apply them in the same order as you did after using a face wash. 

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