Thursday, February 26, 2009

Save Money: Stop Washing Your Face!

As you may know from reading my blog, I decided to eschew facial cleansing products and moisturizers and have been using olive oil instead. It's less expensive and breaks the cycle of irritated, oily, acne-prone skin. I strayed once, for about a week, with terrible results; my face was a mess. Luckily, olive oil doesn't hold a grudge and within one week my skin had returned to its dewey, soft, small-pored glory. Now, my favorite dermatology blog has let me know what I suspected; I don't have to wash my face in the morning. I used to be so jealous of my husband, who never cares for his skin, and continues to have a perfect complexion. Each morning, upon waking, he goes into the bathroom and rinses his face with cold water and moves on. The nerve! I decided that since my skin was starting to look pretty good that I would try it to...and guess what? My face is great! I did a little searching on the derm blog and found an article backing this up with a sensible explanation: your face knows what it's doing, so leave it alone :)

How to Save Money on Facial Moisturizers: Stop Washing Your Face
What is the ultimate in natural skin care products? Moisturizers from your own skin. Treat yourself everyday to an exclusive facial moisturizer, better than anything you’ll find at Neiman Marcus. Let your skin produce its own natural oils and don’t wash them away.
It always impresses me how women will spend hundreds of dollars on skin cleansers and toners, then spend hundreds more dollars on exclusive facial moisturizers to replace the “cellular” oils that they just stripped off.
Here is a great tip: there is no better moisturizer for your face than its own natural oils. Your skin goes to great trouble to produce “exclusive,” highly modified fats, like ceramides and cholesterols to keep its surface smooth and well protected. Why not keep them there? The best natural cure for dry, dull skin is your skin’s oils.
If you have normal to dry skin:
Wash your face at night with a gentle cleanser such as Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser. Be sure to remove all traces of makeup, especially along the hairline. Rinse well and pat dry.
In the morning, wash with just water. Skip the soap.
If you have oily skin:
Wash your face at night with a gentle cleanser such as Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Daily Cleanser. Keep in mind that scrubbing harder will not make your skin less oily. Over-scrubbing can actually irritate your skin and cause it to secrete more oils. Rinse well and pat dry.
If you are still too oily, consider adding a toner in the morning such as Neutrogena Deep Clean Invigorating Dual Action Toner which contains salicylic acid.
The bottom line: allow the natural oils in your skin to stay on your skin, giving you a truly natural glow.


  1. awesome! i'm doing this too, but i use olive oil only to cleanse, not as the moisturizer.

  2. I am a 34 yr. old male and found this out after years of spending money on facial cleansers that I thought I needed but didn't. The soap from the cleansers left my skin dry and blotchy. But 2 months ago I decided to try this "experiment" of not washing my face. Since that time my face is naturally moisturized and the blotchy parts are cleared up. Less is more people!

  3. I just started skipping the morning facewash, and my skin already looks better. Googled it to see if I was crazy, and found your blog. Many thanks!!

    Just a question-does Olive Oil work as a cleanser?? I only wash my face at night now...Just wondering what natural cleansers I can use.

  4. olive oil does work as a face wash, but i would recommend exfoliating once a week or every two weeks with a home made version (there are many). My only complaint about the olive oil wash is that my skin did appear dull over time if I didn't exfoliate properly and it was difficult to do all of the time (especially when traveling). However, it is effective and makes the best eye make-up remover I've ever used.

  5. Thanks for responding! I have noticed, too, that even though I started only washing my face at night, it feels so horribly dry (robbed of all its oils I'm sure). So, I want to stop doing it all together...

    I lived in LA, so air pollution is a prob--do I still need to actually use a cleanser? And do you have any suggestions/advice what to research as far as exfoliating?

    Thanks again! This has been so helpful!


Chronicling my adventures in proving that less is more. I'll learn to refashion/recycle clothes, prepare gourmet meals using as many natural/basic/raw ingredients as possible. I'll learn to spend less, live more, and reclaim those things that are truly valuable in my life.


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