Always pat your face dry -- never rub.

What Happens if You Don't Wash Your Face?

by Lisa Finn

Facial glands kick into high gear during puberty. When this happens, an oily sebum is produced through the follicles that, when not cleaned, can create skin problems. This lasts for just a matter of years on some teenagers, yet others contend with skin problems their whole life. With daily washings, however, this oily sebum is swept away so that skin stays clean and bright. A dirty face, however, traps these oils and blocks the follicles. This can result in unsightly pimples, an increase in blackheads and whiteheads, signs of aging and dull skin.

Why Wash Daily?

Washing daily is a must because your face is dirty. Think of all the debris, makeup, food and pollutants your face comes in contact with throughout the day. If these things are not washed off at night, your skin is susceptible to blotchiness, drying, excess oil and clogged pores. The result is either dehydrated or super oily skin, which can lead to dead skin cells, wrinkles, blackheads and pimples.

Proper Face Washing

Wash your face twice daily with a soap specially formulated for your skin. If your face is normally dry, look for a moisturizing facial cleanser featuring glycerin or shea butter. Oily faces do well with a cleanser featuring glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which helps soak up the oil. Begin your daytime wash with warm water and a pea-sized amount of cleanser. Gently massage the cleanser into the skin, using a brush or your fingers, and pay particular attention to the nose, jawline and mouth. After rinsing, pat dry. Before starting your nighttime washing ritual, remove your makeup.

A Word on Acne

If pimple-prone skin is left unwashed, you're in for big trouble. Dirt, makeup and oil left on your skin can clog your pores and create pimples and cystic acne. To help combat acne, use a specially formulated acne-fighting facial soap twice a day. Beware of harsh products, such as body deodorant soap, loofah sponges or exfoliating pads, which can irritate skin and cause even more flare-ups, redness and drying.

Overnight Skin Repair

Your face has a high nocturnal blood flow while you sleep. Therefore, it's at night that the skin rests and repairs itself. Because this is when absorption is at its peak, it's important that your nightly washing routine includes products and ingredients that are meant to help your specific skin issues, such as aging and dehydration. And because the skin needs oxygen to repair itself, it's never a good idea to go to bed with a dirty face. A face full of makeup, oil and dirt blocks the necessary process that happens when you sleep.

About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images