I Stopped Doing This One Common Thing and It Completely Changed My Skin

Source: @midnightbee
Source: @midnightbee

If you had to make a short list of my most prominent personality traits, it would go something like: only watches scary movies, loves her very old dog, and takes really good care of her skin.

But just because I take good care of my skin doesn’t always mean that I reap the benefits of it. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, I have extraordinarily dry skin, which—especially during the cold months of the year—pretty much means that it always looks dull and lifeless. I’ve tried it all, from drinking a gallon of water every day for the past seven years to shelling out cash on expensive products that promised me they’d fix my dry skin for good (they didn’t), but very few things have made any sort of a difference—until now.

The phenomena of not washing your face in the morning has been floating around the internet for a while now, with some swearing by it and others saying skipping the step will wreak havoc on your skin. As someone who uses retinol at night and has recently battled with some adult acne, I was extremely hesitant to try it out, as straying from my routine in any way, shape, or form with my skin is something I try to avoid at all costs. But after desperation led me to finally skipping my morning face wash a few months ago, I have some thoughts:

Benefits of not washing your face in the morning

After a conversation with my dermatologist about my skin’s dryness, she said that skipping a morning cleanse was something she recommended for me, as long as I splashed my face with water first to rinse off any residue from the night before (she also explained that damp skin makes my first skincare step, hyaluronic acid, more effective).

My dermatologist explained to me that skipping my morning cleanse could help with my skin’s dryness, as it would be one less thing stripping my skin of its natural oils (even though I was using a hydrating cleanser).

My experience

Every single thing I do to my skin is about keeping it as hydrated as possible, and I have been a fan of CeraVe’s Hydrating Cleanser for years. My dermatologist recommended it to me years ago, and I’ve never looked back—so when I was washing my face in the morning, that’s what I was using.

I work out in the morning frequently and it often leaves me super sweaty, and the thought of not washing my face after stressed me out beyond belief. But with my routine of thoroughly rinsing my skin and just not using cleanser with it, I haven’t dealt with any additional breakouts.

After skipping washing my face in the morning, I noticed a difference in my skin’s dryness within a couple of weeks. Before, even after I put on my usual serums and moisturizers, my skin would look dry again within a couple of hours of doing my skincare routine. But I started to notice that it felt more hydrated for longer. I felt like the glow from my vitamin C serum and moisturizer was actually showing more, and since I used to feel like no skincare I used made much of a difference, it was a huge step.

The past month or so, I’ve started feeling so much more confident in my skin, which is something I haven’t felt in a long time. While my dry skin usually leads me to feel like I look perpetually older, I have seen a night and day difference in how it looks after stopping washing my face in the morning. I feel like, dare I say, I’d even describe my skin as more dry-normal than just dry, which I haven’t been able to say since high school.

After all of the time and effort I’ve spent trying to get my skin in its best shape, I never thought that skipping a step would be the key to success, but for me, it was.