Should You Wash Your Face Before or After Shower?

Generally, you should wash your face before showering. While washing your face before or after a shower doesn't really matter, we recommend washing your face before your shower as this allows you to remove dirt and grime before the heat from the shower causes you to sweat, potentially trapping impurities in your pores.

Plus, washing your face before showering allows you to focus more on properly cleansing your facial skin's surface without the distractions or time constraints of showering, and you can better control the temperature of the water.

Some people might find it more convenient to wash their face during the shower, but if you do so, it's important to ensure that you use lukewarm and limit the shower time to avoid excessively drying out your skin. Further, if you're washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner on a certain day, then it might be better to wash your face after your shower to ensure you remove any product residue.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the proper timing for washing your face.

Pros and Cons of Washing Your Face Pre-Shower


Washing your face is an integral part of your daily routine, alongside showering.

When determining whether to cleanse your face before or during your shower, it is important to consider these factors, especially if you have sensitive skin or are prone to excessive dryness.

The Pros

Using face wash before showering can offer you more advantages.

This timing allows you to engage in a more targeted skincare routine, as you can focus solely on removing dirt and grime before the heat from the shower which causes you to sweat, potentially trapping impurities in your pores.

It also means you can cleanse without worrying about water temperature, soap getting in your eyes, or affecting other parts of your body.

Additionally, washing your face before showering can help you avoid developing dry skin, irritation, and a disrupted skin barrier from the excessively hot water of the shower.

Cons:

While there are many benefits to washing your face before showering, there are just some manageable downsides to consider.

The main effect of using face wash before showering is simply the additional time it takes. However, this extra time can be beneficial, as it allows you to specifically target your facial skin without rushing through your skincare routine.

Ultimately, while timing matters in skincare, so does the choice of products. Using a basically solid hydrating face cleanser is crucial for healthy skin. You'll want to prioritize gentle cleansing, avoid harsh ingredients, and maintain consistency for the best results.

Pros and Cons of Washing Your Face Post-Shower


Washing your face after taking a shower might seem convenient, but it could come with a downside.

For instance, when washing your face after shower the steam might cause you to sweat more, which could lead to clogged pores. 

On the other hand, some potential pros of using face wash include convenience, saving time, and a refreshed feeling on your skin's surface. However, these benefits may not outweigh the downside of using face cleanser after showering.

Therefore, we recommend washing your face before showering to avoid potential risks and maximize its effectiveness. Ultimately, the decision depends on personal preference, lifestyle factors, and your skin type, it's better to wash your face before or after a shower than not cleansing at all.

The bottom line? Find the skincare routine that suits you best.

The Importance of Understanding Your Skin Type

A woman showing her glowing skin

Before deciding when to wash your face, it is crucial to understand your specific skin type.

In fact, understanding your skin type is the first step towards achieving a healthy and clear complexion. It helps you identify the ingredients and methods that work best for your skin, ensuring you achieve the desired results.

Here are the five prominent skin types that you must be aware of:

  1. Normal: Balanced, not too dry or too oily, with few imperfections. For normal skin, you must focus on maintaining its natural balance by using gentle cleansers and moisturizers. Avoid harsh products that could disrupt this balance.

  2. Dry: Characterized by flaky, tight skin feeling that is prone to signs of aging and irritation. For your dry skin, avoid taking a hot shower for your face skin, harsh exfoliating cleanser, and alcohol-based products, as they can further dry out your skin. Studies indicate that bar soap, with its high pH level, can damage the lipid bilayer of the stratum corneum, leading to dry skin. Therefore, we recommend opting for facial cleansers to maintain skin health and integrity.

  3. Oily/Acne-prone: This skin type is characterized by excess sebum production, often leading to enlarged pores and acne breakouts. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, it's best to use gentle, non-comedogenic cleansers and oil-free moisturizers. Look for products containing ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to help control oil production and prevent breakouts. Avoid heavy, greasy products that can clog pores and exacerbate acne.

  4. Combination: Combination skin is a mix of oily and dry areas, with the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) being oily and the outer cheeks being dry. For combination skin, it's important to use products that balance oil production in the T-zone while providing hydration to dry areas. Look for lightweight, non-greasy moisturizers and gentle cleansers. Avoid using overly drying or overly moisturizing products, as they can exacerbate imbalances in the skin.

  5. Sensitive: Sensitive skin is prone to inflammation and irritation, often caused by skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea, or allergies. For sensitive skin, it's best to use gentle, fragrance-free products that won't aggravate or exacerbate existing conditions. Look for products labeled hypoallergenic or formulated specifically for sensitive skin. Avoid harsh chemicals, fragrances, and exfoliants, as they can trigger irritation and inflammation.

It is also important to note that skin types can change over time due to factors such as stress, genetics, hormones, and climate. That's why it's essential to regularly reassess your skin type and adjust your skincare routine accordingly. For certainty, consult with your dermatologist.

Considerations for Washing Your Face

When it comes to washing your face, there are several important considerations to keep in mind.

These factors can help you determine the best time to cleanse your skin and ensure that you are giving it the care it needs. Here are some key considerations for washing your face:

Consideration #1: Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is crucial before choosing the right products and routine for washing your face. Different skin types require different approaches. For example, individuals with dry skin may need gentle, hydrating cleansers to avoid further drying out their skin.

Consideration #2: Environmental Factors

Consider environmental factors such as weather conditions, pollution levels, and exposure to UV radiation when determining how often and how thoroughly to wash your face. For instance, individuals living in humid climates or those exposed to high levels of pollution may need to cleanse their faces more frequently to remove dirt, sweat, and pollutants that can clog pores and contribute to skin issues.

Consideration #3: Lifestyle and Activities

Your lifestyle and daily activities also play a significant role in determining your face-washing routine. Factors such as exercise frequency, makeup usage, and exposure to skincare products should be taken into account.

For example, individuals who wear makeup regularly may need to use makeup remover or double cleanse to ensure all traces of makeup are removed, while those who engage in outdoor activities may need to cleanse more frequently to remove sweat and sunscreen. Tailoring your face-washing routine to fit your lifestyle can help maintain healthy and radiant skin.

Since cleansers should be included in your daily skincare routine, following these considerations can help you determine the best approach for washing your face.

Morning vs. Evening Routine: Choosing the Right Time

A woman apply skincare products


When it comes to skincare, the timing of your routine can make a significant difference in achieving optimal results, especially when it comes to washing your face.

Morning Skincare Routine

The primary goal of the morning skincare routine is protection. Throughout the day, your skin is exposed to numerous harmful effects, such as UV radiation from sunlight and environmental pollutants.

To combat these harmful effects, it's important to use vitamin C serums, products rich in antioxidants, and sunscreen. Vitamin C and antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, reducing the appearance of signs of aging, while sunscreen is essential for protecting against the harmful UV radiation from the sun.

Evening Skincare Routine

On the other hand, the evening skincare routine is all about rejuvenation. At the end of the day, it's crucial to thoroughly wash your face, removing accumulated dirt and makeup from the skin.

Afterward, we recommend using products containing exfoliants, retinol, or peptides (on separate days, not all at once!). Exfoliants help remove dead skin cells, aiding in the natural renewal process of the skin. Products containing retinol and peptides contribute to improving the skin's structure, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and increasing the firmness and elasticity of the skin.

Additionally, you may use face masks as part of your evening skincare routine to further enhance rejuvenation. Just avoid washing with a face wash after; instead, moisturize it!

Understanding the distinct purposes of morning and evening skincare routines can help you optimize your skincare regimen for healthier, glowing skin.

Is it more efficient to wash your face in the shower?

No, it is not necessarily more efficient to wash your face in the shower. While it's tempting to wash your face in the shower while you're getting the rest of your body clean, you'll want to avoid it as the excessively hot water may cause certain issues like:

  • clogging pores

  • facial skin tightness

  • dry skin

  • overly oily complexion

  • blotchy red complexion

  • or increased sensitivity.

Further, you should avoid using body wash for your face as it is likely to be too harsh for the delicate, sensitive skin on your face, which can pose several risks to your overall health.

Do's and Don'ts for Washing Your Face

A woman holding H2.O Facial Cleanser

When it comes to washing your face, knowing how to use facial cleanser properly is essential. Following the right practices can make a significant difference in the health and appearance of your skin. Here are some dos and don'ts when using face wash:

Do:

  1. Choose the right cleanser for your skin type. Whether you have dry, oily, or sensitive skin, using a cleanser that suits your specific needs can help maintain the balance of your skin.

  2. Wash your face with lukewarm water. Hot water can strip away natural oils and cause dryness, while cold water may not effectively remove dirt and impurities.

  3. Gently cleanse your face using circular motions. Avoid scrubbing vigorously as it can irritate the skin and lead to redness or breakouts.

  4. Pat your face dry with a clean towel. Rubbing your face can cause friction and potentially damage your skin.

  5. Moisturize your face after washing. This step helps you to hydrate skin and lock in moisture, promoting a healthy and supple complexion.

Don't:

  • Use harsh or abrasive cleansers that can strip away natural oils and disrupt the skin barrier.

  • Wash your face with excessively hot water as it can cause dryness and impact skin barrier function.

  • Over-exfoliate your skin as it can lead to sensitivity and inflammation.

  • Rub or tug at your skin when drying, as it can cause irritation and potentially damage the skin's structure.

  • Forget to remove your makeup before going to sleep. Leaving makeup on can clog pores and lead to breakouts.

  • Share your face towel or washcloth with others as this can transfer bacteria and cause skin issues.

By following these do's and don'ts, you can establish a healthy and effective facial cleansing routine that promotes vibrant and clear skin.

The Bottom Line: Should I wash my face before or after a shower?

a man washing his face

You should wash your face before showering as washing your face before a shower allows for a proper cleanse without exposing your skin to steam and heat which can otherwise cause:

  • Excess sweating which can lead to impurities getting trapped in your pores

  • Over-drying of the skin due to prolonged exposure to hot water

  • Disruption of the skin's natural oils, leading to imbalances and potential skin issues

By washing your face beforehand, you can ensure that your skincare routine is more effective and tailored to your skin's needs, thereby promoting healthier and clearer skin.

Ultimately, whichever method you choose, it is important to use a gentle, hydrating cleanser, avoid hot showers, and always follow up with moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

Remember that consistency is key, and finding a routine that works for you is the most important factor in maintaining healthy and radiant skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to wash your face before or after a shower?
It's better to wash your face before a shower, as washing your face before a shower allows you to remove dirt, oil, and impurities without the interference of sweat or steam from the shower. This can help prevent clogged pores and ensure a more effective cleanse.

Should you do skincare before bed or after a shower?
You should do your skincare thirty to sixty minutes before bed rather than after a shower. This allows your skincare products to absorb and work on your skin overnight, maximizing their effectiveness. After cleansing your face, apply your skincare products such as moisturizer, serum, and any treatments before going to bed. While showering can help cleanse the body, it's best to follow up with skincare as part of your bedtime routine for optimal results.

Should you wash your face or hair first?
You should wash your hair first before your face, as it helps to prevent shampoo and conditioner residues from getting on your facial skin, which could potentially lead to acne or other skin issues if left unwashed. Same thing with washing your body after washing your hair, not before. By doing this, you ensure that your skin remains clean and free from any potential irritants introduced during the hair-washing process. However, the order may vary depending on personal preference and individual skincare and haircare needs.

What comes first after face washing?
After washing your face with hydrating face wash, we recommend applying toner, serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen (morning only) in that order. Toners help to hydrate your skin and enhance the absorption of subsequent skincare products, while serums provide active ingredients to target specific skin conditions. Moisturizer helps to lock in moisture and keep your skin nourished, and sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays. It is important to wait a minute between each step to allow the products to absorb into your skin properly.

Is it OK to wash your face 3 times a day?
Washing your face three times a day can be excessive for most people and may lead to dryness, irritation, or disruption of the skin's natural moisture barrier. We recommend washing your face twice a day, once in the morning and once before bed, using a gentle cleanser suitable for your skin type. Overwashing can strip the skin of its natural oils and disrupt its pH balance, potentially causing more harm than good. However, if you have specific skincare concerns or are engaging in activities that result in excess sweat or dirt accumulation on your face, you may need to wash more frequently. Always listen to your skin's needs and adjust your skincare routine accordingly.


H2.O Facial Cleanser
H2.O Facial Cleanser
H2.O Facial Cleanser
H2.O Facial Cleanser
H2.O Facial Cleanser
H2.O Facial Cleanser
H2.O Facial Cleanser

H2.O Facial Cleanser

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✓ 5 fl oz

✓ Microbiome-Friendly

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Hydrating Facial Cleanser