How Many Times to Wash the Face for Oily Skin?

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For all those with oily skin types, it can feel like the face is still oily after washing. I know because I have fairly oily combination skin and have to take extra care to remove excess oil. Will washing more help? How many times to wash the face per day for oily skin?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, if you have oily skin, you should wash your face twice a day and after sweating heavily. This is the same for those with different skin types.

You may think you should wash your face more often due to the oily skin, but overwashing will lead to more oil production.

Getting to know more about your skin is the first step to controlling the oil. Read on to learn more about how many times to wash your face for oily skin and how to minimize the oil.

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How Many Times to Wash Face for Oily Skin?

The skin on the face is different from the skin on the rest of the body. It is exposed not only to harmful UV rays but also to pollutants making it susceptible to damage.

What makes the face more vulnerable is the delicate outer layer or epidermis, not to mention the limited number of skin cells compared to other areas of the body.

Our skin’s natural oil, called “sebum,” is not a menace per se. Sebum is a natural defense released by the skin’s sebaceous glands to combat dryness and preserve skin elasticity.

The facial skin is a fertile ground for natural oils. There are many sebaceous glands keeping the conditions balanced as much as possible. 

Too little or too much oil can make a big difference. While dry skin can lead to red patches, oily skin is equally undesirable due to breakouts. It is advisable to stay in the middle with a balanced amount of oil for protection, hydration, and a radiant glow.

Excretion of too much sebum can lead to many problems. Excess oil on your face tends to trap dust, dirt, and other unwanted particles. This results in clogging of the pores leading to blackheads or whiteheads, which, when infected, turn into pimples or, worst, acne.

For these reasons, washing your face properly and with the right frequency (not too much or too little) is so important.

But you don’t want to wash too often. Even with oily skin, you only want to wash your face twice a day. Dr. Susan Obagi, a plastic surgeon and dermatologist with UPMC, says, “It’s important to not over-wash your face as this can make it more oily.

Twice a day is an ideal amount of times to wash your face.” Dr. Obagi also says you can wash your face more often if you sweat heavily in the day, but two should be plenty.

A buildup of dirt on your face usually happens after a long day of exposure to a harsh environmental setting. Plus, if you wore makeup, you will have to consider that it will make the cleaning task extra tough.

You can never tell, given the hours of beauty sleep your face had to endure, not to mention the state of your good-old pillowcases and bedsheets.

A slumber, no matter how peaceful, is neither an excuse for sweating nor an escape to physiological encounters with skin triggers. In the end, you will have to cleanse your face once again as soon as you wake up.

You might need to wash your face in the middle of the day after sweating profusely from a workout. A hot shower will do to open up pores, liquefy sebum, and rinse off impurities naturally. You can do the same in the midst of a summer day after getting soaked in saltwater for a beach escapade.

How to Properly Wash Your Face

how often to wash face with oily skin

Washing does not equate to cleaning. Believe it or not, you can wash your face so often but leave some dirt behind. Imagine washing your face by making a lather out of soap to pamper your cheeks, nose, and chin with a bubbly refreshment.

Then, you finish up with a splash of water. All this might not be enough to do away with clingy and persistent dirt stuck in your pores. 

Oily skin yields sticky particles that don’t easily get rinse off with soap and water. You will need a cotton ball with a drop of facial cleanser to remove remnants of foreign substances on your face.

A few swipes here and there would suffice to make sure you are ready to face another day dirt-free.

Washing can only do so much that you can totally skip the part at night with a no-rinse cleanser. With this trick, you need not wet your face too much before hitting the hay. Nonetheless, you will have to wash your face in the morning to start your beauty ritual right. 

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What you need to know about washing is that the process can also be tedious on your skin. It can scrape away natural oils leaving your skin overcompensating by producing excess oil.

See, you have to come up with a good mix of skin care routines to make sure everything is done in moderation.

Cleaning your face means gently applying a dime of cleanser enough to cover all areas. A circular massage would be great to stimulate your skin and, at the same time, awake your blood vessels.

Instead of warm water, you better opt for a cool one to wash off the cleanser and pat dry with a soft towel. An oil-free moisturizer would be great to complete the task.

See the below video for great tips on how to wash your face properly, with oily skin or other skin types:

How to Prevent Excessive Oil on Your Skin

There are some tricks on how you can keep your natural facial oil under control. While you might think it is a counterintuitive move, you better think again about using natural oils from time to time.

Keeping your face well lubricated with argan oil or jojoba oil could lower levels of facial oil production. 

Your choice of cleanser matters. It is a good idea to only use gentle cleansers, which are not only free from soap but also from alcohol that can only aggravate your oil situation. You might want to pick a gel or a foam cleansing formula that is lightweight and less comedogenic.

This way, you will not end up with clogged pores opening the floodgates to unlikely skin conditions.

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This cleanser has a very pleasant scent, feels great on the skin, and effectively cleanses oily skin without irritating and causing more oil or redness.

Exfoliate once in a while to shed off dead skin cells. It is believed that oily skin accumulates a thick layer of unwanted skin that you will need a cleanser with salicylic acid to work its magic.

As an exfoliator, the mixture removes dead skin cells and clears out pore linings which allow your skin to breathe.

Ever wonder why your skin became more oily when you hit puberty? It has something to do with the hormones affecting your body.

The rise in androgen levels, particularly testosterone, can lead to increased sebum production. Expect the same trend when you have your menstrual flow or even at reaching menopause.

When your hormones are acting up, you will have to act properly to control the situation. By all means, avoid going to places with high humidity to prevent the situation from getting worse. You would not want to feed the monster in your body to eat up your beautiful face. 

Regular exercise can aid in controlling the levels of good hormones in your body, too. It boosts endorphin levels, which in turn, gives off an optimistic perspective. Hopefully, it would be enough to counter the effect of cortisol released during stressful moments that result in excessive oil production.

A good diet can also help you control oil production. Research suggests that food with a high glycemic index is likely to cause intense sebum production.

These are products high in sugar, such as white bread, rice, and even popcorn. Instead of bombarding your diet with carbohydrates, you might want to go healthy with some fruits and vegetables.

For oily skin with acne, it would be better to eat food rich in omega 3 fatty acids. This will help lessen the inflammation and ease up other uncomfortable symptoms. Among the anti-acne food, the checklist includes soybeans, flaxseed, and spinach. 

Above anything else, you will need a beauty rest to compensate for what your skin has gone through. Even your face needs a break from the dirt, the sweat, and all the makeup. Sleeping for seven to eight hours would be enough to rejuvenate your face, as well as your body. 

Remember that cell regeneration works faster at night when you are sound asleep. While cell division occurs during the day, the peak time is around 2:00 a.m., which would be optimized by growth hormones released during the early sleep cycle.

Perhaps you have also noticed while staying up late that your skin appears radiant after midnight when blood flow is active to support the cell regeneration process. 

Not only that, sleep facilitates natural hydration that keeps your face and your body well moisturized with natural oil throughout the night. Just make sure you have clean beddings to avoid trapping dirt on your skin. Your natural moisturizer is not too bad after all.

Conclusion – How Many Times to Wash the Face for Oily Skin?

How often to wash your face for oily skin? Or rather, how many times a day to wash the face for oily skin?

The answer is the same for all skin types. The American Academy of Dermatology advises washing the face two times a day for oily skin and other skin types. You should also wash your face after sweating heavily.

Contrary to what you might think, do not wash your face more often than this recommended frequency. If you overwash your face, it will irritate your skin and cause it to produce more oil. It is ironic if you think about it, but more washing leads to more oil production.

Always use a gentle cleanser, lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft, gentle towel. Finish with a lightweight, water-based moisturizer or no moisturizer if your skin is very oily.