There’s no shortage of unnecessary, overrated skincare products (see: glitter masks, anything that claims to be made with 24k gold), but in my opinion, the most overrated skincare practice of all time is… washing your face. Don’t get me wrong, our skin does need to be cleansed every once in a while. But that squeaky-clean feeling that usually follows a sudsy cleanser? That’s a sign that your skin has been stripped of its natural oils — and thus, its natural ability to protect and heal itself has been compromised.
Over-cleansing goes beyond being “unnecessary” or “overrated,” though. It can be straight-up harmful. The skin has intricate processes in place to protect itself — it actually cleanses itself, too — and by stripping away your skin’s natural oils and over-exposing it to excess product, you interfere with those processes and leave your face susceptible to breakouts, dryness, and irritation.
Even if your go-to cleanser is creamy or oil-based, chances are, you’re overusing it. One face washing session before bed should hold you for 24 hours — there’s really no need to wash again in the morning. Instead, splash your face with water in the morning to get rid of any residual oil from your nighttime skincare products.
I totally understand the feeling of wanting a cleansing experience that’s a little fancier than plain old water, though. I’ve been washing my face with this DIY rose water cleanser (the how-to is below) morning and night for weeks now, and my skin has never been happier — no breakouts, no dermatitis flare-ups, nothing. Just clear, calm, soft skin that’s able to do its job.
DIY Rose Water Cleanser
2 ounces distilled water (I like to use Moon Water for extra glow)
1 squeeze of vegetable glycerin
Mix ingredients together in the spray bottle
Shake before use
Spritz generously morning and night
Like I mentioned earlier, water is really all your skin needs in terms of a cleanser.
I love the addition of rose water for so many reasons: Rose water has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, making it ideal for treating all skin conditions from acne to eczema. It’s an extremely gentle, natural cleanser that removes dirt and oil from clogged pores, locks in moisture, reduces redness, and even eases anxiety.
Vegetable glycerin is a humectant, which means it functions almost as magnet for water. It draws moisture into the skin and holds it there — and since glycerin molecules are tiny, they penetrate deep into the pores to deliver hydration to the inner layers of the skin.
By prepping the skin with a humectant and extra moisture, this is the perfect step before applying your face oil. Since humectants draw in moisture and oils “seal” that moisture in, they work as a team to keep your skin as hydrated and glowy as possible.
Since I don’t normally wear makeup, I find this is all my skin really needs to get clean. If you’re washing off a heavy layer of foundation and powder, start with an oil cleanser first to remove it, then spritz your face with this DIY mist.