Does washing your face with water help acne? Does face wash help acne? Does washing your face help acne? The answer's not what you think.

Does Washing Your Face Help Acne? The Answers Not What You Think

In Acne by Cheryl Woodman MChemLeave a Comment

I couldn’t wait to get home that night. My face was an oil slick, my makeup was sweating out of my pores and the coverup I’m using to hide my cystic acne is drawing more attention to the red, hot Vesuvius mounds living on my chin because it’s patchy and flaky. I can’t win. All I want to do is get home as quickly as possible to wash my face clean.

I want the oil off. I want the makeup off… I want the acne OFF.

I get home, hug my boyfriend Rich hello and run upstairs to our bathroom. It feels so good to wash my face clean.

I look at myself in the mirror as my heart sinks… is this going to be my skin forever? Am I going to be stuck like this? Stuck battling adult acne till I’m a 70-year-old granny?

Dear friend. I speak to you today with clear acne free skin 🙂 and it feels amazing. I now have control of my skin health. I know how to keep my skin clear and I’m here to tell you it can happen for you too.

It can, it can, it can.

As a scientist now specialising in skin health there are some BIG mistakes I made time and time again. Mistakes which held me back from healing my acne years before I did. When I correct these mistakes with the wonderful women I now work with inside my Acne Clinic we see big changes, quickly.

This is one massive mistake. Overwashing your acne to get your skin clean. Because if you’ve been asking – does washing your face help acne? The answer is a big skyrocketing NO.

And you need to stop washing your face so much as of now.

Let me explain why…

Does washing your face with water help acne? Does face wash help acne? Does washing your face help acne? The answer's not what you think.

Does Washing Your Face Help Acne?

I’m talking on the phone with an Acne Clinic client of mine, she’s telling me, ‘I was washing and washing and washing my face to get rid of acne and now I realise I was actually causing half the problem!‘… It’s a momentous moment as this beautiful lady I’m talking with now rates her skin as clear. 100% CLEAR. And not washing her face so much was a huge part of her healing process.

Let me expose why washing your face does not help acne. 

Fact #1 – when you have acne your skin has more acne bacteria and fewer good skin bacteria (boo).

Fact #2 – your skin is slightly acidic naturally and this encourages good skin bacteria to thrive (it’s like putting out a plate of chocolate for them :)).

Fact #3 – acne bacteria thrive when your skin is less acidic (they love a pH of about 6-6.5 and don’t overgrow so much at a pH of below 5.5 – psst your skin needs some acne bacteria)

(diet is one of the things which helps to keep your skin acidic and therefore acne-resisting 😀 so be sure to grab your free copy of my 1-page acne diet cheatsheet here)

Fact #4 – does washing your face help acne? Heck no it doesn’t because washing your face increases your skin’s pH level which encourages acne bacteria to thrive.

Does Face Wash Help Acne?

…and washing and washing your face with an acne face wash can really make your acne bloom. It helps to clear up acne short term, maybe for a month or so and then boom – you’re back at square one, it feels like the acne face wash has stopped working and your acne’s worse than ever before.

Here’s the deal – acne face washes often raise the pH level of your skin.

Temporarily this makes your skin less oily (because a higher skin pH makes your skin dry) which can help to get rid of some acne short term. I know first hand it feels like sweet relief.

And it works short-term because your skin can resist these types of changes when they happen a few times.

Something raises your skin’s pH level and your skin goes – hey, what do you think you’re doing? Heck no we’re not having that. 

And so your skin within a few hours, re-acidifies itself. Wahoo.

But the more and more times you wash your face the harder and harder and the longer and longer it takes for your skin to get acidic again.

Imagine if someone stopped you from sleeping but expected you to do your job just as well… this is what’s happening when you wash, wash, wash to get rid of acne.

Does not washing your face help acne?

Heck yes it does. Because if you stopped washing your face for 24 hours this would happen.

In a recent study, the authors introduced a 24-hr washout period without water contact or any cosmetic products and concluded the natural skin surface pH is likely around 4.7.Cosmetics & Toiletries Magazine Oct 22

If you stop washing your face so much 😀 your skin’s pH level balances to its happy place.

Psst, pH 4.7 looks to be your skin’s happy place… and guess what pH 4.7 does?

pH 4.7 – encourages good skin bacteria to thrive. Wahoo – you put the chocolate plate back out.

pH 4.7 also prevents acne bacteria from overgrowing inside your pores – wahoo – fewer breakouts.

Bottom line – not washing your face so much is going to help heal your acne faster – just like I saw with my wonderful Acne Clinic client this week. Her skin cleared of all active acne within a month.

And I hear you asking me but…

Does Washing Your Face With Water Help Acne?

If I quit the acne face wash is that enough? That’s such a good question my friend. And yes, it is one step better than using your acne face wash.

But there’s a little extra something you should know. Let me explain with the help of a super science quote (and don’t worry if it sounds gooky – I’m explaining everything after).

…plain tap water in Europe with a pH value generally around 8.0, will increase skin pH up to 6 h after application before returning to its ‘natural’ value of on average below 5.0.Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct;28(5):359-70

Did you see that?

Tap water is pretty alkaline. It’s almost double the pH level your skin loves (4.7). 

And exposing your skin to alkaline water (do you remember that was trendy a few years ago? 😱) raises your skin pH for up to 6 hours after you wash your face. 6 HOURS. That’s big.

This same study goes on to say…

It is demonstrated that skin with pH values below 5.0 is in a better condition than skin with pH values above 5.0.Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct;28(5):359-70

This is a very modest way of saying – your skin is clearer, glowier, healthier, happier and younger when your skin’s pH level is below 5. That’s pretty awesome eh.

And one step to get your skin here – is to stop washing your face so much 😅

So does washing your face help acne? Heck no it does not. In fact, because washing your face raises your skin’s pH level to a level acne bacteria thrive at, overwashing your face can actually worsen acne long term.

Of course, there’s more to healing your acne than just not washing your face so much and I’m so looking forward to getting you started on the path to clear skin too. Click here to choose the option which best describes your acne right now – then you’re going to find out exactly how I will help you get clear. I can’t wait to get you feeling like the awesomesauce you are 🥰