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Why it’s just as important to wash your face in the morning as at night


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Photo: Getty Images/ JGI/Jamie Gril

Before turning in for the night to clock in some shut-eye, it’s common to wash away the dirt, oil, and general gunk leftover from the steamy summer days. But can the same be said for what happens upon waking up each morning? A lot of us tend to skimp on the morning cleanse because, well, the only thing that’s happened since the face-wash sesh eight hours prior (hopefully!) is sleep. According to Alicia Yoon, an esthetician and founder of Peach & Lily, which just launched four new superstar skin-care products, however, that might not be ideal.

“It’s hard to keep everything in your bed totally clean, plus you can sweat at night, so you wind up with impurities and pollutants on your skin,” Yoon says of our pillows, which are often littered with bacteria. “Our bodies also go through metabolic processes, releasing toxins, and that ramps up while sleeping. If you don’t wash your face in the morning, [those substances] can interact with the sun and cause more free radical damage.” This isn’t great news because free-radical damage is at the heart of aging cells, and they can lead to everything from hyperpigmentation to fine lines and wrinkles.

“It’s hard to keep everything in your bed totally clean, plus you can sweat at night, so you wind up with impurities and pollutants on your skin.” —Alicia Yoon, Peach & Lily founder

There are also other environmental factors to consider: In the evening, for example, it’s common to slather on potent ingredients like retinol and glycolic acid, and those things can linger on the skin into the morning. It’s important to remove them with an a.m. cleanse because they cause sun sensitivity, which can results in an intense sunburn. Even if you’re not using medicated serums, “if you’re using oil-based moisturizers, you want to make sure that’s taken off in the morning,” Yoon says. This allows you to sweep on your foundations and concealers without the oils in the different formulas working against one another.

To ensure you’re not totally parching your mug by binge-washing, Yoon recommends gentle cleansers as opposed to heavy-duty ones in the morning, with fewer surfactants. That means you should leave your foams and bars for the p.m. and instead reach for either a wipe (which is easy enough for lazy girls like me) such as Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Wipes ($25), an oil cleanser like the Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil ($16), or an ultra easy-does-it formula à la the Lagom Cell Gel-to-Water Cleanser ($18) for a complexion that’s primed and ready for sunscreen and whatever the day brings.

This is the French-girl approved way to wash your face that’s also *super* gentle and BTW if you can’t even, this is what happens when you stop washing your face for a week.

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