2 Rules a Derm Is Begging You To Follow if You Wash Your Face in the Shower

Photo: Getty Images / RichLegg
There are tons of beauty myths floating around out there, and one of them is that you should never wash your face in the shower. But according to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, there's nothing wrong with washing your face in the shower—you just wanna make a few adjustments to ensure you're getting a thorough yet gentle cleanse.

"Ultimately, the most important thing is washing your face, so where you choose to do it comes down to personal preference," says Dr. Garshick. "If choosing to wash in the shower is more convenient and otherwise you would forget, washing in the shower is okay."

Experts In This Article

When washing your face in the shower, Dr. Garshick says there are two simple rules you must follow.

How to wash your face in the shower, the right way

1. Make sure the water is lukewarm

Hot showers are generally a no-no. "Lukewarm water is preferable, as if the water is too hot it can be irritating to the skin and strip the skin of its natural oils," says Dr. Garshick. If you don't adhere to this rule on your body (which, by the way, you should—hot water can strip the skin there, too), please be sure to follow it on your face and lower the temp before you rinse off the day's makeup, sweat, and grime.

2. Wash your face last

Though it can be tempting to get your face clean the second you hop in the shower, Dr. Garshick says you're better off saving it for the last step.

"It’s best to wash your face as the last step when you’re in the shower," she says, "to help rinse away any residue or buildup that can occur with shampoo, conditioner, or other products that may be used in the shower, which can otherwise contribute to breakouts and irritation."

3 of Dr. Garshick's favorite face washes

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser — $15.00 to $18.00

“This gentle cleanser is a great option, especially for someone with dry skin, as it contains ceramides to help strengthen and support the skin barrier as well as hyaluronic acid to boost moisture,” says Dr. Garshick. “As a result, it effectively cleanses without stripping the skin of its natural oils, so the skin will still feel nourished even after cleansing.”

Dove Beauty Bar
Dove Beauty Bar 6 Pack — $15.00

“For those who prefer a bar, I recommend this bar from Dove as this bar effectively cleanses and washes away dirt, without drying out the skin as it helps to replenish moisture lost, unlike ordinary soaps which can strip the skin of its natural oils,” says Dr. Garshick. “It is formulated with 1/4 moisturizing cream which helps to leave the skin feeling soft and nourished.” Another bonus? it’s gentle enough to use on your face and body.

Thayers pH Balancing Daily Cleanser
Thayers pH Balancing Daily Cleanser — $15.00

“A great option for those with normal or oily skin, and even those with sensitive skin, this cleanser works to eliminate excess dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils,” says Dr. Garshick. “It contains aloe vera and sodium hyaluronate to help replenish moisture, leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth, while remaining gentle on the skin and the skin’s pH.”

Learn more shower skin-care tips:

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