I Stopped Washing My Face for a Month – Here’s Why You Should Too

So here’s the thing –

I’ve been planning for a while to write a post on why “I Stopped Washing My Face in the Morning” for a long while. Why? Well, because over the last year, I stopped using cleansers in the morning – completely stopped – here’s the reason:

Truth is, after a night’s sleep (unless you were out in a sand storm battle field while getting your beauty z’s), your skin isn’t really all that dirty. In fact, you’ve probably noticed in the morning when cleansing your face, all you’re removing is last night’s products that you put on to keep your skin youthful and dewy (think serums, oils, moisturizers and eye creams). And to be quite frank, you wanted that on your skin for a reason.
Kate Murphy Living Pretty Naturally

What I realized is that, no amount of cleansing changed my skin’s behaviour (even using a super gentle moisturizing cleanser) because the truth was, my skin didn’t need to be cleansed.

So, during the course of the last year, I’ve used only a gentle Konjac Sponge instead. That’s it. Just plain good ol’ water, and a low-cost sponge – they’re only $10 USD.

Photo Cred: Eco Diva Beauty

Photo Cred: Eco Diva Beauty

This is awesome for two reasons:

  1. Your (sometimes expensive) cleanser is going to last you twice as long.
  2. Your skin is going to look fantastic, and maintain its natural moisture better.


… So, this summer, while traveling Bali, I thought I’d take it a step further.

I decided to not wash my face for a month.

My vow was to avoid wearing makeup (who needs makeup in Bali?!) and instead, just use sunscreen when needed.

To my surprise, my skin was fine. No big breakouts, no “dirt” on my face, just clean, good skin. In fact, my skin behaved really, really well. The proof is in the pudding: here’s an unedited selfie below.

I'm wearing a bandeau bikini top :)

I’m wearing a bandeau bikini top :) and my necklace with the rose quarts is called Angel Whisper’s Necklace from the amazing Ananda Soul Creations in Bali – she ships internationally.

Now, I did use water to splash my face at the end of the days, and in the morning, but I avoided using cleansers, with the exception of some bamboo wipes when I had a really thick “sunscreen day.” Other than that, my skin was looking dewy and glowing.

Here’s why: when we cleanse our skin, a cleanser does it’s job and strips the skin of its natural oils. Further, it also throws off the natural bacteria balance.

When allowing the skin to just do it’s darn thing, we’re allowing it to heal, without getting in its way. It naturally balances its oils, and bacteria.

So the real question: Will I quit cleansing for good?

best gentle natural cleanser

In short: No!

I like to use it to take off makeup at the end of the day (I don’t want to push and pull around the delicate eye area when removing mascara – gentle is best to protect the skin).

So, my routine is this: if I’ve worn makeup that day, I’ll cleanse with a gentle cleanser, such as Josh Rosebrook’s Complete Moisture Cleanse ($50 USD at the Detox Market).

Stick to natural cleansers that feel a little creamier— try to get over the need to feel “squeaky-clean” and “tight”, your skin will improve with this switch.

In the mornings, it’s only water and a konjac sponge.

That’s it. Easy, peasy.

Give it a try.

Just change out your morning cleanse for a water splash, and let me know how you experience it.



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  • Anna

    Wow, that’s great! Did you feel your skin get better or just the same as before with all that washing? I tried something like this for a month a year ago. I didn’t do anything to it, no makeup, no water, no anything, except for a little bit of jojoba oil once in a while. It was amazing. The problem I had was trying to wash my hair without getting shampoo or water on my face. I find that my skin responds well to this kind of break once in a while, but no water (it’s really drying).

  • I think this is something only a very few women can do successfully. I can’t tell because you don’t have a close up pic but I am assuming you are 20 something and I don’t see any acne, dark spots, blemishes etc on your face. That makes a WORLD of difference. So as a Skincare Specialist at a derm clinic and a medical assistant for 30 years I would NOT recommend most people follow your advice. Yes you use products at night but your hair rests on the pillow case and your hair has oils, you might sweat during the night (probably as you get older) and that will sit on your face all day if you don’t cleanse… just all around not good for most people. Just my .02

    • Hi Carol,

      Thanks for stopping by.
      I’m actually in my 30s, and have suffered from mild acne in the past, as well as dark spots as I am freckled. I braid my hair in the evenings and change my pillow cases at least once a week, as most should.

      I use waster and a konjac sponge in the morning to clear anything that needs lifting. This has saved my skin and I can’t recommend it enough.


  • Jen Scott

    I also said no to all types of store-bought toners and other cleansers after I found out about clay facial wash made from black seed oil. It was the best thing ever; my face actually started to feel light and kind of even-toned. I also had the problem of dry skin in winters but the oil in the facial wash took care of that. No cracks or wrinkly looking skin. It feels much better than heavy creamy products.

  • CeCe Anjo

    I wouldn’t mind trying this, but I’m African-American, live in AZ and we have hard water here. After I wash my face, I HAVE to put something on it because it feels dry and would look ashy if I didn’t. I don’t know if you encountered that or not, but I’d be interested to hear.

    • I always put something on my face after rinsing – usually an oil. Mainly avoid the cleansers in the morning, as my skin doesn’t need it, so just rinse with water and top with a facial oil. Let me know how it goes, hon! xx

  • Ariadne

    Hi darling. I have a couple of questions to ask you. What if you wake up oily in the morning because of the oily skin buid up and the residue of the fatty skincare products that you use in the evening? Would you wash your face just with water? I mean, water doesn’t mix with Oil, how could you remove it just with water? And in that case, would you apply your sunscreen or more oily kind of serums on a oily base? I mean, it makes me feel unconfortable. I, for example, have to wear makeup for work and i try to use really natural and straight to the point products. I use a Cleansing Oil balm in the evening, followed by a gentle soap free Cleanser and a cloth to make surr i don’t have any residue; than I Mist my face and apply my Oil serum when my skin is still damp. In the morning i WOULD USE the soap free Cleanser one, Mist again, serum and sunscreen if I go out. My skin is oily, cheeks included. I like my routine and my skin is quite good but I still have those odds breakout and i am soooo oily. Since forever. Something is wrong. Soooo, my idea would be to use a Cleansing Oil in the morning instead of a gel Cleanser, even if soap free. But I am not sure about it. Do you have any suggestione? Thanks, Ari :)

    • Hi Dear One,
      For the AM I use a konjac sponge – they have green clay ones for oily skin as well, which is great. It sounds like you have a great routine pre-bedtime. The oil cleanser in the morning could also be an option if you feel that helps remove what you wish, but a warm wash cloth / konjac sponge might do just the trick. Out of curiosity when and where do you get your breakouts? Are they potentially hormonally related?

      • Ariadne

        Sometimes but most of them are the classic tiny not painful Whitehead that you Can fell the bump ander the skin. Cheeks most of the time. And than I touch them and i destroy my face. So I could try with warm water, message really well and then gently using a cloth? What if you do sport in the morning? Like wake up and go? I would be sweaty and oily afterwards, what do you suggest? Thanks. Ari

        • For the whiteheads on the cheeks, I would look into your diet and clean your makeup brushes, if you are wearing make up.
          If you’re doing sports in the morning, fine to cleanse after that.
          I’m more thinking of you’re waking up and getting ready to go do any activity / get ready for your day. xx

  • Emily

    Your skin is BEAUTIFUL. What oil do you recommend using after? I’m trying to get out of using cleansers too as they seem to aggravate my skin. Do you have any thoughts on micellar water?

    • I change fairly often as I am testing so many products. I highly recommend water cleansing and then oil cleansing at night. I don’t have any big opinions on micellar water, I’ve used it in the past but do not use it anymore as I didn’t find it to be so great for my skin. xx

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