The Men's Room

By Dr. Josh Zeichner for Men’s Life Today

When it comes to washing your face and treating skin problems, I always tell my patients that more is not necessarily better!

While dermatologists have yet to agree on the ideal number of times to wash your face, I find that most recommend washing between one and three times per day — anything more than that can actually harm the skin.

Facial cleansers are used to remove excess oil and dirt; however, some soaps contain irritating ingredients, such as surfactants, that strip the skin of its natural oils. Watch out for alkaline, which unnecessarily increases the acidity of the skin, and fragrances that can cause allergic reactions. Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, found in medicated soaps for acne, can also dry out your skin.

Excess washing and scrubbing can disrupt the integrity of the skin barrier, causing skin to become dry, itchy and irritated. You may even develop inflammation or a rash, increasing your risk of an infection. Moreover, removing oil from the skin can actually trigger oil production, leading to pimples.

So wash your face in moderation. If you find that your face is dry or irritated, you may be over-washing. Remember, more doesn’t always mean better.

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