What if we said it might be better for you to not wash your face in the morning? You’d think we’re crazy, right? It goes against what most of us know as a good skin care regimen, where we think we constantly need to rid our skin of oils, dirt and pore-clogging grime. But it might actually be good to give your skin a cleansing break. It gives your skin a chance to rebuild, and create that natural protective moisture barrier that we often try to replicate with moisturizer. And it can save time.

Here’s why it’s actually a good idea to skip your morning face wash and let your skin repair.

1. It lets your skin repair

“If you cleanse your skin at night and apply your skin care regime, your skin does all it’s ‘repair work’ while you sleep,” explains Jill Carlen, Spa Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto. “You aren’t exposed to environmental pollutants or dirt, oil or sweat so there is no need to wash your face.”

2. It protects your skin’s natural barrier

Your skin works hard all night building its own natural barrier against the world (a layer of helpful oils keeps skin soft), so why strip it all away as soon as you wake up with a face wash? “Washing your face in the morning can strip your natural defense barrier,” says Carlen. Then it will spend the rest of the day trying to build it again.

3. It saves time and can make your moisturizer work better

You can totally sleep in those extra 15 minutes if you don’t have to think about a full face wash each morning. “A toner or toning lotion can be even better than washing in the morning,” says Carlen. “This is because your day cream penetrates better when your skin is damp but you don’t want to strip your skin just to put nutrients back in.”

4. It can give your skin a natural moisture boost

Not only are you keeping your skin naturally hydrated with its own barrier, but a splash or two of water is not only refreshing, but great for your skin. “Rinsing with water is always good for your skin, it’s thirsty too!” advises Carlen.

5. Your nighttime products will work better

“Cleansers are made to help remove oil, dirt and grime,” explains Carlen. “If you have been sleeping with only night cream and serum, then using a cleanser will try to remove the good oil and moisture you just spent the night infusing into your skin.” To make sure your skin really soaks up every last drop of that nighttime moisturizer and serum goodness, don’t remove it again in the morning.

Bonus: Who should never skip

All that said, the whole skipping a cleanse in the morning might not be best for every skin type. Highly acne prone skin, or skin that has excessive oils can benefit from a good wash. “If you have extremely oily or acne prone skin, cleansing in the morning with a gentle cleanser can help reduce oil,” explains Carlen. “It can help kill bacteria.”

Read more:
7 Gentle Face Cleansers for Healthy, Happy Skin
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Wearing Sunscreen
9 Sleeping Masks for Better Skin in the Morning