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Do You Really Need to Wash Your Face in the Morning?

Dermatologists weigh in
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If we told you that you didn't need to wash your face in the morning, what would you do? Laugh? Or do a little jig at the prospect of hitting the snooze button one extra time?

Drunk Elephant founder Tiffany Masterson recently told The Coveteur that she doesn't think people should be washing their face every morning. "I tell my customer to not cleanse in the morning. It's not necessary. Your skin should have the acid mantle intact," she explained, calling it a "gamechanger."

Is it true? Should we be ditching our morning rinse? We chatted with board-certified dermatologists Dr. Purvisha Patel and Dr. Mona Gohara to find out. Keep reading to hear their two cents on the matter, as well as some essential face washing advice.

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Can we really skip our morning face wash?

It all depends on who you ask. Patel, for one, is pretty firmly in the twice-daily face washing camp. She says it's just as important to wash off your nightly skin care products each morning as it is to wash off the day, toxins and pollutants each night before starting your evening beauty regimen. Patel recommends Visha Skincare Advanced Purifying Cleanser, $30, for nighttime cleansing since it's pH balanced and lightly exfoliating.

Gohara, on the other hand, says you have a little bit more flexibility when it comes to your AM/PM skin care routines, though she says you should definitely wash your face at least once per day. "The key is to cleanse away oils, build-up from products and other residuals. I wash my face in the morning to wake me up, get the blood flowing to my face and add radiance before I get the day started."

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Will micellar water cut it?

We know Patel firmly believes in washing your face twice a day, but what if you're feeling a little lazy — are there any shortcuts? She says you can use micellar water to cleanse, which is a nice little loophole (we recommend Simple Water Boost Micellar Cleansing Water, $9.99, if you're in the market for a new one). Gohara adds that you can occasionally substitute in facial wipes, though they're "minimally cleansing."

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Should your morning and evening cleansers be the same?

If, like Masterson, you're concerned about twice-daily washings stripping away that acid mantle, there are other steps you can take (short of skipping the wash entirely, that is). "For those with dry, sensitive skin, washing with a mild cleanser in the morning and a stronger cleanser in the evening is recommended," says Gohara. As far as gentle cleansers go, she recommends the Dove Beauty Bar, which can actually be used on your face as well as your body. For your stronger cleanser, you can't go wrong with the Ole Henriksen Find Your Balance Oil Control Cleanser, $25 — it's got AHAs to help keep your skin extra clean and shine free.

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