Harvard Health Letter

By the way, doctor: Is not washing your face good for your skin?

Q. I wash my face very little because I have heard soaps, no matter how mild, dry out the skin. What do you think — what should I wash my face with?

A. Most facial skin is quite sturdy and stands up to repetitive trauma very well. It has many pores and heals quickly and well after injury. But as time passes, the effects of chronic exposure to the environment become evident. The skin thins and becomes less elastic and a bit more porous. Other effects of chronologic aging and cumulative photodamage include freckling, subtle changes in the lines of expression, and fine lines and wrinkles. We get concerned about the appearance of "aging," so the question arises about what is the best way to clean the face.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »