Recently reading the book “Simple Skin Beauty” by respected dermatologist Ellen Marmur I was more than surprised to read that the normally washes her face with just water. Really? I mean REALLY dermatologists are usually the first to promote a certain skin careline, often their own. Marmur’s take on washing her face with just water is surprisingly refreshing.
What’s her reasoning? Why would a dermatologist only use water to wash her face in the morning?
Her skin is dry, she says, so there is no need to wash off the excess oils. Instead she uses a warm water (not hot nor to cold) and a wash cloth to gently wash down her face.
The idea behind washing your face with only water is highly dependent on what type of skin you have and whether it would actually benefit from being rinsed gently rather than using a cleanser. Marmur is not suggesting that combination or oily skin types should do this too, in fact in her book she highlights the importance of using some chemical exfoliants like BHA acids and professional chemical peels to help keep the skin healthy and looking good throughout the year.
She goes on to say that what you do to your skin is really dependent on what your skin needs at the moment and tries to dispel the myth of having certain skin “types” and rather underscore the reality that skin can be so many different “types” depending what conditions it is in.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about this method. When I was going to esthetician school my teacher related a story about how she met an elderly woman with beautiful skin. She asked what her routine was and the woman related that ever since she was young she just rinsed her skin with pure water and three drops of essential oils (for the life of me right now I cannot recall what the oils were- probably should call the teach) and that’s all she ever did to wash her face. Of course, this woman may have had genuinely great skin to begin with, but the story makes me think there’s something to simplicity.
I think if you are experiencing dry skin, or have mature skin then you may want to try the sans cleanser method like Marmur does for herself, but if you have acne, oily or combination skin washing your face without water is not really in your true benefit, although it couldn’t help to see what happens. Maybe you’ll find that your cleanser is actually irritating, and that using pure water is a step in the right direction!
Tip: Never reuse a washcloth as it breeds bacteria after you use it the first time.