When it comes to a beauty routine, it may seem like there’s a good amount of wiggle room. After all, methods, products, and the frequency or ferocity at which they’re applied can (and in some cases should) differ depending on individual hair and skin types, conditions, and concerns. Of course, busy schedules can also come into play, making it tempting to skip a shampoo, shower, or makeup removal when you’re ready to hit snooze or to borrow a friend’s lipstick or brush in a bind. But at what point does skimping and sharing in the interest of saving a little time or hassle mean compromising your health?
Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, says that nighttime wash is the priority.
“Removing dirt and makeup before bed keeps your pores cleaner and reduces the likelihood of clogging overnight. Maintaining excellent hygiene of your eye area is especially important, as the eyes are particularly susceptible to infection from bacteria left on or around the eyes and lashes,” cautions Dr. Murphy-Rose.
When it comes to the body, Dr. Murphy-Rose says washing once a day should usually suffice, especially for those with drier skin types and during colder months.
“Water is good for your skin, but excessive sudsing can strip your skin of the natural oils that help to keep skin hydrated. Unless you have been rolling on shared gym equipment, in which case you should you should always try to sneak in a quick post-workout cleanse, using soap only in areas that harbor bacteria (such as the underarms, groin area and feet) and just rinsing water along the rest of your body should do the trick,” Dr. Murphy-Rose explains. For application, she prefers a clean washcloth as opposed to reusable loofahs or puffs “that can harbor bacteria and mildew over time.”