Do I need to use a facial cleanser?

TLDR? Jump to the takeaways HERE


As many people starting their skincare journey may ask, do I need a facial cleanser? The answer in short is a resounding, yes! The benefits too using a facial cleanser far outweigh forgoing a cleanser or using plain soap.


The brass tacks of it all:

  • Why do I need a facial cleanser?
  • How & when should I use it?


Why do I need a facial cleanser

First, we need to talk science. Various parts of our bodies have individual pH balances, but the hands, face, and chest can be problematic as they are exposed to various elements. For now, we will focus on the facial skin. The skin on your face can be very fickle due to the delicate pH balance it has. A 2006 study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science outlined that an optimal pH balance for facial skin is just below 5. For reference, below is a chart of the pH scale and the optimal skin zone.


 Our skin is also subject to many daily environmental stressors including:

  • air pollution
  • antibacterial products
  • cosmetics
  • detergents / antibacterial soaps and gels
  • too much sun exposure
  • Tap water


All these factors piling on top of each other can lead to acne breakouts, dry skin, and sensitivity. A good facial cleanser can help clear skin and naturally restore pH levels by removing buildup of dirt, oils, or unwanted debris. Cleansing also leads to further skin hydration and aids in the effectiveness of anti-aging products. Long story short facial cleansing is the cornerstone of a good skincare routine.


The How and When

Skincare is different for every individual, and it is important to know your skin type. The products you choose may vary based on skin type and can produce different results. Although, for some self-assessing their skin type can be as easy as looking in the mirror; we suggest consulting a dermatologist for those who cannot determine their skin type. Find the skin you’re in below:


  • Oily – Skin naturally creates more oil, and creates a sheen
  • Combination – Skin has both oily and dry components
  • Dry – Skin requires moisture, and can appear dry and flaky
  • Sensitive – Skin can be itchy, red, or inflamed
  • Normal – Skin has a healthy balance of oils, and moisture


Once you know your skin type choosing a facial cleanser is that much easier. To make it even easier you can find an exfoliating cleanser for all skin types HERE.
Now that I have my cleanser, how many times a day should I use my facial cleanser? For most skin types it is recommended to cleanse your face twice a day. Once in the morning, and once in the evening to remove daily dirt and debris. It may be tempting to wash skin more than twice a day, especially for oily skin, but that may cause more harm than good.

Note again that skin is different for every individual and may require cleansing only once a day. Looking at and evaluating your skin is an important part of any skincare routine. Plus, you get to see your skin glow up with your new routine!

Speaking of routine there is one final takeaway. The skincare routine that works best is one that you can stick to. If a simple three step routine best suits you… go for it! If cleansing your face is all you have time for…. awesome! Remember this is all for the sake of living and feeling like a better version of yourself every day. Be your Authentic self, and love the person you see in the mirror!


Key Takeaways

  • Why Cleanse?
    • To remove impurities such oil, dirt, and debris
    • To reduce blemishes, and sensitivity
    • To improve skin health, hydration, and effectiveness of other skincare products
  • Mind your pH balance. Optimal Range = 4 - 6
  • Learn your skin type:
    • Oily
    • Combination
    • Dry
    • Sensitive
    • Normal
  • Cleanse at least once a day, suggested twice a day for most skin types
  • Build a routine that works for you
  • Be your Authentic self, and love yourself daily



  • Lambers H, et al. (2006). Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its residential flora. DOI: