Dermatologist holding CeraVe face cleanser



Cleansing incorrectly can lead to a disrupted skin barrier and leave your skin feeling uncomfortable, tight, and dry. To help you get the most out of your cleansing routine, we’re sharing our top cleansing “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when following a skincare routine for hydrated, healthy-looking skin.




Do: Choose a cleanser based on your skin type

Face washes are not one-size-fits-all skincare products. Choosing the best facial wash for your specific skin type can help effectively clean your skin without unwanted side effects (such as sensitivity, flaking, or itching).


Don’t: Choose harsh, drying formulas

Some cleansers contain harsh, drying ingredients that can weaken the skin barrier. To help gently cleanse your skin without leaving it feeling dry or stripped, CeraVe cleansers are formulated without alcohol, sulfates, or fragrance.



Although everyone’s skin is unique, there are a few general guidelines that can help you decide how often to wash your face. For help finding the ideal cleansing frequency for your skin’s individual needs, consult with your doctor or a board-certified dermatologist.


Do: Cleanse your face twice daily, plus after sweating

Stick to a consistent routine that includes twice-daily cleansing: once in the morning and once at night. It’s also important to cleanse your skin after working out or doing any activity that causes you to sweat heavily.


Don’t: Wash your face too often (or not enough)

Over-cleansing and under-cleansing can both impact your skin’s appearance. On one hand, washing too frequently can strip your skin of important moisture. At the same time, not cleansing often enough can cause a buildup of pore-clogging dirt, oil, and bacteria.




Do: Listen to the experts and seek help when needed

As mentioned above, harsh cleansers can damage your skin barrier, letting irritants in and moisture out. We recommend choosing a dermatologist-recommended skincare brand with gentle cleansers that can remove oil, dirt, and makeup without compromising the skin barrier.

It’s also important to seek the help of a board-certified dermatologist when needed. Your dermatologist can help answer any questions you may have about specific skin concerns and offer professional guidance or treatment options as needed.


Don’t: Skip moisturizer and sunscreen after washing your face

Besides cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen are two skincare routine basics that every good regimen needs. Moisturizer helps hydrate your skin and prevent moisture loss, while sunscreen helps protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. In some cases, it’s possible to find both moisturizer and sunscreen in a single formula, such as CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with broad spectrum SPF 30.

For help choosing the right products for your specific skin type and skin concerns, use the Find My Skincare Solution tool.



  • A cleanser is a skincare product designed to gently lift oil, dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, and make-up from the skin’s surface. These impurities are then carried away with rinsing. A good cleanser will help prevent the accumulation of residue while leaving the skin’s barrier intact.

  • Ideally, you should wash your face twice daily, in the morning and again in the evening. You might also consider cleansing after any activity where the face becomes visibly covered with sweat, dirt or makeup.

  • A cleanser should be applied to the face for 3-5 minutes, and then rinsed off. Use a clean cloth to pat your face dry.

  • Use lukewarm water to wash the face. If you have sensitive skin, hot water can strip the skin and cause excessive dryness. On the other hand, cold water may not adequately dissolve oils.

  • Washing your face in the shower is perfectly fine. Just use your clean hands and fingertips.

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