Washing Your Face in the Shower: Pros, Cons, and Tips

Washing your face is a crucial part of maintaining good skin health and hygiene. Many people are divided on the question: should you wash your face in the shower or not? While it might seem like a simple, everyday task, the pros and cons of this practice have been debated by skincare experts and enthusiasts alike.

This article will go into the advantages and drawbacks of washing your face in the shower, tips for a safe and effective in-shower facial care routine, and more.

Let’s dive in!

The Takeaway:

  • Washing your face in the shower can be a convenient and time-saving solution, but it’s essential to be aware of the pros and cons to ensure proper skincare.
  • Pros include efficient cleansing, time-saving benefits, steam benefits for softened pores, and reduced product waste and splashback.
  • Cons include risks of over-cleansing and under-washing, water temperature and steam effect on the skin, washcloth bacteria, and dilution of facial cleansers.

Can You Wash Your Face in the Shower?

Yes, you definitely can wash your face in the shower. Before doing so, there are a few factors to consider, such as water temperature, the type of cleanser you use, and how you apply the product to your face.

The Pros of Washing Your Face in the Shower

Washing your face in the shower might seem like a small, inconsequential decision, but incorporating this habit into your daily routine can provide numerous benefits. Here’s what they are:

Cleansing Efficiently and Saving Time


No matter how much you love your skincare routine, it can be difficult to find the time to do it every day.

One of the primary advantages of washing your face in the shower is the ease and efficiency of multitasking. When facial cleansing during your shower routine, you can simultaneously wash your body and face, saving time and simplifying your daily regimen.

Steam Benefits and Softened Pores

The warm steam generated by the shower is a natural way to open your pores, making it easier to remove dirt, oil, and impurities. Additionally, the steam aids in better absorption of skincare products by softening your skin’s surface. This process can help prevent clogged pores and improve the effectiveness of your exfoliation process while maintaining a consistent water temperature during cleansing.

Reduced Product Waste and Risk of Splashback

When washing your face at the sink, the risk of splashback is much higher, meaning water and cleanser can end up creating a mess around you. Washing your face in the shower eliminates this issue while also reducing the amount of product waste.

The Cons of Washing Your Face in the Shower

While washing your face in the shower may seem like a convenient and time-saving solution, it’s important to be aware of the potential downsides. Here’s what you need to know:

Over-cleansing and under-washing

Over-cleansing can lead to stripping natural oils from your face, which in turn may cause dehydration, drying skin, and unbalanced pH levels. Underwashing, on the other hand, can leave trapped dirt and oils on your skin, which may contribute to potential breakouts and acne exacerbation.

Water temperature and steam effect on the skin

Showers tend to have higher water temperatures than what is recommended for washing your face. Overexposure to hot water can lead to skin irritation, weakened skin barriers, and leave your skin vulnerable to pollutants and allergens. As the steam from the shower opens up your pores, it can also cause trapped dirt and bacteria to penetrate deeper into your skin, ultimately worsening skin issues.

Washcloth bacteria and standing water problems

Using a washcloth in the shower, while great for your body, may be problematic when used on your face as it can harbor bacteria. This can lead to potential breakouts and irritated skin. In addition, standing water in the shower can increase the likelihood of mold, which can cause allergic reactions and other skin problems.

Diluting facial cleansers and ineffective exfoliation

The constant flow of water may dilute facial cleansers, decreasing their effectiveness and ability to properly cleanse your skin. As a result, you may unknowingly leave behind impurities on your face that could lead to breakouts and acne.

Tips for a Safe and Effective In-Shower Facial Care Routine

Here are some tips for a safe and effective in-shower facial care routine:

  1. Choose mild products: When it comes to in-shower facial care, it’s crucial to select gentle cleansing and moisturizing products that are suitable for your skin type. Consult with a dermatologist or a skincare expert for recommendations, and always follow product instructions.
  2. Avoid hot water: Hot water can strip your skin of essential oils and cause irritation. Opt for lukewarm water instead, as it helps maintain your skin’s natural hydration levels while providing an optimal environment for facial cleansing.
  3. Use clean hands and massage technique: Make sure your hands are clean before touching your face. When applying products, use circular motions and a gentle massage technique to improve circulation, promote relaxation, and encourage better absorption of skincare ingredients.
  4. Steam treatment: The steam from the shower can help open up your pores, making it easier to remove impurities and improve the effectiveness of your skincare products. Spend a few minutes allowing the steam treatment to work its magic before proceeding with your routine.
  5. Ensure proper hydration: Just because you’re in the shower doesn’t mean you can skip moisturization. After cleansing and rinsing off your facial mask, apply a moisturizer to lock in hydration and protect your skin from environmental damage.
  6. Pat dry and follow up: After completing your in-shower facial care routine, gently pat your face dry with a clean towel. This helps prevent irritation and excessive rubbing that could damage your skin. Follow up with any additional serums, toners, or treatments that you would normally apply during your regular skincare routine.
  7. Time management and consistency: Establishing a consistent routine is key to maintaining healthy skin. Determine a schedule for your in-shower facial care, perhaps incorporating a weekly deep cleanse to ensure optimal results without overtaxing your skin.

Adam Williams

As the lead editor of Tools of Men, Adam loves men's grooming products. Particularly of interest is managing facial hair and perfecting the art of the modern man's skincare routine. His work has been featured or quoted in several publications, including New York Magazine, Vice, Sharpologist, MIC, Elite Daily, and more. When Adam isn't working, he enjoys spending time with his two little kids who keep him both on his toes and young at heart.

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