Should You Wash Your Face?

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We got in touch with a licensed esthetician, Ayla Shuey, here in Santa Cruz to get the dirt about skincare questions our communiTree has been asking. Here's some expertise from someone who has seen and worked with all types of skin types. This is what we found out…

1) Should you wash your face with soap?

The short answer is, “No, just no. It strips the skin barrier which leads to more problems.”

Soap is drying. Soap damages the complex and protective microbiome that lives on your skin. This answer may be surprising, but we are not saying to forego cleansing altogether. Just opt out of using drying and stripping soaps on a regular basis. Instead look for oil cleansers, cleansing milks, or other nourishing products that are anti-microbial without compromising the integrity of your skin’s barrier function. Oil based products can be used daily because they will strip away dirt and oil without drying out your skin.

So...should you wash your face with soap? Only use a true “soap” on particularly dirty days, ideally just once a week at most. On all the other days, use a nourishing oil-based cleanser.

2) What should you use daily instead of soap?

Anato recommends using the Baume Réparateur as a cleansing balm, or one of the serums as a cleansing oil. Massage some of the product into dry skin, and then gently wipe your face with a warm and wet washcloth or reusable cotton round. The balm or serum will adhere to oil and dirt and then a warm washcloth will wipe away the grime while nourishing and hydrating.

BUT - for those particularly grimy days -like being around a lot of air pollution, or working outside in the dirt - feel free to use a plant-based soap, like Anato’s Black Cedar Soap. Just remember to always follow up with a moisturizing product.

should you wash your face?

3) How often should you switch up your skincare routine?

“It depends. If you really like a product just pay attention to how it treats your skin. This can signify you might need a change or to stick with it. There are treatments with some stronger ingredients that might be good for a few months, and then you can change it. Being patient is also very important for lasting results!”

4) How long do you need to use a product to see if it gives you the desired results?

“It can take months of consistent use to see results, but it also depends on what results you are looking for. As an example, using anti-aging products will take time - sometimes six months. But if it doesn't work for your skin type at all it may really cause some extreme changes like breaking out or drying out - and you don’t want that.”

5) Does sleep really affect skin?

“Yes. The more sleep the better”

6) Does stress really affect skin?

“Absolutely, your skin is an organ and it is affected by environmental stressors and psychological stressors. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can actually cause your skin to change.”

7) What can I do when my skin is acting up due to stress, hormones, or poor sleep?

should you wash your face ?

The short answer is - use a serum! Ayla explains what a serum is in concise terms: 

“A more concentrated and targeted treatment. So use serums if you have a specific concern and you want results”

Anato’s multifunctional serums (Regenerative Rose Elixir & Arborescent Serum) are designed to give all skin types beneficial results. Both serums use regenerative agriculture sourced jojoba oil from Arizona. Why jojoba oil? The Rasyan Journal of Chemistry explains best: “Due to its chemical closeness to human sebum it can support the natural balance of the skin by forming a non-greasy film that holds moisture in while controlling the flow of sebum. It won’t clog the pores and its regulating action is frequently helpful with acne (1)” So whether you are seeking an anti-aging serum, a serum to control breakouts, or a serum to nourish dry or sensitive skin, both of our serums are effective options. 

Curious about your skin type? Take our short and fun quiz to discover which tree best represents your skin! Comes with free skin care advice from the trees themselves..

should you wash your face ?

should you wash your face ?

Ayla Shuey, aesthetician practicing in Santa Cruz, California. If you’re local, you can find her at Yoso Wellness Spa where she offers facials and waxing. 


  1. Sandha, G. K., & Swami, V. K. (2009). Jojoba oil as an organic, shelf stable standard oil-phase base for cosmetic industry. Rasayan J Chem, 2(2), 300-306.

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