A person washing his face

Why do I break out when I wash my face?

Even though you may wash your face religiously, some people’s acne only worsens with frequent washing. It’s common to feel angry and helpless when this happens because it feels like you’re doing everything right but still not seeing results.

So what’s the cause? And more importantly, what can be done about it?

In this article, we will explore some possible causes of break-out when you wash your face and offer some solutions.

Why do you break out when your wash your face?

Overwashing Your Face:

Although keeping your face clean is key to preventing breakouts, washing it too much can have the opposite effect by stripping away natural oils and causing irritation. It leads your skin to produce more oil to compensate, which eventually leads to clogged pores and acne breakouts.


Stop washing your face too often. Unless you have an active lifestyle or work in a physically demanding job, washing your face twice a day is more than enough for most skin types.

Wrong Skincare Products for Your Skin Type:

Another possible cause of breakout is washing your face with the wrong products. Wrong skin care products can strip the skin of its natural oils, leaving it dry and irritated. This, in turn, can cause your skin to overproduce oil, resulting in clogged pores that lead to acne breakouts. Additionally, some cleansers contain ingredients like harsh fragrances or alcohols that can further irritate the skin leading to more breakouts.


Use the right skincare product that suits your skin type. When looking for skincare products, read the ingredient list to ensure they don’t contain any harsh fragrances or alcohol that can irritate the skin.


Bacteria can also play a role in breakouts. Bacteria build up on the skin and can cause inflammation when exposed to water, resulting in breakouts. So even if you’re using the right products, washing your face too often could lead to breakouts because of this bacteria buildup.


Give your skin a break from frequent washing, and use an antibacterial cleanser every few days to help reduce bacteria buildup. Be sure to also exfoliate regularly to get rid of any dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to acne breakouts.


Stress can lead to breakouts. Stress hormones can cause your skin to produce more oil and clog pores, leading to breakouts.


Manage stress levels by engaging in activities that help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Additionally, practice good skincare habits to keep your skin healthy and clear of breakouts.

Use of Medication:

Finally, the use of medication or topical treatments can cause breakouts when washing your face. Some medications and topical treatments contain active ingredients that can irritate the skin and lead to breakouts.


Be aware of the possible side effects of any medication or topical treatment you use. If you’re experiencing breakouts, talk to your doctor about changing medications or treatments, as well as new strategies for keeping your skin clear.


In summary, there are several possible causes of breakouts when you wash your face. These include over-washing, using the wrong products, bacteria buildup, stress hormones and medication. So, be mindful of your skincare routine and the products you use to ensure you’re not causing any unnecessary breakouts. Additionally, stay aware of any underlying medical issues that could be causing skin irritations or breakouts. With the right strategies in place, you can keep your skin healthy and clear!

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