Is it bad to wash our face in the shower?


Here’s something new that I just came across while browsing a forum last week – that washing our face in the shower is bad for our skin, given the water pressure and the toxins in the water itself. Is this true?

I think the water pressure makes sense and a strong pressure is particularly bad for those with sensitive or acne skin as that might cause the bacteria to spread. But if the water stream is gentle, I really don’t see a problem. And I’m not sure if the water from the shower head is different from water from the tap. It’s from the same source and whatever toxins will be the same isn’t it?

So what do you all think?  I know some of you specifically wash your face only at the sink. Is there a specific reason?  Personally, I wash my face when I take my shower but my habit is to collect the water in my hands before splashing on my face. And usually, I end off with a cold splash of water at the sink. 

Well, there seems to be so much to learn about washing our face.  If you want to find out more facial cleansing tips, check out my previous post by clicking on the link.

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  1. heather says:

    i usually wash my face using shower because i always make a mess while using the tap to wash. i will adjust the water pressure until its gentle for my face to use. and i thought the water from the shower is the same as the water from the tap? O.O

  2. Jyoan says:

    haha, I should like to think that any water fit for drinking is suitable to wash the face.

    If we are talking about bacteria forming around those little holes, then the same goes for tap water, and also filter systems like diamond water. So there is no difference.

    Perhaps the water pressure as you said, is the main concern.

    But yes, I don’t see a problem if the water is turned down.

    I basically don’t really care, and use every method, from tap wash (when I have clothes on), to direct from shower, to use my hands to collect and splash from shower.

    I prefer shower, cos I like warm water. And I don’t practise cold water splashing, cos I can’t tolerate the icy feel.

    Also, I feel that the continuous stream of water from the shower is actually cleaner than if I use my hands to cup water from the tap, because it flushes. Plus that flushing also means I rub my face less.

  3. Amanda says:

    I drink water straight from the tap, so if it’s safe to drink, it must be fine for my face too.

    I understand that the water pressure could be a problem, but I tend to collect the water in my hands and then splash it on my face.

    Personally I wash my face both at the sink and in the shower, and it hasn’t posed a problem for me yet =)

  4. Janet says:

    I do wash my face in the shower too, but I always make sure the water is not too hot. Have been advised by facial therapist to wash with room temperature water.

  5. eliza says:

    Once in a while i use the shower but I very much often use the sink rather than the shower. It’s a force of habit =] and routinize activity.

  6. Sherry says:

    everyday I wash my face in shower when I shower. ? hehe… but water too hot!! ?

    oh yeah grab award at my blog ?

  7. melissa says:

    i heard somewhere a long time ago that shower water is recycled from toilet bowl water and is different from tap water’s source but im too sure about that cos it’s a very vague memory..

  8. Joey Lam says:

    I do realize that my face is cleaner when I wash by the sink, as I use a facial cleansing cloth or sponge, but when I wash my face under the shower, usually during travels, the running water makes my face ‘wobble’ too much that makes skin somewhat drying after the shower… so perhaps it might be the said ‘pressure’… I always feel that showering at home is cleaner than during travels on holidays… its never as cleaned, even when the same skincare products are used… psychological perhaps. ?

  9. Mon says:

    A Japanese dermatologist once told me that it’s very bad to wash your face under the shower due to the pressure, unless you are an oily skin type of person. She told me that the pressure washes away a great amount of natural sebum. So I personally would not recommend dry/normal skin people to wash face under the shower.

    Good blog, Sesame! Loving it!

  10. BlovetBeauty says:

    Oh this is such a cute post. I have thought about this b4 and to me it doesnt really make sense. cause we have to bath anyways and water inevitably gets into our face. Its just a matter of when we wash our face. After we finishing lathering and washing away all the shampoo seems to be the better idea… also, I;m no expert on this topic so, when I’m lazy I wash my face in the shower and when I’m more hardworking, I wash at the sink!!! hahaha

  11. pf1123 says:

    I always wash my face in the shower because its the 2nd cleansing step I do after makeup remover.

    My beautician also advised me against washing my face in the shower. She said that the temperature will hurt my face.

    However, I don’t think so. My heater has some problems. The water is only lukewarm and the pressure isn’t that great either.

    During travel, I will be more careful. I will cup the water from the shower to wash my face. Or if the pressure of the water is too strong, I will fill the facial sponge with water and use it to wash my face. No direct contact.

  12. sesame says:

    I think I have an idea of what you mean by mess. I can’t wash my entire face at the sink. I find I waste more water cos I have to splash more.

  13. sesame says:

    Here in Singapore, our water is quite good so it’s not a big issue. In other countries, some of their water contains more metal and is more chlorinated, hence can be drying for the skin. I guess that’s what it meant by “toxins” but the water coming from that tap in the sink really shouldn’t be different from the shower head. *scratches head*

    But yes, I’ll do with washing my face in the shower…it’s much more convenient to me and like you, I like warm water.

  14. sesame says:

    I would love to have a filtered shower head but heh…that’s in the ideal world! Otherwise, I agree that water from the tap is fine for my face too.

  15. sesame says:

    Yup, too hot is not good and same goes for cold water too. Hot water is drying and both hot and cold water in the extremes can cause broken capillaries.

  16. sesame says:

    Yeah, old habits die hard. ?

  17. sesame says:

    Try not to wash your face in hot water. Can be drying to your skin in the long run, or cause broken capillaries.

    Oh thanks…I’ll go check it out! ?

  18. sesame says:

    Huh? That’s really funny to me…haha…I don’t think mine comes from that source. Well, I certainly hope not! ?

  19. sesame says:

    Depending on where you go, the water is indeed different and some can cause skin or even hair problems…

  20. sesame says:

    Hey, this is interesting and useful info! I actually thought the pressure might promote sagging or something but didn’t connect to the loss of natural sebum. Thanks for sharing this!

  21. sesame says:

    Yes, you’re right about the water getting to our face. But I cannot handle the downward pressure of the water on my face head on…difficult to breathe lah. I always wash my hair head down and then wash face with the water collected separately.

  22. sesame says:

    The heat is something we need to be aware…sometimes I just want to feel the steam even though I know hot water isn’t good.

  23. Dee says:

    I usually wash my face in the shower after I’ve shampoo and condition. Its easier to me, unless I’m sleeping over at a friends or at a hotel, I take more precaution.

  24. stiffedneck says:

    I’ve read at least twice that it’s not good to wash your face in the shower, especially if you use hot water because the steam strap in the bacteria, so your face isn’t as clean as it should be. I’ve never heard of the water pressure before. However, I don’t have a problem washing either at the sink or in the shower. I’ve even read that its not good to slather on body wash while the water’s running as well, that you should let the cleanser does its job before letting it get all mixed up with water??? I forgot why, but it wasn’t because of everyone starts to be more concious about the environment like lately.

  25. John says:

    As long as what you are using to wash with is clean & pure even herbal based then shouldn’t matter where you was.

  26. sesame says:

    Ya, I think that’s quite the norm as it’s really more convenient.

  27. sesame says:

    Yes, the bacteria spread I’ve come across especially for those with acne. But never heard anything about not slathering body wash when water is running. I’m highly guilty of that!

  28. stella says:

    i always clean my face at night in the shower but the water pressure is so low at my high rise apartment, i think its ok. i do notice a higher water pressure when i do the same in hotels on trips

  29. sesame says:

    The low water pressure should be fine. Anyway, it’s hard to wash our face when the water pressure is too high.

  30. ann says:

    icksssss … i’ve always washed my face in the shower as it’s more convenient. I hate washing my face at the sink as it’s so difficult to contain the water droplets from splashing and making sure the face is clean. But thanks for the tip, will watch out on water pressure and temp.

  31. sesame says:

    Don’t worry as long as the pressure isn’t strong. A lot of us wash our faces during showering too.

  32. valerie says:

    Interesting~ sometimes If I can avoid it I will try not to wash my face under the shower.. cause usually i cant stand bathing in too cold water and the water is just warm for my body but not my face. But still.. I doubt we can completely avoid water getting onto our face..maybe just be more careful if the pressure is too high :))

  33. Angela says:

    i wash my face in shower all the time and nothing bad happened to my face. I think it should be fine as long as the water pressure is not too strong.

  34. sesame says:

    Yes, you’re right. Just be careful about the water pressure. Otherwise, shower as per normal. ?

  35. Calia Yang says:

    how interesting!! I better stop doing that than – i do that all of the time in the shower!! eek!

  36. Nepheliad says:

    When I wash my face in the shower I never stick my head under the shower head, I still cup some water in my hands and then on to my face, just like when I’m at the sink.

  37. sesame says:

    That’s what I do too…

  38. Sherry says:

    thanks for tell me dont wash in hot shower. I will wash first then only shower. hope not forget its a bad habit I wash face in shower.

  39. sesame says:

    Try to keep the pressure lower if you wash your face in the shower…otherwise should be okay.

  40. Katherina says:

    wow, there’s always SO many different suggestions from beauticians and dermatologists, aren’t there?! I JUST started washing my face in the shower ( although I really don’t like it. I dye my hair with semi-perm color, so i have to rinse my hair AGAIN after it’s been washed to make sure conditioner is all out, then i wash my face * very soft spray from settings on detatchable shower-head * then rinse my hair with my head tilted WAY back AGAIN to get any facial cleanser out. Then rinse my face one last time at a different angle. I started shower face washing because everyone was telling me i was probably getting body washes, shampoo and conditioner on my face when i’d wash my face before a shower – then other *most* times i’d wash my face after the shower, but, since i use homemade soothing cream cleansers for my face *GOOD for my dry pale skin* and i’m OCD about getting up at my hairline i’d have to rinse some of the hair too to get any residue and cleanser out. It’s made of ground oatmeal, ground powdered milk, honey, brown sugar, lemon juice, brown sugar, corn meal and all mixed with cetaphil – so can you IMAGINE the ordeal making sure i’ve rinsed all traces out of my hairline? Also, my mixture sounds crazy but it’s the best thing i’ve ever done. =) Sadly it made me realize that i’ve caused clogged/congested pores all over my face from ALWAYS having used very drying or/and medicated harsh soap. I didn’t realize i had dry skin. = ( Anyway…Rinsing my hairline so much makes me feel like i was STILL getting conditioner back on my face, even though i doubt that’s possible since i rinse my hair well. What do you guys think? I use a toner after though..wouldn’t that get it? and i use olive oil as a moisturizer then later over that either use a AHA/glycolic acid facial lotion or a salicylic acid one. Wouldn’t olive oil/lotions eat away any unnatural oils remaining? I feel so confused!

  41. BeeWop says:

    i just wash everything in the shower, makes since to me if im in the shower

  42. Sesame says:

    Yeah, most of us do that. I think it’s just to ensure not having the water coming at our face at strong speed.

  43. MJ says:

    I have always wash my face in the sink. for the past two weeks,I have washed my face in the shower and now have like eight new pimples. I have always suffered from acne, getting 2-3 monthly. I have been thinking to myself “there has been no change in my diet,or anything. why the sudden change?” Well i believe I’ve found the answer. just bought nature’s cure pills,because my face is a mess.

  44. Sesame says:

    Hmm…that’s interesting but I wonder what’s the reason. I can’t figure the relation between washing face in the shower and the acne.

  45. Funsho says:

    What can i use to treat pimples and blacu spots that will not bleach or lighten my face. what can i use for hyper pigmentation. its embarasing.

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