Washing your face can feel like a chore, but it’s an important step that forms the foundation of every successful skincare regime. When our epidermis produces sebum, or oil, it sits on our skin to protect it from external elements. If not managed through regular cleansing, that buildup of oil, debris and bacteria can block pores, irritate skin and lead to breakouts. “What you want to do is cleanse that away so the natural process is that the next oil can come out,” says Allison Hegedus, president of Vida Spa in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., and a graduate of the Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies at Sheridan College.

Not only will neglecting to wash your face hinder your skin’s natural renewal process, but this build up can also prevent products from penetrating the skin. Hegedus stresses that this is why it’s equally important to wash your face in the morning as it is at the end of the day. “During the evening, your natural oils are surfacing on the skin and by not washing this off, the face creams or serums you invest in cannot properly penetrate your skin and do their job. Without washing your face in the morning, you will not get the full benefits of the products you buy.”

To maximize your investment, Hegedus recommends finding a cleanser suitable for your skin type – milky or creamy for dry and sensitive skin and foaming or gel for oilier complexions – and avoiding anything with irritating or drying ingredients like alcohol. Happy washing!