No-rinse Facial Cleansers

Benefits of No-Rinse Cleansers

If you're feeling wary of a cleanser that doesn't rinse away, there may be a few good reasons to give the one-step wash a second look.

First off, one benefit of no-rinse cleansers might be their convenience. Who wouldn't like to cut a step out of his or her daily care routine? If you're on the go, the no-rinse option can be a time and energy saver. However, if you've already got multiple steps in your skin-care regimen, then knocking off the rinse step -- or replacing it with a wipe-off step -- might not save very much time after all.

Another advantage has to do with what's in your water. If you're in an area that has hard water -- which can keep traditional cleansers from working properly and leave behind a residue -- or if you're vacationing in a place where you think the water quality is questionable, no-rinse cleansers just might be for you. They allow you to limit your face time with the faucet and apply a cleanser that wipes off with a cotton pad or muslin cloth instead.

A benefit for all skin types is that many no-rinse products tend to both hydrate and protect, whereas the regular soap and water routine -- if you're using a harsh or strong soap -- can strip your skin of its moisture, leaving your skin prone to dryness and flaking. And since dry areas are more vulnerable to infection and other problems, it's important to keep skin supple. Another motivator to maintain your skin's moisture balance: Dry skin tends to age faster [source: Lefell].

Many no-rinse cleansers may especially be an advantage for people with sensitive skin. Because they don't usually involve an exfoliating component or the need for a washcloth, these products can help prevent irritation and are particularly well suited for sensitive skin. If your skin is oily or prone to breakouts from a buildup of dead skin cells, though, this might not be the option for you.

At the end (and the beginning) of the day, no matter how long your skin care routine takes you to complete, great skin requires TLC. And what works for one person might not work for all -- or all of the time. To find out more about which no-rinse cleansers might suit your skin best, visit some of the links and articles below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Consumer Search. "Facial Cleansers: Full Report." (Accessed Aug. 30, 2009)
  • Draelos, Zoe. "Skin and Hair Cleansers." eMedicine. May 14, 2009. (Accessed Sept. 17, 2009).
  • Lefell, David. "Dreams In a Bottle: Caring for Your Skin." Total Skin: The Definitive Guide to Whole Skin Care for Life. 2000. (Accessed Aug. 30, 2009)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Skin care: Top 5 Habits for Healthy Skin." Dec. 28, 2007. (Accessed Sept. 17, 2009)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Dry Skin." Nov. 26, 2008. (Accessed Aug. 30, 2009)
  • WebMD. "Skin Care Tips for Teens." Feb. 8, 2009. (Accessed Aug. 30, 2009)