This is the face we’re talking about, the old moneymaker. It’s what everyone in our lives has to look at every day.
It turns out that the skin on the face and neck is thinner than on the rest of the body.
I’ve been lying to my wife. Hell, I’ve been lying to myself thinking I could get away with it all these years. But it’s catching up to me, and it’s time to come clean. I’m talking about washing my face. I don’t do it. I say I do, and sure, I rinse it with water, but I don’t give it anywhere near the attention or vigorous cleaning that I give the entire rest of my body—I’ve never seen a reason to. Which led me to the question: “Why should I use a face wash, anyway?”
It turns out that the skin on the face and neck is thinner than on the rest of the body, which means it’s more fragile and more susceptible to water loss, resulting in dry skin when not properly cared for. And since most of us only wear a mask once a year on Halloween, our faces are also exposed to damaging environmental elements—like the sun or pollution—more than other areas.
But surely that whole evolution thing gave our faces some natural defenses so we aren’t all walking around looking like Swamp Thing, right? You bet it did. To battle the elements, our faces produce oils as protection. That may have caused some rough times during puberty, but these oils are a good thing. And men actually have larger pores than women and produce more oil.
Now, I don’t like my face feeling too oily, but when I’ve washed my face with regular soap, my face feels dry and tight like I’ve been wandering in the desert for forty years like my Jewish ancestors. I used to think that meant my face was clean, but it’s actually because regular bar and body soaps are too harsh and strip away essential oils that keep your face from looking like an old baseball mitt. It’s not about scrubbing hard or your face burning or feeling “squeaky clean.” It takes the gentle touch of a good face wash to clean and hydrate our faces without wreaking havoc on everything in its path like body soap—and me when I’m hangry.
I wasn’t avoiding face wash because I was lazy, cheap, or didn’t have the time; I just didn’t know why I should use it. I exercise, I make an effort to eat well, and I generally try not to be a gross garbage person. And this is the face we’re talking about, the old moneymaker. It’s what everyone in our lives has to look at every day. So, I’ve started using a gentle, hydrating face wash at night. It feels good to use and, as an added bonus, I no longer have to lie to my wife when she asks if I’m taking care of my face—which means I can finally focus on lying about who ate all the leftover pizza.