ITG Resolutions: Wash My Face


I know I should wash my face every day. And, thanks to Isabelle Bellis, I know how to wash my face (and to even enjoy it). But in the spirit of Miranda Kerr’s 80%/20% rule of responsibility vs. indulgence, and with illusions of Stéphane Marais-worthy slept-in-makeup sex appeal, sometimes I (tequila) allow(s) myself a night off. Because, really, what’s the worst that could happen?

For those of you who don't regularly tune in to daytime television’s The Doctors, let me just brief you that it’s a lot worse than we thought. Right before 2013 came to a screeching halt, I was introduced to a little eye-opening segment on just how detrimental this seemingly innocent 20% has been to my skin. It turns out that washing your makeup off before bed also prevents premature aging, and not in that fear-mongering “loss of radiance” way. As the brave soul in the experiment illustrates, going cleanser-free for 30 days is equal to an added decade on your face. 10 effing years. Ignorance may have been an occasionally sexy (and always lazy) bliss, but I think a Botox-free future will be a different, much more rewarding kind of joy.

I like New Year's resolutions, as cheesy as they may be. I don’t believe a group sing-and-sway of "Auld Lang Syne" requires me to become a new person, or to shed the weight of a person at the gym, or even to respect my bank account more. But if I have any takeaways from my winter break’s Bill Murray movie binge, it’s that successful change occurs in baby steps. According to What About Bob’s Dr. Leo Marvin, I’m more likely to become the Woman I Was Meant To Be if I set “small, reasonable goals one day at a time.”

So I figure if I can remember to get my credit card back from the bar, I think I can smear some Aurelia Miracle Cleanser on my face before falling asleep in my dress. And on evenings when I’m feeling too cocooned by my silk pillowcase to get out of bed, I’m nearly certain Clarisonic’s new ultra-soft LUXE Satin brush paired with the promise of a Somme Institute insta-glow can coax me to the bathroom sink. Immediate reward, lasting results. Baby steps.

—Mackenzie Wagoner

Photo by Mathea Millman. 

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  • brionysbeauty .

    I literally was in bed reading this with my make up from the day still on. Needless to say I have now removed it! Great motivation to remove my make up daily.

  • Anne

    So... This might be a stupid question but does taking off my make-up with cotton pads soaked in micellar cleanser also counts as "washing" or does it have to include water and a towel?
    And thanks to your "Auld Lang Syne" reference I was instantly reminded of SATC the movie... I think I'll add watching all seasons of that show (again) to my new years resolutions.

    • ITGMackenzie

      Hi Anne,
      There are so many different types of cleansing. I had a French roommate with perfect, glowing skin who simply removed her makeup with Bioderma Crealine as a "face wash," and we've interviewed countless women who swear by just splashing their face with water (though, if Pharrell is any indication, go cold or go home). The premature aging issue comes into play when you don't remove your makeup and the daily build up of environmental grime. It sounds like you're crossing that hurdle. Beyond that, I think over-cleansing can dry out your face, which will also speed up aging. If you want to add anything extra to make sure you are truly clean, I like gentle cream washes like La Roche Posay Toleraine Dermo-Cleanser and Aurelia Miracle Cleanser, or, for acne maintenance, the Somme Institute cleanser. An electronic face brush like the Clarisonic will also remove any residual makeup. I hope that helps! As for SATC, I'm right there with you.

      • Anne

        Thank you Mackenzie! Very helpful! Still dying to try Crealine as a remover, and the Clarisonic is on top of my beauty wishlist :) x

  • joannanyc

    Hmmm, I look 10 years younger than my actual age (or so I'm told) and I only wash my face at night about 50% of the time. So I'm not so sure about this. Although, maybe if I DID wash my face every night, I'd look 20 years younger!

    • Adrienne Angelos

      I immediately thought this too! I went back and read it and thought about it, and I guess in the lady in the experiment went 30 whole days without washing her face EVER, ok maybe. I wash mine every morning without fail, but at night I'm closer to 50/50. Definitely looking to improve that number after reading this. I've been using Clinique's cleansing balm lately and its super slick and fun and totally washes away with water (amazing!) so my ratio will definitely be improving!

  • Androbel

    omg! hahaa I knew it aged you but not that much. I have been making it a routine to wash my face every night. hopefully it works.



  • Sarita

    The oil-cleansing method all the way for me! It doesn't matter how tired I am when I get home, or if I'm slinking into my apartment at 3 in the morning after a night out, I make sure to remove the make-up from my face.

    Over the years, the cleansing tools have changed--from various Neutrogena products in my teens and 20s and early 30s until I started oil cleansing a year and a half ago--but I think it's imperative that I clear my face of make-up before my face hits the pillow.

    • Cecily

      Could you explain this method? It sounds super interesting!

  • Leslie

    I always keep makeup remover wipes in my night stand because I am usually way too lazy to wash my face. Lol. Bad habit.

  • maggie

    I keep Bioderma and cotton pads by my bed for those post-party moments when I can't bear the idea of dragging myself to the bathroom and splashing water on my face. I do think washing your face at night is important, but btw, that "study" that the video is referring to is from the daily mail, and the woman not only didn't wash her face at night, she also didn't use cleanser in the morning, and kept applying makeup every day over her old makeup! The "before" photo is also identical to the "after" photo from her *eyebrow transplant*...! Perhaps it's all a little suspect.

  • Mademoiselle nature

    I love Isabelle Bellis video :-)( and I am not saying that because I am french!) and I also love face cleansing...if you use great products, that's even better!:-)

    I am currenlty using Aurelia miracle cleanser ( yes!!!) but I have reviewed a few nice cleansers on my blog:


  • Lyndsay

    I'm curious. If it is that bad to sleep in it, is it that bad during the day to wear it?! What do you think?

    • pamb

      It's bad to sleep in your makeup because you have more than makeup on your face at night. You have dirt, oil, pollution, etc on your face, and then makeup on top of it. Cleaning the makeup off also gets rid of the dirt. Thus, your skin can recuperate from being exposed to the elements all day.

  • larasophia

    this is totally a good resolution. i'm always on my friends cases about washing their faces 2x a day.

  • Nina

    I've been ritually washing my face morning and night every day, no fail, for the last 10 years. I attribute this success to the Erno Laszlo face cleansing ritual. It takes about 2 minutes, but I always look and feel better afterwards. Dr. Erno Laszlo himself treated Rita Hayworth's skin and could tell when she didn't wash her face regularly and proceed to scold her. Thinking of that always gets me to wash my face, no matter how tired I am. There's a reason there are so many wrinkle-free Erno Laszlo devotees!

    Good luck with your New Year's resolution! You can do it!

    • ITGMackenzie

      Thank you, Nina! I'll take all of the encouragement I can get. :)

  • pamb

    This is what face wipes are for! On lazy days, take your eye makeup and face makeup off and clean your face in about 1 minute. I don't feel as squeaky clean as I do with a cleanser, but that's what a morning shower is for!

  • Rachelle

    I miss the days when Emily and Alessandra used to post. Hopefully, we will get an Emily Top Shelf soon.

  • BabyQuasar

    Mackenzie ... and to help treat the signs of aging, there's #babyquasar red light therapy tools.

  • Honey

    Another huge fan of oil cleansing here! Not only is it inexpensive but it's so so gratifying if (like me) you suffer from clogged pores. Forgive me for the overdose of personal info, but it's just so so gratifying to feel all of those clogs coming out when I massage my skin... Yes so satisfying.

    Over & out.

  • Cecily

    Thanks so much!

  • lani

    I totally enjoy washing my face every night! I use Lush's Ultrabland…. which feels like you are rubbing whipped honey butter over your skin…. and then i wipe it off with a warm wash cloth…. this stuff is magic! does not leave you feeling greasy or anything, just smooth supple skin. Love it!


Aurelia Probiotic Skincare
Aurelia Miracle Cleanser
Somme Institute
Somme Institute Set