Here's Why You *Really* Should Brush Your Teeth Before You Wash Your Face

Yes, it matters.

We all have nighttime routines and they’re likely all different. Some people take a long bath before bed; others can barely muster the energy to smear a makeup wipe across their faces before passing out. While the particulars of everyone’s routine can vary wildly, there is one thing we should all be doing before we turn in each night and that’s brush our teeth. More specifically, we all should be brushing our teeth before washing our faces.

If you’ve never really stopped to think about the order of operations for your nightly routine before reading this, same. And if you’re wondering if it really matters when you brush your teeth, also same.

However, after hearing Dr. Joyce Park, a board-certified dermatologist based in Washington, explain the logic behind this simple switch, let’s just say we’ve been reaching for Colgate before the cleanser these days.

As she shares in the TikTok video above, “Saliva and toothpaste residue can [remain] all over your chin and your jawline [which] could be causing acne breakouts, sensitivities and irritation.”

The easy solution: Brush your teeth first and wash your face second. This is especially important if you’re someone who is prone to breaking out or you have existing skin sensitivities or conditions like rosacea, as some ingredients that are commonly found in toothpastes like fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) can be irritating.

TL;DR: If you want to keep that chin clear, brush your teeth before washing your face, kapeesh? And since we’re on the topic of cleansing, here are a few of our go-to face washes.

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Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director (and resident skincare expert) who is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of the latest beauty products, trends and ingredients over the last 10 years. Equally comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind a computer screen, she always aims to deliver information that's educational, entertaining and accessible to all. On that note, please subscribe to Youngish, her weekly beauty newsletter for millennials here or find her on Instagram (where she will happily reply to any DMs regarding nail polish, sunscreen and K-Pop sensation, BTS).

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Beauty Director

Jenny Jin is PureWow’s Beauty Director and is currently based in Los Angeles. Since beginning her journalism career at Real Simple magazine, she has become a human encyclopedia of...