Confession time: I don’t wash my face. I mean sure, I splash water on it daily, and of course, I use makeup wipes if I'm wearing foundation or concealer. But facial cleansers? Nope. Soap or masks? Not a chance.

I never thought this was weird until I went to university. My flatmate was absolutely stunned that I didn’t cart any cleansers, masks or exfoliants down the hall to the bathroom—especially since my skin was blemish-free. Later I learned that when she went home, she told her family: “I made a new friend at school, but she doesn’t know how to wash her face.”

To this day I still avoid most cleansers. And recently, I’ve heard a growing number of women say their complexions also look better when they simply rinse as opposed to deep clean. Aha! Could cutting out cleansers be a trend? Could this, should this, rinse-only facial regimen eclipse the “No Poo” movement that advocates cutting back on shampoo for healthier scalps and strands?

After posing this question to several dermatologists, it became clear the answer wasn’t cut and dried. Some refused to jump on the no-face-wash bandwagon: “Our skin is constantly exposed to bacteria, dirt, sweat and pollutants,” said dermatologist Dr Gary Goldenberg who said he sees no benefit in using water alone without a cleanser. “If not washed off, these can irritate skin, clog pores, cause acne and blemishes, and increase the appearance of ageing.”

Others, however, were a bit more lenient about laying off the products: “Cleansers can effectively remove dirt and oil from the skin, but the wrong cleanser can disrupt the outer skin layer leading to inflammation,” said Dr Joshua Zeichner. “Unless you've been sweating heavily, have visible dirt on the skin, or have used heavy cosmetics, in some cases washing just with water is adequate.”

In addition to what products you do or don’t use, dermatologists say healthy-looking skin depends on a subtle alchemy of factors including genetics, skin type, age, hormone and activity levels as well as your environment. This makes a one-size-fits-all skin solution impossible, says dermatologist  Dr Fayne Frey. “Our culture has us believing that cleansing morning and evening is best, but there is no consensus on how often a woman with healthy skin should wash her face with a cleanser,” said Frey. “I've visited parts of the world where there is no running water and women never wash their faces. They have no increase in skin infection or other skin conditions, and many have beautiful, soft, moisturised skin.”

With so many conflicting opinions swirling about, we find ourselves asking: To lather or not to lather? To help you make a decision, read on to learn why ditching the cleansers may benefit some people’s skin.