Everybody knows how to wash their face right? No, not exactly. According to a survey conducted by the skin-care brand CeraVe, 80 percent of Americans make at least one or more common mistakes when cleansing their face, and more than half of us fail to cleanse before bedtime.
Meanwhile, washing your face too frequently can be just as harmful as not washing it at all. When washing your skin, you want to remove excess oil, dirt, pollution, and makeup without compromising the skin barrier’s integrity.
There are numerous advantages to washing properly. Removing grime and debris can aid in the prevention of acne breakouts. Getting rid of pollution buildup on your skin reduces free radical damage caused by particulate matter in the air, which is linked to premature ageing. Furthermore, washing your face is essential for removing dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin and contribute to dullness; slough these off and you reveal healthier, more radiant skin.
However, it is possible to be overly enthusiastic about face washing. Over-washing and scrubbing may give you a squeaky-clean feeling, but it is actually harmful. It “damages your skin barrier,” which is the network of skin cells and fats in the outer skin layer that protects your skin from the environment. A proper washing routine is essential for everyone, but especially for those who suffer from eczema and rosacea. The skin barrier is naturally weakened in these conditions, increasing the risk of inflammation. A gentle touch is required so that you do not aggravate the situation further.
Continue reading to learn the dos and don’ts of proper face-washing and watch your skin glow.
8 Face Washing Guidelines
Select the Best Cleanser for You
The best cleanser for you might not be the same as what your best friend is using. If you have dry or sensitive skin, stick to hydrating, non-foaming cleansers because the lathering agents in foaming cleansers are more drying.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should use a foaming or salicylic acid–based cleanser. Foaming cleansers are better suited for people with oily skin who require a deeper clean, and salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that aids in the removal of oil from the skin.
There are also a plethora of cleanser formulas that fall somewhere in the middle. Each cleanser provides a different sensorial experience to match your personal preferences, ranging from milk to oils, balms to waters. Whatever product you choose, avoid over-washing. You may be over-scrubbing your skin if it develops redness, peeling, or flaking, or if it feels tight or itchy.
Do not rinse your face with hot water.
Remove your cleanser with cool or lukewarm water. Hot water can cause facial flushing and flare-ups, especially if you have sensitive skin or rosacea.
Wash your face at least twice in a day.
Wash your face twice daily, in the morning and before you go to bed. However, going to bed with clean skin is essential. If you’re only going to wash once, do it in the evening to get rid of everything that has accumulated during the day and sleep with a clean face on your pillow. And don’t forget to wash your hands after a sweaty workout. If you exercise, make an effort to wash your clothes afterward.
Don’t assume you need toner or astringent.
Today’s cleansers are far more effective than in the past, so a toner or astringent isn’t always required to completely remove dirt and oil. Only use a toner or astringent if you believe your cleanser isn’t doing the job. Choose one that contains alpha hydroxy acids to help remove oil and reduce the appearance of pores.
Use a makeup remover.
It is essential to remove all makeup before going to bed. This can reduce the likelihood of developing skin irritation as a result of the makeup itself.
If you only wear light makeup, your regular face cleanser may suffice. However, you can try “double cleansing,” which involves removing makeup with an oil-based cleanser or micellar water. Micellar water contains micelle molecules, which bind to both water and oil in order to effectively remove dirt and makeup. This is best suited for heavy makeup, such as that worn to a wedding or other special occasion.
Choose a cold-pressed oil-based cleanser or an eye makeup remover for step one. They are especially beneficial to the eye area. These oil-based products dissolve stubborn eyeliner and makeup without rubbing or pulling on the sensitive eye skin. Then proceed to step two of the cleansing process, which is a traditional water-based cleanser.
With your mascara gone, your cleanser can concentrate on the rest of your face. Remove eye makeup with caution. Instead of rubbing, one gentle method is to pat the eye area vertically. Excessive pressure or rubbing in the delicate area can cause low-grade inflammation, which eventually results in dark circles.
Don’t rub your skin in the wrong direction.
Your best tools for a gentle but thorough cleaning are right at your fingertips. In fact, they are right at your fingertips. Your fingers perform admirably and can actually provide a light massage during your cleanse, stimulating circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage.
Sonic cleansing can more effectively remove water from the skin for a more thorough clean. In fact, sonic-assisted cleansing removes particulate matter pollution from the skin more effectively than manual cleansing.
Use a clean washed towel for your face.
Cleansing entails more than just using a cleanser! Before you wash your face, begin by thoroughly washing your hands. And resist the urge to dry your face with the family hand towel that’s been dangling from the rack for a few days. Bacteria can grow on the towel and spread to your clean, dewy face. Make use of a soft, clean cloth that is only used on your face. When drying your face, be gentle and pat it dry rather than rubbing it with a towel.
After cleansing, don’t forget to moisturize.
While it is important to clean your face, you do not want to over strip the skin of essential oils or cause dryness. Every dermatologist recommends hydrating your skin with a light moisturizer after washing it. If you’re using acne medication or an anti-aging product like retinol, apply it after you’ve applied your moisturizer because the moisturizer acts as a buffer to help minimize potential irritation.