Daily skin cleansing is commonplace. Most of us do it without a thought—we wash our face in the shower (morning or evening) and probably do a quick face wash in the sink at the other end of the day. Well, when it comes to how to wash your face, it’s not as simple as you’d think (or hope) it should be.
How to Wash Your Face (the Wrong Way)
Just because you’ve been doing it your whole life doesn’t mean it’s right. Are you washing your face like this?
- Scalding hot water—this can dry out and damage your skin. It’s a no-no.
- Harsh chemical ingredients—soaps and facial cleansers can be made with alcohol and other drying or damaging ingredients (more on the ones you want in a bit.)
- Rough sponges, washcloths, or loofahs–these can also irritate and damage skin.
- Leaving your makeup on may seem like it makes sense, you are washing your face, after all, but it’s not the best practice for clean skin.
- Wetting your skin too much before you apply the cleanser can wash it away leaving to unclean skin.
How to Wash Your Face (the Right Way)
Yes, there is a right way to do it. Give these best practices a shot and see if your skin doesn’t look amazing after a few weeks.
- Use lukewarm or cool water—cold water if you want extra points. Cold water shrinks the pores and is quite invigorating and won’t damage the skin like hot water.
- Use natural ingredients—cleansers need to be strong enough to remove dirt and oil, but no so strong they can strip paint. While many commercial products promise effective cleansing benefits, they may be too harsh, particularly for delicate skin. And if they’re stripping away all of your skin’s natural oils, you can be left with overly aggressive oil glands, that can lead to breakouts.
- Exfoliating is a key component to cleansing the skin, but don’t overdo it with harsh scrubbing products or tools. Try to find a balance between natural exfoliants like fruit acids, and stronger treatments used less frequently. For everyday cleansing, use your hands or a gentle electric skin brush on the softest setting.
- Make sure you remove all of your makeup before washing. Oils are the best at taking off makeup (especially heavy foundation and mascara). Swipe cotton balls soaked in jojoba, almond oil, or another skin-friendly oil (or blend) until makeup is removed. Then wash as usual.
- Yes, starting with dry skin when you wash is ideal. Use a little water to activate your soap in your hands, but apply to a dry face for best results.
- Follow your cleansing with skin toning products to brighten and rejuvenate your skin tone and be sure to apply a hydrating moisturizer and SPF protection.
Image: Lucho Molino