Washing your face is easy, right? A total no-brainer; splash some water on your face, rub cleanser in, rinse off and dry. Not exactly. While cleansing your skin doesn’t require thorough research or years of practice to master, there are some pretty common face washing mistakes that you might not even know you’re making. Cleansing is the most essential part of your skincare regime, because if you don’t properly wash your face, the products that you apply after cleansing can’t work properly. The following four simple tips help you avoid common mistakes, master washing your face and give you beautiful skin as a result.
Know Your Cleanser
The first step in washing your face begins far before you make it to the bathroom sink. Picking the right cleanser for your skin type goes a long way in helping you wash your face most effectively. The most popular formulas for facial cleansers are foaming cleansers, gel cleansers or cream cleansers. While it is impossible to say with 100% certainty which cleanser type is best for your skin, there are general guidelines. Oily and acne prone skin probably won’t do too well with cream cleansers, as they can be a bit heavy. Stick with gels or foaming cleansers if you struggle with breakouts. Dry skin works excellently with cream cleansers that clean the face without stripping essential moisture. Normal skin can pick from any of the options.
Once you have the correct cleanser, it is important to read the directions. Yes, it seems silly but different products have different methods of cleansing. For instance, if you use a gel or foaming cleanser, you want to apply it on a face that is already wet. The right face wash and following the directions do wonders for your skin.
Skip the Hot Water
Hot water may feel relaxing on your face as you wash, but it is a terrible way to care for your face. Washing with hot water causes your skin to lose necessary moisture. Hot water removes natural oils, can increase inflammation and rosacea and is overall too harsh on your skin. Stick with lukewarm water when you wash your face.
Lose the Wipes
Facial cleansing cloths are so convenient and require so little effort that it is incredibly tempting to use these as your primary means of cleansing. However, doing so is doing a disservice to your skin. While wipes are great for use after a gym session or to remove makeup, they do not clean deep down into your pores, leaving dead skin cells, sebum and other debris inside. Some facial cleansing wipes are ineffective at removing makeup, dirt and other pollutants from your day that they end up just moving them around your face. If you are a face wipe junkie, go ahead and use them but always follow with proper cleansing.
Using a Dirty Towel
This one is kind of a pain, because nobody wants to do laundry constantly. Using the same towel that you do for your hands in your bathroom is a serious no-no because it contains bacteria, and when the towel presses against our face, bacteria is transferred negating your great cleansing. Likewise, using last night’s towel is a bad idea. If possible, purchase an inexpensive pack of towels or washcloths in a color that is entirely different than any other towels you have in your home. This way, even on nights when you’re so tired you are pretty much on autopilot, you will recognize immediately if you grab the wrong towel. It is somewhat inconvenient to use a new wash cloth every single time you wash your face, but your skin will definitely thank you.
Other things to consider when it comes to cleansing are avoiding over-washing (twice per day is plenty) and over or under-exfoliating your skin. Use gentle chemical exfoliants as opposed to harsh scrubs to exfoliate. Additionally, facial cleansing brushes are amazing, but using them every single time you wash your face can severely damage your skin. Aim to use your cleansing brush several times a week or only at night. Washing your face the right way is a cinch once you know what to do and the reward of healthy, radiant skin is well worth the extra effort.