Skincare

How to wash your face the right way

By  | 
young woman washing her face in bathroom

Image: Shutterstock/aka-stockphoto

Face washing seems like it would one of the more simple things in your day. It’s not like scrubbing all the crap off your face is rocket science. Yet, there are some tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your face washing. From exfoliating too hard, to using the wrong water temperature, there are tons of little ways you could be sabotaging your own complexion. Below are several easy fixes to make sure you’re getting the most out of your daily cleanse.

PICK A CLEANSER THAT’S MEANT FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE

It might be tempting to go for just any ol’ cleanser, but a cleanser that’s meant for your skin type is going to better suit your needs. For instance, dry skin will need hydrating formulas that are more cream-based. People with oily skin will want formulations that do the job of cutting through the oil and keeping pores clear. And if you have middle-of–the-road skin, try a gentle cleanser that’s pH balanced.

DON’T SKIMP ON THE MAKEUP REMOVER 

A crucial first step in making sure you have properly cleansed skin is to use a makeup remover to get rid of those layers of makeup. Cleansing with water won’t always get it off, so it’s best to go for the products that are specifically designed to remove all of that makeup. That can help prevent clogged pores and potential breakouts.

KNOW WHAT WATER TEMPERATURE TO USE

It might be tempting to go super cold to wake up in the morning. Or super hot to feel like you’re opening pores or nuking bacteria or something. But actually, cold water doesn’t remove oil very well, and hot water will just dry out and irritate skin. So always go lukewarm when washing your face.

BE GENTLE, GO EASY ON EXFOLIATORS 

There are SO many exfoliating cleansers on the market that tell you to use them twice per day. Don’t do it. Don’t let them trick you. At most, assuming you have very oily and breakout-prone skin, once per day is the absolute max, and don’t scrub too long or hard. Then there are washcloths, which can be just as abrasive.

The truth is, most of us don’t need to super scrape our skin. That just leads to unnecessary irritation, and over-exfoliation can actually make skin too sensitive and lead to breakouts. Just use your hands with your cleanser and pat dry gently.

GREAT NEWS! YOU MAY NOT HAVE TO WASH MORE THAN ONCE PER DAY

It’s easy to overdo it when we wash our skin. The cleaner, the better, right? Sometimes you might even be washing more than once or twice per day to get all the makeup off after work. The truth is, we only need to wash twice, and sometimes once, per day.

What makes this complicated is that everyone’s skin is different, so washing twice per day is good for some people, while others can get away with only once per day. And the verdict is out on which part of the day you should even wash. Some say skip mornings, others say nights.

This is the part where you have to watch your daily routine. If you feel grossest at night because you’ve sweated or worn sunscreen, wash at night. Sometimes skipping the night if you’ve had a tame day and washing in the morning after you wake up with oily skin is the answer. Then again, some people do need to wash twice per day, but look out for any feelings of over-sensitivity, including signs of redness. In short, do what feels right with your cleanser.

Michelle Lovrine Honeyager is a freelance writer living in Southeastern Wisconsin. You can find out more about her at https://www.clippings.me/michellelovrine.