How To Wash Your Face To Get Rid Of Acne

Heads up, some of the product links below are affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase from one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. It helps to keep the lights on and the content flowing :).

Is there a way to wash your face to get rid of acne? When you really think about it, washing your face seems pretty straight forward. Get some water and maybe a little soap, slather it on and there you go right?

Not so fast my friend.

The problem is that if you don’t do it properly, what should be a straight forward activity can cause your skin more harm than good. And can result in some pretty significant issues, like acne, irritation, premature sagging and wrinkles.

Yup, not really so straight forward after all.

So if you don’t just mix a little soap and water and slather it on, then how do you wash your face? Keep reading..

How to wash your face properly to get rid of acne


Wash your hands

how to wash your face to get rid of acne

First things first, make sure your hands are clean. “But my hands are going to get washed anyways, why should I wash them before?” Well, even if your hands don’t look dirty, they probably are so it’s a good idea to wash them before touching your face.

You touch a lot of things throughout the day and bacteria get all over your hands. Bacteria tend to thrive on our face, so wash your hands before washing your face to prevent any transfer of bacteria, which can cause acne and skin infections.

Check the water temperature

Hot water might feel great but your skin doesn’t love it. Hot water is dehydrating, and will pull the moisture out of your skin and strip it of its natural oils.

So use lukewarm water instead. Which will loosen up anything in your pores without stripping away your natural oils.

Use a gentle cleanser

Most products for oily and acne prone skin are harsh. Way harsher than they need to be. And that’s not doing your skin any favours. In fact most people with oily and acne prone skin would benefit from using a gentle cleanser.

Use a pH-balanced cleanser that’s perfect for your face. Because after cleansing, your face should feel hydrated not dry and tight.

Don’t scrub your face

Your face might be covered in acne but that’s no reason to scrub it raw. That will only make it worse. Contrary to popular belief, scrubbing won’t clear your skin of oil or acne.

Instead your skin responds to scrubbing by producing more oil, which can lead to clogged pores and more acne and becomes a vicious cycle.

Scrubbing can even cause tiny tears on your skin which can lead to skin irritation and even premature aging. So no scrubbing.

Take your time

How to wash your face to get rid of acne

Don’t just wash your face for 20 seconds and call it a day. That’s not nearly enough time for your face to get clean or for the cleanser to work its magic.

Instead, use upward motions to massage the cleanser into your skin for a minimum of 60 seconds. This will stimulate your lymphatic system and encourage oxygen and blood circulation.

When you’re finished, take some time to rinse the cleanser off completely. Because any leftover residue can irritate and your skin and cause dryness.

Use your hands

Washcloths, sponges and brushes are popular but the safest way to wash your face is with your hands.

Washcloths and scrubs can be abrasive on your skin, and can harm healthy cells, resulting in irritation and even breakouts. 

Moisturize after

The chemicals from your cleanser can cause dehydration, so it’s important that you moisturize your skin after.

Keeping your skin hydrated is just part of maintaining its youthful glow and preventing premature aging.

Don’t over exfoliate

There’s no need to exfoliate everytime you wash your face. Instead be gentle with your skin. You only really need to exfoliate once or twice a week.

You also want to avoid using any harsh grains and use a super gentle scrub or chemical exfoliant so you don’t cause damage to your skin.

3 common mistakes to avoid when washing your face


#1. Washing too often

Yes, most people don’t wash their face enough. But it can also go the other way and you can wash your face too much.

Ideally you should wash your face twice a day. Once in the morning and again at night. You may think that washing more often will help you clear up your acne and wash away the oiliness but you’d be wrong.

Washing your face too often just strips away it’s natural oils, which causes it to overcompensate and produce way too much oil which then leads to clogged pores and breakouts. So just wash your face twice a day. No more.

#2. Forgetting your neck

This skin at your neck is sensitive and needs love, too. And it’s one of the first places to age as we get older.

So go ahead and include it in your skincare routine, it will benefit from the hydrating and anti-aging ingredients too.

#3. Washing with bar soap

how to wash your face to get rid of acne

Regular soap is for washing everything that’s not your face.

Conventional soaps will strip your skin of its natural oils, disrupt it’s pH and damage the skin barrier. Which will then lead to dryness, irritation and acne. 

Instead, wash your skin with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser that offers a deep clean and caters to your skin’s needs.

Final thoughts

Washing your face is the first step in any good skincare routine and it can help get rid of your acne but only when done properly.

It’s important to wash your face to get rid of acne, remove excess oil, dirt, and sweat but over washing your face can make your acne worse.

Remember to wash your hands before warning your face. Use a gentle cleanser, take your time, use your hands and use a moisturizer after. Following these simple steps can help you avoid dryness, oiliness, irritation, and help you clear up your acne.