Is there a proper way to wash your face? When you really think about it, washing your face seems pretty straightforward.
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 straightforward 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 straightforward 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.
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Table of Contents
How to wash your face properly
1. Wash your hands
First things first, make sure your hands are clean.
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.
2. 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.
3. Use a gentle cleanser
Most products for acne are harsh. A lot harsher than they need to be. And that’s not doing your skin any favours.
In fact, most people with acne 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.
- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
- Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Daily Facial Cleanser
- The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
- Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
- La Roche Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
4. 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 premature ageing.
So no scrubbing.
5. Take your time
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.
6. 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.
7. Moisturize after
The chemicals from your cleanser can cause dehydration, so you must moisturize your skin after.
Keeping your skin hydrated is just part of maintaining its youthful glow and preventing premature ageing.
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors HA
- CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion
- Paula’s Choice Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol
- EARTH HARBOR NATURALS MERMAID MILK Nutrient Glow Moisturizer
- Paula’s Choice Omega + Complex Moisturizer
8. Don’t over exfoliate
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.
For best results choose chemical exfoliants instead.
- Cure Natural Aqua Gel Exfoliator
- Paula’s Choice CLEAR Extra Strength Exfoliator, 2% Salicylic Acid Exfoliant
- Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum
3 common mistakes to avoid when washing your face
1. Washing too often
Some people don’t wash their faces 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 its 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-ageing ingredients too.
3. Washing with bar soap
Regular soap is for washing everything that’s not your face.
Conventional soaps will strip your skin of its natural oils, disrupt its 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.
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.