Your face washing technique can make a difference in the appearance of your skin. Here are some instructions from the American Associate of Dermatologists to help you keep your face looking healthy.
- Use a gentle cleanser that does not have alcohol.
- Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your fingertips to apply cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge, or anything other than your fingertips can irritate your skin.
- Resist the temptation to scrub your skin because scrubbing irritates the skin.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply moisturizer if your skin is dry or itchy. Be gentle when applying any cream around your eyes so you do not pull too hard on this delicate skin.
- Limit washing to twice a day and after sweating. Wash your face once in the morning and once at night, as well as after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin. Wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
Common mistakes when washing your face
Washing your face may seem pretty simple, right? All you have to do is splash some water on your face, rub on some cleanser, and rinse. But, if you want to get the most out of your daily cleansing routine, it takes a little more care and attention.
Here are some face-washing mistakes to avoid.
- Washing your face at night is one of the most important rules when it comes to caring for your skin. Even if you don’t wear makeup, you are still being exposed to the environment, which means that dirt and pollution have accumulated on your outer skin layer. When we don’t remove all this gunk at the end of the day, over time, it will cause skin irritation, inflammation, and acne breakouts.
- Now, will cleansing your skin before bed might give you a reason to think that all you have to do is wake up with no worries, but a good rinse in the morning is actually a good idea. When we sleep, we are exposed to the potential germs on pillows, as well as any bacteria from your saliva and oils from your hair while tossing and turning at night. It’s very easy to transfer all of this to our face and eyes. Giving your face a quick rinse in the morning is enough to freshen your skin. It will also help your skin absorb any other skin-care products you apply.
- Hot water is not a good friend to your skin, especially because the skin on our faces tend to be a lot more sensitive. It might feel good while you’re in the shower, especially on cold winter days, but uses hot water messes with the way your skin protects itself. And it could possibly cause damage. Hot water strips skin of the natural oil barrier designed to help maintain skin integrity. Your skin will dry out faster, maybe even become itchier and flakier over time. Choose lukewarm water to wash your face.
- At this point, it should go unsaid, but we’re going to say it again: don’t fall asleep with your makeup on! If you are consistently sleeping with a full face of makeup on, you’ll notice an increase of acne and dullness. Another important thing to remember is that your cleanser alone isn’t going to remove your make up. A lot of makeup is a smudge or waterproof, so basic cleansers are useless against them. You need to use a form of makeup remover; either a micellar water or oil-based makeup remover before you wash — especially for removing long-wear makeup.
- Just because your friend used a cleanser and it was amazing for her skin doesn’t mean that it’s going to do the same for you. There are so many skin-care companies that create product lines designed for a specific skin type and skin concern:
- For sensitive skin, choose a cleanser that is hydrating and gentle
- For oily skin, or skin prone to acne, use a foaming or salicylic acid-based cleanser – this will help remove excess oil and dirt.
- For skin on the dry side, you’re better off using a cream cleanser, which can help your skin’s top layer preserve moisture.
- Harsh cleansers, like generic bar soap, can strip natural hydration from the skin, which will leave your face inflamed and red from broken blood vessels. Look for a cleanser that won’t throw off the pH balance of your skin.
- Tossing a washcloth in the hamper after just one use seems like a waste (especially for those of us who have to drag out laundry to a Laundromat). But when you reuse the same washcloth over and over again, you are spreading bacteria and mold to your face – especially when it’s been several uses. Instead, try investing in a cheap set of basic white washcloths.
- Next time you hop out of the shower, try not to wipe your face and body with one towel. Why? Even though you’ve washed your entire body, you don’t want to risk spreading the bacteria from your body to your face (remember, different microorganisms live in different parts of your body). Stick to using separate towels for your face.
- Exfoliating can help remove dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin to improve skin radiance. When you over scrub, it can lead to microscopic tears in the outer skin layer and lead to inflammation and irritation. You really only need to exfoliate once or twice a week. So, rethink your go-to face wash if its also an exfoliator.
- In an ideal situation, you’ll wash your face twice a day – once in the morning and once at night. If you wash your face more than twice a day to because you think you’ll remove germs, its really not going to help, unless you’re prone to skin infections. So, unless you wear makeup on the daily, workout regularly, or use a heavy sunscreen, the twice-a-day routine is best.
- Waiting to moisturize your face can cause the surface cells to dehydrate, which makes them harder to moisturize. Try applying moisturizer right after washing your face. Moisturizers provide important nurturing ingredients to your skin. During the day time, if your moisturizer doesn’t have an SPF, apply a sunscreen on top. SPF protects all the hard work you’ve put into your skincare routine.