Just because you’ve been washing your face since you were in elementary school doesn’t mean you know how to do it properly.
In fact, you may have even fallen into certain habits and routines that aren’t working, meaning you’re not seeing your complexion at its highest potential. To get the most out of your cleansing process, follow these tips:
Frequency and Formula
First, you might be wondering how often you should be washing – but the truth is, everyone is different. If you work out frequently, wear a lot of makeup or have especially oily skin, you may need to cleanse more often than someone with dry skin who wears minimal beauty products. However, the general consensus is that two times a day, three at most, is ideal.
To make washing easier and more effective, the first step is to take off your cosmetics. Make sure that the makeup remover is gentle enough for the delicate eye area, but powerful enough to get waterproof products off. After you’ve eliminated the majority of your foundation, mascara and other products, you’ll need to select an optimal cleanser for your skin type. Dermatologist Ariel Ostad told Daily Makeover that formulas with salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy are ideal for those prone to a greasy complexion, as these agents can help to reduce oil. Dry or sensitive skin types that tend to flare up should look for a mild cleanser. To avoid irritation or compromise hydration, choose products with fewer ingredients.
Tactic and Temperature
You also need to make sure that you’re using the right technique. Dr. Ostad noted that a wash cloth is great for removing dirt and grime, but some people tend to rub too vigorously or for too long, which can cause redness. While one minute is not sufficient, five minutes of scrubbing is overkill.
The temperature of the water is another important consideration. Dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant stressed that lukewarm water is better than hot, which can “strip healthy natural oils from your skin too quickly.” If you can handle it, icy cold water is even better – not only will it perk you up in the morning, but it’s less likely to leave your face feeling tight and dry.
Now that your skin is nearly squeaky clean, it’s time to dry off. While it might be tempting to just reach for a towel and wipe away, Krant recommended using a soft cloth to pat dry, which will leave a thin layer of moisture on the skin’s surface.