Washing your face is a simple, daily, task we all take for granted and do without thinking – like brushing your teeth. But there is a best way to wash your face to ensure that you really are getting it clean without damaging your skin. Scrubbing your skin might sound like a good way to really clean it, but it’s not a good idea.
First, there are thousands of facial cleansers , skin cleaning devices, scrubs and masks all designed to clean your skin – the problem is, what products do you choose and how often do you clean, scrub and peel for that ultimate clean?
How Cleansers Work
Most skin cleansing products contain a chemical or natural compound called a surfactant, that helps break down and absorb dirt, oil and debris – all of which is removed when you rinse. The problem is that some surfactants can remove ‘good oils’ from the skin, which leaves your skin tight and overly dry, while other surfactants can remain on the skin after rinsing, leaving the skin irritated and flushed.
That tight, dry feeling, or that stinging, burning sensation is a sign of harmful stripping of the skin and an indication that the outer layer of the skin is being damaged. More importantly, it’s a sign that the product you are using is too harsh for your skin. Remember, that squeaky clean feeling might feel good, but it’s not good for your skin.
For those with acne, cleansers with benzoyl peroxide, sodium sulfacetamide or salicylic acid help control acne while cleaning the skin. Salicylic acid helps clear blocked pores and reduces swelling and redness. Benzoyl peroxide exfoliates the skin and kills bacteria, while sodium sulfacetamide inhibits the growth of acne bacteria.
Cleansers with exfoliators like alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA) help to remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin – especially important for aging skin since the cycle of the skin slows down with age.
Gentle, cream cleansers are ideal for those with sensitive skin or skin that needs extra moisturizing, like those who struggle with psoriasis or eczema.
Recent Skin Cleaning Breakthroughs
One of the biggest and most effective advances in skin cleansing in recent years was the introduction of the motorized oscillating brush. This product focused attention back on the importance of a mundane, daily task, and made it easy to clean the skin thoroughly without damaging it.
Another convenience that made cleaning the skin simple and convenient, is the popularity of pre-moistened face towelettes or wipes. These handy wipes come with all types of beneficial ingredients for cleaning all skin types, removing make up or refreshing oily skin. But most importantly, wipes and towelettes make it possible for us to clean our skin on the run (after a workout) with little or no effort at all. Think of how many teenagers can help prevent breakouts by simply wiping their face after sports activity without having to wait to hit the shower.
When to Wash your Face
Dermatologists say that washing your face at night is the most important time to remove the day’s dirt, grime, oil buildup and pollutants that have collected on the surface of your skin – to say nothing of the importance of removing makeup before retiring for the night.
Washing your face again in the morning is important if you have skincare issues like acne or oily skin. For most people with normal or dry skin, simply refreshing the skin in the morning is all you need to start the day.
The Best Way to Wash Your Face
Wash with tepid water. Water that is too hot or too cold can irritate the skin and even cause flare ups in people who suffer with Rosacea. Hot water can cause the tiny blood vessels to dilate and can scald the skin. Hot water can also strip the skin of natural oils, and leave it dry. Always use tepid, or lukewarm water to wash your face.
Wash your face with your fingertips. There are many face washing sponges, clothes, and loofas available. However, when you use your fingertips, you ensure that you are using a gentle method of cleaning the skin. Use your fingertips to apply cleanser and wash in a gentle circular motion. The circular motion helps the cleanser absorb dirt and oil.
Wash for about a minute. Spend about a minute massaging the cleanser into your skin. This seems like a long time when you’re washing, but it takes about a full minute to cover your entire face, ensuring that you reach up to the hairline and include your neck.
Rinse thoroughly. Seems simple, but most people do not rinse thoroughly, leaving a film of cleanser, debris and oil on the skin. This can not only irritate the skin, it can lead to blocked pores – something you are working to avoid by cleaning.
Pat the skin dry. Again, simply enough, right? However, most people rub their face dry with the first towel they can reach. Make sure your towel is clean, then gently pat your skin dry so as not to damage it.
Finish the job. Now that your skin is clean – remember to finish the process with a toner, moisturizer or night cream (depending on when you are washing your face) to lock the moisture in your skin.
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