How To Wash Your Face

By Marc Peterson

How To Wash Your Face

How To Wash Your Face

The act of washing your face seems pretty simple and straightforward, right? As it turns out, this task isn’t as mindless as most people tend to believe, and requires more effort than splashing some water on your face and slathering on a cleanser. Even if you’re diligently washing your face twice a day, doing so in the wrong way might contribute to your skincare woes. Improper facial washing can lead your skin askew, resulting in dryness, oiliness, irritation, and breakouts. Here we break down the steps for how to wash your face – the right way – so you can see yourself to clearer skin.

Step 1: Pick a Product

How to properly wash your face is highly dependent on using the correct product. This can prove quite a challenge, as the best product to use will vary by individual and can change with the seasons. The key to finding your best match is to understand what skin type you have and to pick a product that suits your profile.

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- Normal Skin

Normal skin should not be too dry, not too oily. If you have normal skin, you probably worry less about how to clean your face, because chances are you suffer from fewer breakouts than most. Nonetheless, the right cleanser can beautify your already-blessed complexion. Find a face wash that exfoliates and hydrates your skin to keep it looking youthful and radiant. 

- Oily Skin

Those with oily skin produce an excessive amount of sebum, resulting in an abundance of oil, shine, clogged pores, and breakouts. Once you figure out how to wash your face with oily skin, you'll find that you should incorporate a cleanser that’s designed to target grease and acne. Foam cleansers are great at removing excess oil, but they might be too drying for other skin types.

face wash for oily and dry skin

- Dry Skin

Is your skin peeling, cracking, or flaking? If so, you likely are battling a dry skin type. Dry skin will benefit best from a cleanser rich in hydrating elements and essential oils. Consider washing your face with an oil cleanser – which works on an ‘oil attracts oil’ basis – to absorb impurities while nourishing the skin. Simply apply five to six drops and massage into skin, then wipe the excess away with a tissue.

- Combination or "T-Zone" Skin

True to its name, this skin type combines both oily and dry skin. Combination skin is oily in the T-zone (across the forehead, down the nose, and on the chin) but remains matte on the cheeks. It can be difficult to find a face wash that can treat both oily and dry zones; your best bet is to find a gentle, water-soluble cleanser. Gel-based formulas have a great track record for working well on combination skin types.

- Sensitive Skin

Do you experience frequent irritation, redness, or patches of rough spots? These symptoms are indicators of sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin and are wondering how to properly wash your face, be sure to avoid soaps and cleansers with fragrances and harsh chemicals. Such culprits are usually the first to blame for skin flare-ups and freakouts. Stick to natural products with little ingredients, and aim for a non-sudsy, creamy cleanser for some gentle nourishment.

Recommended Product: BioClarity Clear Skin System

How can you tell if you’re washing your face with the right product? Tightness, tingling, burning, and visible reactions are all red flags. The goal is to find something not too gentle (which causes you to wash twice as hard) and not too harsh (which might strip the skin of healthy cells and natural oil). Keep an eye on your skin as the months begin to get colder; the drier weather might force you to change up your cleanser to a product that’s more hydrating.

Step 2: Apply Your Cleanser

How to properly wash your face depends not only what product you use, but how exactly you apply it. For the best skin care routine, follow these steps to wash your face:

apply your facial cleanser

1. Wash Your Hands First

Contrary to popular myths, the safest way to wash your face is with your hands; washcloths and scrubs can be too abrasive on the skin, and might potentially harm healthy cells, resulting in irritation. It’s therefore essential to wash your hands before washing your face. If you wash your face with unclean hands, you can end up just pushing that dirt onto your face.

2. Remove All Makeup

Even if your cleanser claims to include a makeup remover, it’s a good idea to put an effort into taking off your makeup before washing your face. Doing so will be gentler on your delicate lashes, and by removing the product caked onto your skin, your cleanser will be much more effective. The makeup removing properties included in your cleanser will be sure to take care of any lingering residue. Taking off your makeup is even more important for face washes without said properties. If you don’t remove your makeup first, your dedicated face wash might just be cleaning the superficial layer of your skin – not diving deeply into the pores.

3. Use Lukewarm Water

Hot water might feel nice, but it’s not doing your skin any favors. Hot water is dehydrating, as it will pull the moisture out of your skin and strip it of its natural oils. Keep the temperature a little lower – it’s enough to loosen up the dirt within your pores without outwardly stripping them. When learning how to wash your face, using lukewarm water is a big takeaway.

4. Massage Face for at least 60 seconds

When washing your face, don’t just scrub vigorously for 20 seconds. It’s not only harmful to the skin’s surface, but it also doesn’t give your cleanser enough time to do its work. Instead, massage your skin in circular motions for a minimum of 60 seconds. Doing so will stimulate the lymphatic system, which encourages oxygen and blood circulation. Be sure to move in upward motions – pulling down on your skin adds to the nemesis of gravity and can lead to sagging.

5. Pat Dry

The skin on your face is delicate; treat it like such by gently patting it dry with a soft towel after rinsing off your cleanser in lukewarm water. Make sure you’re using a fresh, clean towel each time you wash your face. The towels you use to dry off your hair and body could have pore-clogging residue on them left over from the shower, which could then spread germs and bacteria onto your freshly-cleaned face.

Step 3: Avoid Potential Mistakes

In addition to the five steps to wash your face, follow these face washing tips to ensure you’re following the best skin care practices:

Cleanse Twice a Day

Some people believe that washing your face in the morning is unnecessary, as it should still be clean from its wash the night prior. False – your face is in fact dirtiest when you wake up. Overnight, your skin attempts to regenerate itself, meaning its shedding dead skin cells, producing sebum, and secreting toxins. Be sure to wash your face in the morning to get the most out of your day-time products.

Steer Clear of Harsh Chemicals

Regardless of what skin type you have, it’s always best to avoid harsh chemicals. Ingredients such as sulfates and alcohol might end up dehydrating your skin. This can result is roughness or flaking, or alternatively, excessive oil and breakouts by kicking the skin’s sebaceous glands into overdrive.

Don't Neglect Your Neck and Hands

The hands and neck are the first places to age on women, mostly because they are neglected when washing your face. This skin is sensitive and needs some love, too. Include these locations in every part of your skincare routine, beginning with cleansing.

Moisturize Afterwards

Hot water and strong chemicals will dehydrate your face, so it’s critical to moisturize after each cleanse. Keeping your skin cells moist is an essential part of maintaining its suppleness and plasticity throughout the day, in addition to maintaining its youthful glow and preventing premature aging. Apply a moisturizer directly after your face wash to seal in the face’s moisture to ensure your skin cells are strong enough to brave the day.

Learning how to properly wash your face needn’t be cumbersome or confusing. If you follow these few simple steps to wash your face and abide by these face washing tips, you’ll surely set yourself up for skincare success.