Skin – also known as the body’s largest organ – is something we spend a lifetime trying to perfect. Women spend thousands of dollars over the course of their lives, paying particular attention to the skin on their faces.
And yet, with all that money spent, we may be missing out on some of easiest ways to make improvements and see results.
Proper face washing is one of the most important steps to improving your facial skin health. While most of us are armed with this knowledge, it is surprising that many of us do not perform this simple task properly.
Here are some guidelines that will help you make sure that you’re doing it right.
At a minimum, it’s important to wash your face nightly, even if you have not worn any makeup that day. If your skin tends to be dry, once a day may be enough. On the other hand, if your skin is oily, or a combination of dry and oily, you may need to wash more frequently.
Regardless of your skin type, be sure to wash after working out to help prevent breakouts.
Prior to Washing
Pull your hair back. It may seem like the obvious suggestion, but you’ll pay better attention to the skin at your hairline if your hair is pulled back.
Hair care products can sometimes contribute to breakouts, so this simple step can help more than you might think.
Multi Step Process
For the best face washing results, the first step is to take off any heavy foundation and eye makeup using an oil-based makeup remover. After removing your makeup, use a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type for an overall cleaning. (You’ll find that there are some mild cleansers that work with all skin types.)
There are a variety of cleanser types including gel, foam, cream, etc. Don’t be afraid to try the various types and settle on whichever suits you best.
Regardless of which type you prefer, there are some ingredients that all skin types should avoid. Make sure to avoid cleansers including parabens as they can be very irritating to the skin.
In addition, if you have sensitive skin, you may also want to avoid fragrances.
To make sure that you’re getting the best cleansing possible, consider using a cleansing tool like a Clarisonic twice a day. You can find Clarisonic products on Amazon [Click Here]. Tools like the Clarisonic are proven to do a better job than you can do manually. In addition, the use of a power cleansing tool has been shown to better remove dead skin cells, tighten pores, reduce acne and minimize sun damage.
There are different types of cleansing tools and brush heads available, including brush heads specifically for sensitive skin and brush heads meant to help those dealing with acne.
When using a brush style cleansing tool, use a gentle, circular motion. Do not use too much pressure. It is recommended that you change your brush head once every three months for the best results.
Whether you are using a power cleansing tool or not, take your time while washing your face. You should be spending approximately two minutes total, making sure you are hitting all of the areas of your face carefully. Pay special attention to your hairline and other typical trouble spots like your T-zone.
Following your cleansing process, rinse with cool water. The gentlest way to rinse is by simply splashing water on your face until the cleanser has been washed away.
Drying After Washing
When you are done cleansing and rinsing your face, make sure to pat it dry using a clean towel. Avoid rubbing your face as this can irritate your skin and may lead to wrinkles.
When washing your face, many think that the water should be as hot as can be tolerated.
This is actually the wrong approach. Hot water can be both drying and irritating to your skin. For those who have rosacea or tend towards redness, extreme heat can make these conditions worse. Instead, use warm or even cool water.
Try to avoid very hot or very cold water when washing your face – stay somewhere in the middle of the temperature spectrum.
Is a Toner Necessary?
In general, a toner is not necessary if you’re cleansing properly, but many people swear by them.
(It is important to note that you might actually be hurting your skin if you’re using the wrong type of toner – some can strip away natural oils.)
If you are one of the many who are convinced that a toner is helpful, make sure that you choose one that is gentle. An alcohol free option is your best and gentlest choice.
The Word on Exfoliating Scrubs
There is no uniform agreement on how frequently one should exfoliate. Once a week seems to be the most popular answer, but with some products it is fine to exfoliate more frequently.
Whatever product is chosen, it needs to be used appropriately.
A gritty scrub may feel like it is doing a good job on sloughing off dead skin cells, but if the wrong pressure is used, a scrub can be damaging to your skin. When using this type of product, remember that you control the pressure. Be careful and use a very light touch.
Using a chemical product like a salicylic or glycolic acid cleanser is another great option. However, if the active ingredient is too concentrated, or used too frequently, you may find these products irritating.
Try one that is intended for your skin type and be sure to follow the instructions carefully.
My Face is Clean, What Next?
Morning or evening, you’ll likely want to moisturize. Evening moisturizers are usually a little heavier than those you’d use during the day. Make sure your daytime moisturizer includes an SPF!
Eye cream is also very important.
The skin under and around the eye is the most fragile. Pat on an eye cream both morning and night to help keep this skin healthy. A good eye cream will offer sun protection, reduce puffiness and brighten dark circles.