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Are You Washing Your Face Properly?

Covering the basics of this basic skin care step

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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Washing your face seems straightforward. Yet all too often, we forget that our skin is a fragile, living tissue that needs to be treated with care. We believe in using pure, skin-healthy ingredients capable of providing lasting results.

But using natural products is only the first step in maintaining a clean and healthy skin regimen. In this post we’ll discuss the most important do’s and don’ts of face cleansing, and tackle the basics of washing your face the right way – according to dermatologists!

What Are the Best Tools for Facial Cleansing?

When it comes to washing your face, fingertips are the best tool you can use – provided that they’re clean! The American Academy of Dermatology warns against scrubbing your skin with harsh surfaces like washcloths and mesh sponges, which can irritate and damage your skin.

Using a gentle konjac sponge or facial cleansing brush is a different matter, as these tools are specifically made for face cleansing. However, you’ll still want to make sure that you’re gentle on your skin when using these tools. Dry or sensitive skin types may prefer using their fingers, but a lathered konjac sponge can be just as gentle.

What Is the Best Water Temperature for Washing Your Face?

According to dermatologists, very hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils, weakening its defensive barrier. This is bad news for skin health, because the defensive barrier plays an important role in preventing skin damage from UV rays and other environmental aggressors. It also helps to defend your skin against irritants that could cause inflammation.

Try rinsing your face with lukewarm water prior to cleansing, as this will help to open up your pores, and following up with cold water to seal your skin’s cuticle.

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Does Cleansing Remove Makeup?

Washing your face once with a conventional cleanser is unlikely to remove all of the makeup and/or sunscreen on your skin. Thoroughly removing makeup is incredibly important for avoiding breakouts and lessening signs of aging. Makeup residue that’s left on overnight can cause skin fatigue, clogged pores, and other skin concerns. We recommend removing your makeup thoroughly before cleansing your skin.

Should You Double-Cleanse?

Double-cleansing doesn’t just mean washing your face twice in a row. This Korean skin care ritual involves using an oil cleanser (or natural oil) followed by a water-based cleanser. This duo guarantees that dirt, makeup, and other grime gets thoroughly dissolved and removed from your skin. It’s an especially good idea for anyone who wears heavy makeup, waterproof mascara, or sunscreen.

We recommend choosing gentle double-cleansing products, such as a natural oil paired with a cream cleanser made for sensitive skin. Dermatologists recommend that you only double-cleanse once per day; preferably in the evening, to remove any residue leftover from your active day.

PRO TIP: Check out our user-friendly guide to face wash, to help you choose the right formula for your skin type.

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How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Overwashing your skin can lead to dryness, inflammation, and a weakened defensive barrier. However, underwashing can cause dullness and acne, and could increase your risk of getting a skin infection.

According to the American Association of Dermatologists, you should try to wash your skin once in the morning and once in the evening, and after sweating profusely. Sweat can irritate your skin, clog pores, and cause breakouts. This is why it’s important to cleanse your face as soon as possible after sweat-inducing activities, like intense exercise.

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How to Wash Your Face: The Do’s and Don’ts

Understanding how to wash your face correctly can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re set in your routine. But we’re here to make things a little more approachable! Here are some of the biggest do’s and don’ts for how to wash your face.

Do: Cleanse Your Face Every Night
This might be the most important tip: washing your face should be a ritual that happens every night, not just on the days when you wear makeup. The point of washing your face is to clear it of all residue from the day; not just mascara and blush but sunscreen, sweat, and the bacteria your skin has accumulated throughout the day. So no matter what, always wash your face before bed!

Don’t: Go Crazy With the Tools
There’s a wide world of facial tools out there, and they all claim to enhance your wash. But here’s the truth: your hands work just fine, and some gadgets can do more harm than good. Some tools can tug and tear your skin, or be too abrasive for your skin type. Be selective with what you use, and if you do use a facial tool, be sure to keep it clean and sanitized.

Do: Try an Exfoliating Cleanser
An exfoliant is a product that can benefit anyone. It’s meant to slough away dead skin cells and clear out sebum, promoting clearer pores. Exfoliants can be physical, taking the form of a scrub, or they can be chemical, which means that they dissolve impurities on a subatomic level.

Don’t: Scrub Every Night
While exfoliating can do wonders for your skin, it’s important to know that you can easily overdo it. Try sticking with one to three exfoliators per week, as over-exfoliating can strip the skin and throw off the balance of your delicate acid mantle.

Do: Try a Cleansing Milk
If cleansers of the past have left your skin feeling dry, a cleansing milk might be your holy grail. Cleansing milks are made with hydrating ingredients that have a creamy, milky consistency. This means your skin is left feeling nourished, rather than stripped of its natural oils.

Don’t: Under-Cleanse
While we always encourage a gentle touch, make sure you’re still being thorough. Take extra care when cleansing around the eyes, hairline and neck, where residual makeup tends to linger, and don’t be afraid to take your time. This is where a gentle facial massage could really come in handy!

Should You Massage Your Face?

Professional dermatologists often include facial massages in their skin care treatments in order to promote circulation throughout the skin tissue. While there are some claims that facial massage can also promote lymphatic drainage, these have yet to be proven by research. We’re also just a little skeptical of any massage technique that claims it will ‘slim down’ your face!

However, improved circulation could help boost skin radiance. So if you have a couple minutes to spare in the shower or at the sink, we recommend giving yourself a gentle facial massage once or twice per week, during or after cleansing. To learn more about facial massage, we recommend checking out tutorials like this Ayurvedic massage tutorial.

It’s important to be gentle with your skin, both by selecting a natural face cleanser that works for your skin type, and by treating your skin with care. After cleansing follow up with the toner, serum, and/or moisturizer of your choice. Say hello to fresh, hydrated skin!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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