How to Properly Wash Your Face

September 24, 2021

How to Properly Wash Your Face

Did you know that only 7 manufacturers own 182 beauty companies? And among all of those beauty companies, you'll find hundreds of different products that you get to choose from.

When you're walking down the aisle at the store, you'll notice so many (really, too many) options for skincare. It can be overwhelming for any shopper, especially if you don't know what you want to get.

If you're sick of trying to figure out which products work and which don't, our article is here to help you learn the basics of skincare so that you can find the tools that will work for you.

Keep reading to learn how to wash your face and how to care for your skin like a pro.

Our Basic Face Washing Tips

If you learn nothing else from the rest of this article, the main tips that you need to know about how to wash your face can be found here. We want to make sure that everyone has a good foundation of knowledge about how to care for their facial skin while washing before going any further with more in-depth tips.

The first thing that you need to know is that you should always use a cleanser without alcohol. It should be gentle on the skin and non-abrasive.

To wash your face, use lukewarm water (never hot) and your fingertips to gently apply the cleanser in circular motions all over your face, neck, and décolletage. Using a cloth or a sponge can cause irritation to the skin. Don't scrub your skin harshly with anything, including your fingers.

When you're ready to rinse, use lukewarm water again and pay your skin dry with a nice towel.

After you're finished, you will want to use a sensitive moisturizer on the skin. Try not to pull your skin too much, especially in areas with more delicate skin like the eyes.

Don't wash your face more than twice a day if you can help it. If you become very sweaty during the day, you can wash your face, but pay attention to how dry your skin gets. Rinsing with water may be more appropriate to avoid further skin irritation.

How Can You Choose a Good Face Cleanser?

For most people, going with a basic, gentle cleanser is the best option. These are usually created for any skin type and will be a little more hydrating than other options. If you can find one that doesn't have fragrance, has few ingredients, and includes ceramides, your skin should be happy.

There are other factors that you can consider if you want to find one that is more specific for your skin type, however.

If you have dry skin, you should always go for the most gentle cleanser you can find. It should contain moisturizing ingredients and fatty acids if possible.

Oilier skin should have cleansers with ingredients like aloe vera or tea tree oil because these are designed to help balance oil production. Your skin shouldn't feel tight after a cleanse. If you're worried about acne with oily skin, you can use a salicylic acid-based cleanser.

If you're dealing with sensitive skin or combination skin, you will want to go for a micellar water cleanser or a very gentle cleanser. These skin types are harder to find products for because they can be a little different for each person, but it may be helpful to find products that mention 'sensitive' or 'combination skin' on the packaging.

What About Oil Cleansers?

While you generally want to avoid oil on your skin, there are some people that have found positive things from using the oil cleansing method. This is when you use oils instead of traditional cleansers to protect the natural lipid layer on your skin and avoid killing the good bacteria.

You can use the oil cleansing method to remove makeup, aid sensitive skin, or tame a breakout in some cases.

Some major companies, like Neutrogena, have also released cleansers that are oil-based. It's popular in K-beauty trends as well, so if you follow one of those skincare routines, you've likely heard of this before.

The idea behind oil cleansing is that similar things will dissolve other similar things. So, you introduce new, clean oils onto your skin to lift off the sebum your skin produces, clean your clogged pores, and remove contaminants.

You shouldn't just start putting oils on your face, however. Some oils will actually cause more skin issues in the long run. If you're interested in oil cleansing, you need to do thorough research on which types of oils you can use, how much you should dilute them, and how often you should use this method.

What Should Your Cleansing Routine Look Like?

While we covered the basics above, you may still want some more help planning out this entire step of your skincare routine. If you have never really had a skincare routine before or used face cleansers regularly, it can be overwhelming to know whether you're doing it too much or not enough!

The general rule is that you should cleanse your skin with a traditional cleanser once in the morning and once in the evening. By cleansing in the morning, you will remove any sweat or oils from your skin that came about while you were sleeping from your pillow and hair. By cleansing in the evening, you can remove any sweat, dirty, products, or other debris that accumulated during the day.

However, if you have dry skin, this rule does not apply to you. It's perfectly fine to use plain water (or micellar water) on your skin in the morning instead of an actual cleanser if you think that your skin will become irritated with the twice-daily rule.

No matter who you are, you should be cleansing at night. If you don't, all of those gross things that get on your skin throughout the day will get into your pores and can skin problems (including acne).

You also should be using a good moisturizer to provide hydration to the skin. No matter how oily or acne-prone your skin might be, it will get dry if you don't rehydrate it after washing off all of your skin's natural oils. When your skin becomes dried out, it gets irritated, develops extra oil to fix the issue, and actually creates more acne.

What Types of Moisturizers Are Best?

As with the cleanser, you should try to find a moisturizer that is fragrance-free and oil-free because these work for all skin types.

You can also find a moisturizer that includes specific ingredients to help with other skin concerns that you might have. For example, hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient to restore hydration to the skin. Vitamin C is found in certain moisturizers and other products, and it can brighten the skin's look and provide antioxidant protection.

You should always reach for moisturizers that are labeled as being non-comedogenic. This specifically means that the ingredients within the product are designed not to block your pores. This is an especially important thing to look for if you're someone that has oily skin.

Moisturizers can come in many different forms also, so consider what you prefer when you start shopping. You can choose from balms, lotions, creams, gels, and liquid moisturizers, which are all slightly different from each other.

How Can You Tell What Type of Skin You Have? 

When you're choosing your cleanser and your moisturizer, you should consider what your skin type is as well. While you can definitely find products that are meant for all skin types, choosing products designed to treat the issues you're dealing with will provide more benefits overall (and better skin).

Each skin type has specific characteristics you can look out for throughout the day to see where you fall.

Oily Skin

As you can imagine, someone with oily skin will have excess sebum that makes their face look greasy or shiny. The forehead, nose, and chin are usually the common areas to find the most oil on the skin. Someone with this skin type might also have large pores and more frequent acne breakouts.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is almost the opposite of oily skin in that the skin is usually dull, rough, flaky, and dry to the touch. It might feel very tight or less springy. You might have more visible lines on the skin or even irritated skin.

Normal Skin

This skin has the best balance of any skin type. It isn't dry or oily, the pores are usually small, and the texture of the skin is smooth. You are less likely to have irritation, breakouts, or uncomfortable skin with this skin type as well.

Combination Skin

This is when the skin is both oily and dry. Some areas have excess sebum while other areas are extremely dry to the touch. You may also have combination skin if you have an oily T-zone, but normal or dry skin on the rest of your face.

Sensitive Skin

Although sensitive skin is technically not its own skin type, it often gets to referred to as being such. Your skin can be sensitive if you have oily, dry, or normal skin.

However, if you have sensitive skin, there are specific products that you will want to avoid because they will trigger your sensitivity and cause burning, redness, itchiness, or increased dryness. This can happen due to ingredients or external irritants.

Do You Need Other Skin Products for a Skincare Routine?

It's always recommended that you include face sunscreen in your morning skincare routine. You'll want to use this every single day (yes, even when it's cloudy outside) to make sure that you're protecting your skin.

Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is between SPF 15 and SPF 50 for maximum results. There is no need to get a sunscreen that is higher than SPF 50 for your face or any other part of your body.

A lot of people will also use different serums, toners, treatments, or essences at nighttime on their skin to achieve different results. These may target skin concerns, or they might help the skin as a whole become healthier.

Some of these products may have 'actives' in them, which are active ingredients that are usually chemicals or molecules designed for a specific purpose.

When you look at the back of a bottle of petroleum jelly, for example, it will say something like "white petrolatum" with the purpose of being a skin protectant. Products with active ingredients will have similar information for whatever their ingredients are designed to do.

If you're looking for acne products or anti-aging products, you'll need something that has an active ingredient. There are other categories that you'll need to get active ingredients for as well, such as rosacea, dryness, or pigmentation concerns. Active ingredients are found in both over-the-counter and prescription skin care products.

When Should You See a Dermatologist?

Dermatologists are doctors that specialize in skin, nails, and hair. They can identify and treat thousands of conditions, such as psoriasis, skin cancer, and acne.

If you notice anything that has changed or won't go away on your skin, you should always consult with a dermatologist to see what is going on. This is true if it's on your face or on any other part of your body.

You also can see a dermatologist if you have acne that just doesn't seem to go away no matter what you do for it. If you're reading this article hoping that washing your face will cure your spots, but it doesn't work, a dermatologist might be able to help you further.

Now You Can Wash Your Face (And Care for It) Properly

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into skincare. That's part of the reason that there are so many products for so many different issues.

However, now that you have the basic knowledge needed to craft your own skincare routine, you can figure out what works best for your skin type and skin concerns. Remember that less is more, and adding more products isn't always the safest route to take! It's best to keep things simple.

Don't forget to wash your face every single night before you go to bed. Once you start making it a habit, you'll find that you feel icky when you don't do it! Also, always remember to moisturize your skin to keep it happy and healthy.

We have the products that you're looking for to keep your skin youthful, fresh, and glowing. Check out our complete selection to find exactly what you need.

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