The way you wash your face (and the products you choose) isn’t hard, but you need to be intentional. So why are you washing your face? Once you have your answer, choose the right products and follow a routine that gets the job done.
If You’re Washing to Remove Makeup
Use a waterless cleanser such as a Cetaphil or Cerave cleanser. These can be used without water as they dissolve makeup from the face and eyes.
After you use it, rinse your face with warm water. Then moisturize your skin. As you removed the makeup, you also removed the oils and waxes. So it’s time to re-hydrate.
If You’re Washing for Acne
Contrary to conventional wisdom, soap and water won’t help acne. If you’re looking to clear those spots, opt for a product with an acne-fighting ingredient, like Benzoyl Peroxide.
First, lather your face with a Benzoyl Peroxide wash. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse it off with water. (Beware! Benzoyl Peroxide discolors fabric, so use a white towel!)
If You’re Washing to Remove Dirt
If you’ve been working out or working in the yard, it’s time to get your skin clean! Opt for a mild cleanser like Dove sensitive skin soap.
Strong soaps leave your skin dry and irritated. In fact, most antibacterial soaps are too harsh for your face. So avoid the harsh soaps and choose something that will clean off the grime without leaving your skin too parched.
What Not to Use
We assume the deeper the clean, the better the result. But for your face, that’s not true. Products marketed as “deep cleansers”, and tools that scrub and rotate, hurt (not help!) your face. They irritate your skin, leaving you with a red face and inflamed acne. It may seem like you’re scrubbing out the impurities, but you’re actually making your skin worse.
4 Basic Steps for Washing Your Face
No matter the reason you’re washing your face, follow this simple process.
1. Gently apply the cleanser to your face. – Avoid scrubbing and just let the product do the work! (If you’re using an acne cleanser, apply it in the shower so you can easily leave it on for a few minutes.)
2. Rinse your skin using warm water.
3. Pat the skin dry with a soft towel.
4. Apply a moisturizer.
It’s that easy.
Can You Use Facial Wipes Instead?
Facial wipes are a convenient alternative to washing your face. There’s no real difference in the ingredients – it just saves you the step of using water. If this method works for you, go for it!
Washing your face is the most basic step in hygiene, but are you doing it right? Start by following these steps to clearer, brighter skin.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.