Cleansing your face looks quite simple, right? You’ve been doing it your entire life and, well, your face remains attached so what’s the big deal?
The problem is you could result in more damage than good if you don’t do it properly, and that can lead to some fairly major troubles, like lack of moisture, irritation and premature sagging and facial lines. We asked Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, to weigh in on the most notable mistakes you make when you’re cleansing and how to correct these. Read on below!
Choose the proper cleanser: Based on your skin type, you should pick a pH-balanced cleanser that’s ideal for your face. Dr. Graf advises a foaming or gel cleanser for oily skin and a creamier cleanser for dried-out skin. But no bar soap, ever. It’s way too dehydrating.
Be sure that your hands are clean: “I’m constantly amazed at how many people miss this step,” marvels Dr. Graf. It’s very simple: Dirty hands mean that you’re attempting to cleanse your skin with, well, dirty hands. Wash your hands initially, then wash your face.
Wash your washcloth: If you’re using a washcloth, be sure that’s clean, too. “Either wash the washcloth daily or use a brand new one every time you wash your face. Washcloths can redeposit grime and dirt right back to your skin. “I’d prefer people use their fingertips, ” says Dr. Graf. “With your hands, you know how much pressure you’re using, but with cloths and such, you can be too harsh.”
You’re getting warmer: You want warm water to ensure that your skin stays hydrated and unaffected. Dr. Graf advises a pleasant medium for best results: Not too hot, not too cold.
Don’t over-exfoliate: Many people go at their skin with a bit a lot of gusto with scrubs and exfoliants, so Dr. Graf warns that you need to be gentle with your face. You also want to avoid harsh grains and use a gentle scrub or exfoliant so that you don’t damage the skin.
Remove the cleanser completely: Dr. Grad advises that you should make sure you cleanse your face entirely. “Make sure you rinse any cleanser off completely. Remains can cause dryness,” Graf advises.
Twice daily, no exceptions: Dr. Graf says many people don’t wash their face sufficient. “You should wash your face twice daily. Once in the morning when you get up to get rid of the grime and germs that gathers on your face while you’re sleeping, then again at night to take off makeup and the grime collected throughout the day.”
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