Washing your face isn’t rocket science. And it shouldn’t be! It’s such a natural part of your day that some people don’t perform it properly, while others don’t even wash their face at all. Horrifying, I know.
While it probably isn’t difficult to figure out how to wash your face, it’s the tools and products that people use (or don’t use) that can make or break your next breakout. Read on to find out some tips to perfecting your basic face washing technique.
What facial cleanser are you using?
The first step is to figure out what type of facial cleanser you’re using. There are certain attributes and characteristics of a facial cleanser that you want to look for, and others you want to avoid. This has been covered on Teenage Blemish in our article on our picks for the Best Facial Cleansers for Men (Don’t worry – the article isn’t just for men. It covers the general concept of a good facial cleanser).
To repeat ourselves and to summarize, your facial cleanser should ideally:
- Be fragrance-free
- Be alcohol free
- Contain few ingredients (as opposed to a long list of chemicals)
Your favourite cleanser is not going to always fit this criterion – and that’s okay! The main key to a facial cleanser is that it works for you. So, if you’re reading the ingredients label on the back of your favourite facial cleanser and notice that it contains the dreaded alcohol, know that you do not have to immediately throw it into the bin. Hey, if it works, it works. There are no hard rules around here!
This is why we say ideally. From personal experience and from multiple sources on the internet, you will find that the general consensus when it comes to the best facial cleansers is that they are gentle (typically meaning alcohol free) and that they do not dry out the skin (again, this typically means alcohol free). Fragrances are also generally avoided as they are unnecessary additives used to sell a product and can sometimes serve as irritants to your skin.
Your facial cleanser is a very important first step. Make sure that it’s a good one, as you will be applying it to your face at least twice a day.
How many times are you washing your face?
Yes, we said at least twice a day. The two times that are necessary are in the morning when you wake and at night before you go to bed.
Here’s the thing – sometimes you have the drive to hit the gym, or the track, or the trail on your bike. If you’re a sweaty person (and worse, if you’re an oily person), you’re going to feel disgusting after a workout. Naturally, you’ll want to wash all that gunk off of your face. Obviously, this is completely fine.
However, note that your skin requires moisture, and that your skin naturally produces healthy oils to keep it from drying out (and, eventually, breaking out). If you wash your face excessively throughout the day, you’re constantly stripping your skin of these natural oils. Say hello to the new pimple on your nose!
We don’t say this to scare you. Instead, it’s simply a word of caution. If you do exercise on the daily or just feel especially greasy after a hot summer afternoon, consider carrying face wipes along with you on your journey. Fortunately, we’ve also covered some of our favourite face wipes on Teenage Blemish.
How are you washing your face?
Ah, the big question. Just how are you using your facial cleanser? This probably sounds like a silly question. What do we mean how?
Believe it or not, there’s a few different ways to go about it.
Using your bare hands
Most people are familiar with just using their bare hands. This is completely fine – unless you are careless! Don’t mess up this simple technique by forgetting to wash your hands before touching your face. You’ll want to clean your palms and fingers thoroughly before dispensing the facial cleanser onto your hands. Preferably, your hand soap will be fragrance and alcohol free as well.
After you’ve lathered the cleanser and applied it to your face, wash your hands again before you wash the cleanser off. Why? Well after you’ve applied the cleanser to your face, you have the gunk on your hands! You want to make sure that your hands are clean at any time it comes into contact with your face.
If you’re forgetful, just remember that practice makes perfect. Make it a routine to wash your hands, apply the cleanser, wash your hands again, and then cleanse. Soon, this will become second nature.
Using an anti-microbial washcloth
An alternative to using your bare hands is to use an anti-microbial washcloth. These Luxury Bamboo washcloths fit the bill perfectly. Anti-microbial simply means that the product contains an agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms. In other words, it prevents the build up of bacteria on the towel. This is essential if you have acne-prone skin.
If you do choose to incorporate a washcloth into your daily skin cleansing practice, note that it is typically recommended to use it to wipe your face after you’ve already cleansed it, but before your face becomes dry. This allows the cloth to remove any excess dirt left behind, and act as a gentle exfoliant of sorts.
It is important that you wash your washcloths on a daily basis. Yes, antimicrobial does make it sound like you can just let your cloth dry after you use it, but let’s play it on the safe side with our skin. Also, never use a washcloth that is wet – always ensure that the washcloth you intend to use is fresh, clean, and dry.
Is that it?
In terms of basic practices for washing your face? Pretty much. There are countless methods that people use to get their cleanse on, but there is often no need to go past these basics. The key takeaway here is be gentle with your skin, and to make sure your hands are squeaky clean before handling.
How have you been cleansing? Are you a bare bones kind of person like we’ve addressed in this article? Or do you take a more exciting approach?