Face wash 101: This is how to cleanse your face the right way

Social media influencers and articles may lead you to believe that packing in plenty of skin care products is the only way to make your skin glow, the cardinal rule is: simplicity is key. If you are new to taking care of your skin, or even if you are a professional who is up to date with all the skin care routines available (vampire facials, Korean skin care, etc.), I assure you that the care of the skin is easy! The first thing you need is to be careful with the face wash. That’s how it is! You might be surprised how many people get it wrong when it comes to washing their face.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve already heard of AHAs, BHAs, niacinamide, retinols, and other fancy skincare jargon. Let’s take a look at the most basic of all skin care practices: washing your face.

How to wash your face?
What is the correct way to wash your face. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

How to wash your face?

Here are the pros and cons of washing your face:

  • Use lukewarm water, as hot water can strip away the skin’s protective lipids, leaving it dry and irritated.
  • Use a clean towel designed just for your face – most of us are guilty of using the ordinary hand towel in the bathroom!
  • Wash your face only twice a day. Excessive cleansing irritates and damages the skin barrier. If you want to wash your face just once, do it at the end of the day to remove all sweat, dirt, and makeup.
  • The ideal contact time for a cleaner is 30-60 seconds.

How to choose the face wash?

Here’s how to select your face wash based on your skin type:

For acne-prone/oily skin

  • Salicylic acid (BHA) based or foam cleanser.
  • A special moisturizer is not necessary if the cleanser already incorporates a moisturizer (eg, LHA, alpha lipoic, glycerin) or uses a non-comedogenic light/gel moisturizing lotion. This is especially helpful when using an acne treatment that dries out and irritates the skin (such as tretinoin, adapalene, and benzoyl peroxide).
  • Use gel-based sunscreen, as acne medications (both tablets and creams) cause photosensitivity. Sunscreen also helps prevent pigmentation from acne marks, for which SPF 30 is sufficient.
face wash
What kind of face wash should i use for acne prone skin? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

For mixed skin

  • Washable, non-foaming, non-comedogenic liquid cleanser.
  • Use a light moisturizing lotion or cream. This is helpful if the use of other skin care actives or acne treatments dries out the skin.
  • Use gel-based sunscreen or gel cream.

For dry/sensitive skin

  • Moisturizing non-foaming cream or liquid facial cleanser that leaves a superficial film.
  • Use a cream-based moisturizer.
  • Use a cream-based sunscreen.

What about double cleaning?

Does EVERYONE need a double cleanse? NO. If your skin isn’t usually oily or you wear makeup every once in a while, there’s no need for a double cleanse every day – just a good old fashioned regular cleanse will suffice!

double cleaning
Is double cleaning important? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

How to do a double cleaning?

  • Apply an oil cleanser or micellar water to dry skin.
  • Use your fingers, a cotton pad, or a soft cloth to massage the first cleanser to remove makeup, excess dirt, and sebum.
  • Wet your face with water and apply your second cleanser (a gentle cleanser based on your skin type, as described above) as you normally do.
  • Rinse cleanser and pat face dry (with your own towel).

In conclusion, finding the right cleansing and skin care routine depends on trial and error. What works for someone else may not work for you. The best way to know if your cleanser is right for you is if you don’t have irritation, breakouts, or a dry feeling. All the best for your skincare journey!

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