I confess: I am so lazy about washing my face. It actually wasn’t until a year ago, when I came in for a facial with Amber Haupt, one of Oasis’ estheticians, that I actually started to care about my face and how I take care of it.
I have a lot to learn. So I thought I’d share a few helpful tips/reminders that I’ve been reading about when it comes to cleansing your face.
1. Remember that each person’s face has individual needs, so you need to find the methods that are best for your own skin. But one universal truth in caring for your face: Be gentle.
For most people, washing morning and night each day is best. A mid-day wash can also be helpful, especially if you work out during the day.
However, Mayo Clinic says those with acne breakouts shouldn’t wash those areas more than twice a day, because it can increase irritation.
2. Washing your face should not hurt.
Don’t scrub too hard: Overly harsh scrubbing can remove the fat between cells that actually gives skin its suppleness. You want to remove dirt, sweat, oil, bacteria, and dead skin cells—but not the skin barrier that protects your skin. [Source: How to Get the Most out of Your Facial Cleaning, WebMD]
3. Your cleanser matters.
Soap-free cleansers can be better for your face because soap is often an alkaline that may dry out your skin, making it tight and flaky. However, more mild soaps that are closer to your skin pH may not be as effective at removing oil, which could be a problem for someone with oily skin. [Source: How to Get the Most out of Your Facial Cleaning, WebMD]
Use a facial cleanser without fragrance, which is a leading irritant, especially for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin also does better with gentle, oil-free, wax-free cleansers. Cleansing cream, which removes makeup and cleans the face, is a good option. Acne-prone skin does better with gentle cleanser that won’t increase skin irritation. [Source: How to Wash Your Face, Discovery Health]
Scrubs will both clean and exfoliate, but be careful not to use one that is too abrasive for your skin. Source: How to Wash Your Face, Discovery Health]
4. Pat dry.
“Gentle” is the key word in face washing—and drying! A simple pat is better than wiping or rubbing dry.
5. Try toner.
Toner is that spritz you’ll see people spray on their face and then shake out their hair because they feel revitalized. It’s especially good for oily skin.
“You can use a toner after cleansing every morning and evening, and throughout the day — whenever you need a refresher. Toner is a nice way to make your skin feel hydrated, balance your pH, and reduce oil,” according to Cherise Mitchell, a licensed esthetician at Oasis Massage and Spa.
“Every skin type needs moisturized. People with oily skin often think that moisturizer will make their skin look greasier, but really it’s important to hydrate,” Mitchell said. “And it makes your skin supple.”
7. Consult a professional.
It’s always good to remember that you can have help. A dermatologist, an esthetician, or your family physician can work with you to determine what’s best for your skin.
So take good care of your face. I'll try, too.