Twice a day. That’s how often you should wash your face – once in the morning and once at night. What if you’re just too tired or in a rush and can only wash your face once a day? When’s the best time to do it? And as simple as washing your face may sound, are you doing it right?
The experts - dermatologists and aesthetic surgeons agree on this: If you’re only going to wash your face once a day, then night time is the best time to do it. While washing your face twice daily is recommended, this may not necessarily happen in reality. Skipping a wash? Then it’s better to skip the morning round than the evening one (provided you’ve been sleeping on a clean pillowcase). You want to remove dirt, oil, grim and particles that accumulate on your skin and clog your pores throughout the day.
The question is, are you washing your face correctly?
Prior To Washing Your Face
Always, always remember to remove your makeup before you wash your face. Using a gentle cleanser won’t wash your makeup off and when your glam products are left on for too long, will leave your pores blocked and cause future unsightly zits.
Using the right cleanser that best suits your skin type is equally as important as how often you wash your face. Need help navigating the face wash aisle? A general rule of thumb would be to go for one labeled, ‘gentle’, ‘pH-balanced’ and ‘fragrance-free’
- For dry/combination skin – use a gentle, hydrating cleanser with a moisturising or creamy base. Make sure you get the debris out of your pores so that they can breathe and whatever you apply after gets properly absorbed.
- For oily skin – use a cleanser that contains salicylic or glycolic acid. And get this, oil-based cleansers may be a good pick for oily skin as oil dissolves oil. Refrain from scrubbing your skin too hard as this can strip away your skin’s natural oils or healthy cells. Plus, skin redness and irritation may result. Note:Bear in mind, that for this skin type, washing your face more than once daily is counterproductive and will strip your face of its moisture. And cleaning too aggressively will exacerbate acne and inflammation.
- For normal skin or if you’re not sure – A gentle, pH-balanced cleanser will do the job. Experts are concurring that all skin types can benefit from cleansing with oil (yes, even if you have oily skin). Choose plant-based oils like coconut oil, castor oil and avocado oil. Simply massage the oil on your face and wipe away the oil to prevent residual build up and let your pores breathe.
- For acne-prone skin - Stay gentle as over-washing your face (squeaky-clean may not be a good thing here) with acne-specific cleansers can actually leave you with dry, irritated skin – definitely not something you’d want!
Warm is always the best bet to wash your face gently and effectively. Cold water tightens your pores temporarily. Hot water or the steamy shower may feel good on your skin but in fact, the heat can strip your skin of its natural, protective oils and result in very dry skin and your skin’s sebum factory will kick into overdrive!
Washing It Right
- Splash lukewarm water on your face and use your fingertips to apply the cleanser in a circular motion. Pay special attention to the T-zone (forehead and nose area) and the U-zone (the area around your jawline).
- Washcloth, grainy scrub or your fingers? Experts say that gently using your fingers are the best. While exfoliating is a good practice to slough off dead skin cells, keep it to no more than twice to thrice a week. Again, using your fingers is best to prevent pulling and tugging of the skin. Instead of microbeads that are far from eco-friendly, why not try this homemade lavender sugar scrub?
- Rinse thoroughly as skimping will only lead to residue build up, clogged pores and dry skin. Remember to show these often-neglected areas some love, we’re talking about your jawline, hairline and nose!
Drying your face? Remember to pat, not rub. Rubbing actually tugs and pulls your skin, and is definitely not friendly to your skin’s elasticity. And in this case, sharing is not caring. Grabbing your friend’s towel means spreading the bacteria all over your clean face. Always use a clean, soft towel to blot your face. And be sure to hang your towel in a dry, moisture-free place (never in the shower) after that to prevent a feasting ground for bacterial growth.
For maximum absorption, moisturise immediately, while your skin is damp. Waiting for your skin to be completely dry will make it harder for the active ingredients to seep through your skin.