Soap and water.
As far as dynamic duos go, they will always be towards the top. So why does the combination seem more complicated when it comes to your face? Like many power pairings will attest to, you can’t always control the variables. Truth is, when it comes to your facial routine, you are Yoko Ono and you’re breaking up the band.
Yes, soap and water will always clean IF you give them the opportunity, but are you?
Read on to find out if you are washing your face wrong.
When your new cleanser causes a breakout, it’s easy to blame the product itself. Maybe it was too harsh for your sensitive skin? Maybe the super ingredient failed you? Or maybe you flushed the toilet, picked that ingrown nail from your big toe and then did a quick wipe on a damp towel before using those same vile fingers to apply your face wash.
See a problem?
Good news is the solution is simple: WASH. YOUR. HANDS.
The Center for Disease Control says to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Think of it like painting in elementary school art class; if you don’t rinse that brush all the way, you’re going to bring those old colors on to your new canvas. Don’t spread germs when you are supposed to be cleansing.
You might be tempted to think that the hotter the water, the better the clean. That might be true in some cases but not with your face. Just like an extremely hot or cold day can cause irritation to your skin, the same stands for water temperature. Lukewarm water is the key to the most soothing and effective clean because pores do not have muscles. Therefore the myth that hot water opens up your pores and cold water shrinks them is impossible.
To scrub or not to scrub, that is the question. Here is the answer: do not scrub!
The skin on your hands and feet, where you should scrub, is eight times thicker than the skin on your face. Scrubbing bursts blood vessels and can cause unnecessary irritation and redness.
The skin on your face absolutely should be exfoliated but in a non-abrasive way.
Look for a cleanser with a natural exfoliator like kaolin (clay) or integrate a gentle exfoliator into your routine a couple days a week.
Rinsing is the most underrated step in a skin care regime. If you do not take the time to get all the product off your face, you are going to feel greasy, irritated and probably break out.
An effective rinse involves more than a couple quick splashes on your face. If your cleanser is thick, use a wet towel to gently remove the majority before thoroughly rinsing the rest off your face.
You’re only as clean as the towel you dry yourself with.
If you dry your face with the same towel you dry your body with you are making a mistake. You can use a towel more than once but if you dry it bunched up on a hook you are inviting mildew and bacteria to breed on your body. Do yourself a favor and buy a few designated face towels.
When drying your face post-cleanse, be careful. This is when your skin is the most sensitive. Take a few extra seconds to avoid any extra irritation or stripping and gently dab the water off.
Whether your skin is sensitive or tough as leather, bringing extra germs into your skin routine will always harm you. If you want to get the most from your cleanser, add these minuscule steps and the benefits will be yours for the taking.