10 Mistakes You Make Washing Your Face

Washing your face seems simple, right? Lather up, rinse off, and you’re done. Not quite. In fact, you’re probably making fairly common mistakes. If your skin lacks that fresh, glowing look, you may want to take a closer look at how you wash your face. A few seemingly harmless face-washing habits can wreak havoc on your skin, leading to excessive dryness, oiliness, or even breakouts. Avoid these 10 common mistakes for better, clearer skin.

1. Using the Wrong Facial Cleanser

The most important step to having flawless skin lies in purchasing the right products for your skin type. Skin types include dry, oily, or acne-prone; different products work best for each skin type. Your cleanser should remove all dirt and day-to-day grime from your face, but not strip your skin of its natural oils. Dermatologists recommend a hydrating, creamy cleansing lotion for normal to dry complexions. Meanwhile, those with oily or combination types should pick an anti-inflammatory foaming or gel cleanser.

2. Your Water Is Too Hot or Cold

Although you may find it tempting to turn up the heat, doing so will not allow you to achieve your desired results. You will want to shower in lukewarm water rather than in extreme temperatures. Hot water dries out your skin, sending your glands into oil-producing overdrive to combat the sudden dryness. Hot water also makes you appear flushed and red, especially if you have acne or rosacea. Cold water, however, has an adverse effect by preventing your pores from opening.

3. Washing Your Face Too Often

Did you know washing your face too often could actually worsen your skin? People with dry skin might only need to cleanse once a day, but people with oilier skin should wash twice a day max. Washing more than twice daily will dry out your skin, causing it to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness. If you only wash your face once a day, be sure to wash it at night rather than during the morning. This will remove all of the dirt and pollutants that accumulate on your skin during the day. Air pollutants contribute to aging skin, so you need to wash them off before bed.

However, do not skip a morning cleanse if you already wash your face twice per day. This rinse gets rid of the natural oils that accumulate overnight and any residue from products applied before bed. A clean complexion lets the products you use in the morning, including sunscreen, penetrate your skin and work effectively. You have to be consistent with your skincare routine to see the results that you want.

4. You Over-Exfoliate

Exfoliating gets rid of dead skin cells that build up over time. Doing so helps your facial products penetrate your skin. However, exfoliating too often can do more harm than good. It causes dryness, flakiness, and irritation. Experts recommend limiting exfoliation to once a week.

5. You’re Applying Cleanser Incorrectly

If you’re using a light cleansing lotion, apply it on dry skin and rub it in for a few seconds, like you would for a moisturizer. This gives the oils in the cleanser time to break down the oils in your makeup and on your skin. Then get your fingertips slightly wet to help emulsify the cleanser. Make sure to massage in the cleanser in an outward circular motion. Another common mistake is not giving products enough time to work. If you use an acne treatment wash made to combat breakouts, let it sit on the skin for one minute before rinsing. This gives the active ingredients enough time to kill any acne-causing bacteria.

6. You’re Rubbing Your Face Dry

Rubbing your face will remove the lipids, proteins, and fatty acids that protect your skin from irritation. Pat, don’t rub your face with a towel after cleansing.

7. You’re Using Washcloths

Always wash your hands before washing your face so you don’t introduce bacteria to the skin. When using a washcloth make sure you always use a soft and clean one for each wash.

8. You Leave Your Skin Bare

Once you’ve cleaned and patted your skin dry, make sure to apply a serum or moisturizer within 60 seconds. Dermatologists recommend applying creams after you wash your face. Applying a moisturizing product immediately after washing helps to lock in the hydration your skin received from the water before it starts to evaporate. The only exception to this is acne products, which can cause irritation when applied to wet skin.

9. You Rely On Makeup Wipes

While extremely convenient, makeup wipes can cause skin problem. These products actually smear dirt, makeup, and oil across the skin rather than removing it. When you do use them, follow up with a full wash as soon as possible.

10. Residual Makeup

Makeup does not simply dissolve as you wash your face; you have to physically wipe makeup away. When you rinse your cleanser off, use a facial sponge to thoroughly wipe your skin. Afterward, pat your face dry. This is especially important for your nighttime wash because sleeping with makeup on inhibits your skin from rejuvenating itself while you sleep.

Your Next Steps For Flawless Skin

Have you made any of these common face-washing mistakes? Whether washing your face too often or relying on makeup wipes, we all fall short of properly washing our faces at times. But with simple modifications to poor habits, you can effectively wash your face and obtain that flawless complexion. Contact Short Hills Dermatology to book your appointment for clearer skin today!

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