Cleansing your face…….are you doing it wrong?

Most people, if asked, would say that they know how to wash their face. It seems pretty basic, right?!?  Turn on the water, wash it, dry it, done. Believe it or not there is actually more to it than that.  Not necessarily more steps, those we’ve got down, but more details to pay attention to. The condition of our skin, the largest organ of our body, can absolutely be impacted by the way we simply wash our face.  Oh, and if you don’t currently wash your face regularly…….. put down your phone, tune out distractions, and start taking notes. You need this, I promise.

To start with, you need to wash your face with more than just water.  This may be a major news flash, but water alone won’t get the job done. Our face becomes covered in dirt and oil throughout the day, not to mention makeup for some, and water simply does not have the ability to clean those things from our skin and pores. We need the water, but we also need a good cleanser,and all cleansers are not created equal.  Truly they aren’t. With that said, expensive doesn’t necessarily equal best.  So how do we figure it out? You want a product that won’t strip your skin (that’s that dry “squeaky clean” feeling that Noxema and Sea Breeze taught us all to strive for).  Stripping the skin actually triggers it to produce more oil. If you’re oily and keep stripping your face, your skin will become oilier…..so beware of products that give you a “squeaky clean” feel.  If you’re dry and use similar products you are essentially walking backwards. Removing more of the natural oils that your skin needs!  The appropriate cleanser will clean the dirt and oil, remove your makeup and leave the skin feeling refreshed. Are there more important things to know about cleanser selection?  Of course! But we’ll save that for another day.

Ok, so we have a perfect cleanser and we’re covered in dirt, oil, and makeup….. what next? Water temperature! Hot is good, right?  Wrong. Sorry to disappoint all of you hot water lovers, but hot water can disrupt the natural oil balance of your skin. It may feel good, but you’re doing your skin a disservice. Stick to luke warm water for happier skin long term. Cleanser, check. Water temp, check.  Now let’s get the job done. Whether you use hands or a Clarisonic, (Note that I don’t mention other face brushes……. that’s because in my opinion there’s no need to. One stands above the rest and again, a topic for another day) the choice is ultimately yours.  For demonstration purposes we’ll go with hands right now. Cleanse in circular motions with light pressure.  Again, LIGHT pressure. Your skin should not be tugging and pulling. Your fingers do the work while your skin just sits back and relaxes. Cleanse the face and be sure to remember that your hairline matters too!  If you’re only breaking out in your hairline, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say there’s a good chance you aren’t cleansing and rinsing that area well. No judgement, just an observation. And about rinsing……it’s important so let’s do a good job.  That perfect cleanser you just selected isn’t meant to sit on your face all day and night. Pay close attention to the jawline, nose and hairline which tend to be the areas that want to hang on to that cleanser for dear life. Rinse it all!

Ahhh!  Clean! Time to dry. Again, we don’t want to tug or pull on the skin. The more the skin is pulled the more we are actively contributing to the breakdown of elastin.  Elastin is that cool protein in our tissue that helps our skin return to its normal shape after stretching and contracting… like an elastic! Instead of rubbing your face to dry it, just give it a nice pat all over. This method will dry the skin but leave it moist all while preserving your elastin!  Win Win!  Oh, and I’m actually begging you to use a nice soft CLEAN towel. After drying your gorgeous clean face a couple of times with it, it’s time to retire it to the wash.

So that was amazing and your skin feels fantastic! Let’s do it again! Not so fast clean faced friends. This is where you need to muster your self-control. Your face, on a normal basis, only needs to be washed twice daily max. Overstimulation is not where we want to go with this, remember? So what’s next?  The sky is the limit!  Proper cleansing is the foundation of good skin care. We build from here………..