The 10 Commandments of Cleansing Your Skin Correctly
When you’re faced with daily tasks as simple as washing your face, sometimes you start to slack. However, a proper cleansing is anything but basic. Luckily, you have us to whip you back into shape.
Raise your right hand and repeat after us.
Using hot water may feel nice, but it’s not doing your skin any favors. Hot water is dehydrating—it strips healthy, natural oils from your skin too quickly. Lukewarm water is warm enough to help loosen dirt and sebum without stripping your skin. If you’re redness-prone, try cool water, which helps constrict blood vessels.
The benefits of double-cleansing are plentiful—smoother skin, a more thorough clean, better product absorption. Pollution, makeup, and some sunscreens just can’t be removed with one cleanse. Use a gentle cleansing milk or oil first to remove all of the grime that sits on top of your skin, and use a cleanser that suits your skin type to finish the job.
You know to avoid sulfates in your shampoo, but did you know there might be sulfates lurking in your cleanser? If you see sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, or ammonium laureth sulfate on the ingredients list, put that face wash down. Sulfates are surfactants that are used to cut oil from the skin, but they’re stronger than you need and will end up dehydrating your skin. Also off-limits? Bar soap. The binding ingredients that hold a bar of soap together have a naturally high pH level that’s too strong for your delicate skin.
In case you haven’t heard it lately, your neck needs love too. It’s one of the spots that show signs of aging first, mainly because it’s not a top priority in your skincare regimen. But your neck should be included in every step of your routine, starting with cleansing. Also, make sure your face wash reaches all the way up to your hairline (another commonly neglected spot) or you could start to see breakouts forming there.
Because the skin on your face is so delicate, take extra care to pat it dry with a soft towel. And it doesn’t need to be bone-dry when you’re done. It’s okay to leave a thin layer of moisture on your skin, since the products you apply next will seal that in. It’s not okay, however, to grab any old towel you can find. Towels you use to dry your hair and body could have pore-clogging residue from your shower products on them. Make it a habit to use a fresh towel each day and you’ll avoid problem-causing germs and bacteria.
It’s the skin advice as old as time: Wash your face morning and night. The usual protest against this sage guidance is that in the mornings, your skin is still clean from the night before. But that’s not exactly the case. Overnight, your skin cells are hard at work, which means they’re secreting toxins and sebum. Wash your face in the morning to remove all that waste and secure better performance from your daytime products.
Which commandments have you been breaking? Spill it in the comments below!