Are you one of the many people who are under the impression that you’re washing your face correctly, but really aren’t? Washing your face sounds shockingly simple and while most of us might scoff at the idea of doing it incorrectly, many of us are, including myself! But don’t worry, these simple mistakes are easily correctable and we can quickly get ourselves on the right track. Check and see if you’ve made any of these mistakes when cleansing your face.
1. DIRTY HANDS
One of the most important steps you can take when you’re washing your face is to wash your hands. If you don’t wash your hands before you wash your face, you’re not really cleaning your face. Any dirt, oil or bacteria that was on your hands can be transferred onto your face and that defeats the whole purpose of washing your face.
2. WRONG CLEANSER
Another common mistake that we make is using the wrong type of face wash for our skin type. Sometimes we aren’t aware of exactly what skin type we really are or we happen to pick up the wrong cleanser but use it anyway. Dermatologist Jeanette Graf of Mount Sinai Medical Center recommends using cream cleansers for dry skin and foam or gel cleansers if you have oily skin. Also, take note of how your skin feels after washing. If your skin feels tight or dry or your skin doesn’t feel clean, you might need to switch out your face wash for a different one.
3. EXFOLIATING ERRORS
Exfoliating your skin is a major part of your skin care routine and if you happen to be exfoliating too little or too much, you won’t be getting the benefits you should be. Exfoliating too much is clearly not good, you can irritate or even harm your skin, but not exfoliating enough is bad news, too. Aim to exfoliate your skin up to twice a week depending on your skin type and the nighttime is an ideal time to do it since that’s the time your skin is generating new skin cells.
4. WASHING TOO MUCH
No matter what type of skin you have, cleansing your face too often is asking for skin care trouble. Over washing your face can irritate or dry skin out and if your skin is naturally oily, it can cause your skin to overproduce oil. Limit cleansing your face to twice daily unless you’re cleaning up before or after the gym to keep your skin happy and healthy.
5. NOT RINSING ENOUGH
Whenever you wash your face, take time to rinse all of the face wash off of your skin unless the directions say otherwise. Leaving cleanser on your skin can dry or irritate your facial skin and it can lead to product build-up on your face. The same goes for those convenient makeup wipes. It might seem like an easy way to remove makeup when we’re in a rush or tired, but many of those wipes use cleansers to dissolve makeup, and skin still needs to be rinsed afterward to get rid of any leftover cleanser and residue.
6. WATER IS TOO HOT OR COLD
Despite what we’ve been led to believe about skin care in the past, using hot or cold water won’t open or close your pores. Derms say that pores don’t have muscles so they don’t have the ability to open or close. Stick with lukewarm water when you’re washing your face. Water that’s too hot can dry out skin and water that’s too cold can break capillaries.
7. NOT CLEANING YOUR FACE WASHING TOOLS
If you use a face brush, washcloth or some other tool to cleanse your face, stay on top of keeping those items clean as well. A dirty washcloth or facial brush can redeposit any residue, dirt or grime right back on to your face if it’s not well cleaned and maintained. I know, it sounds like a lot of cleaning, but it’s your face we’re talking about here! We only want clean items near your face.