The best way to wash your face, for every skin type
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In a pandemic where we are all paying more attention to hand washing, remember that your face needs daily love too. Washing your face isn’t just an enjoyable part of a daily routine. This is an important step in the fight against grime that can lead to premature aging.
“Cleansing the skin can be an important step in protecting it”, dermatologist Arianne Shadi Kourosh, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, told HuffPost. “Especially for those of us who live in urban settings, our skin faces daily radiation from the sun and screens, as well as airborne chemicals and irritants from pollution. This can settle on the skin and corrode the skin barrier, causing premature aging in the form of wrinkles and dark spots. A good cleansing regimen is important for removing these toxic and irritating chemicals and providing a clean canvas for applying antioxidant serums that can help absorb damage and protect the skin.
If you don’t clean it first, all the fancy skincare products you put on your face will be for naught, experts say. “Without washing, your skin would be covered with a thick layer of dirt and grime, which makes it difficult for other products to properly penetrate the skin,” said a dermatologist. DiAnne Davis says HuffPost.
Feeling clean is a no-no
It can help to understand what kind of post-wash feel you should be aiming for. “That squeaky, tight feeling after cleansing is actually not a good thing,” the dermatologist said. Jennifer David says HuffPost. “It’s a sign that your skin is stripped of its natural oils and lipids. Your skin should feel refreshed, but not tight or scratchy.
Ddermatologist Joshua Zeichner, an associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, agreed that a “grinding” sensation is a danger signal. “This means you are stripped of your outer layer of skin,” he told HuffPost. “Instead of being squeaky clean, your skin should feel soft and hydrated after washing.”
Why you should wash your face twice a day
“People should wash their face twice a day, morning and night,” dermatologist Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told HuffPost. “Some people just wash their face at night, but what they might not know is that your skin is changing cells at night. So when you wake up, all the toxins are on the surface of your face. skin, so you need to wash your face again in the morning to remove them.
If your skin is very dry, you might want to start your day soap-free, David said. “It’s okay to wake up and splash water on your face,” she said. But watch out for the temperature of that splash, she warned. “Hot water will dissolve all of your skin’s natural oils and disrupt the skin barrier, leading to long-term dryness.”
And keep in mind that “twice a day” is just a guideline. If you get your face dirty, you’ll probably want to take a break to wash it off. “It’s a good idea to wash when your face is very sweaty, like after a workout,” dermatologist Nkem Ugonabo told HuffPost.
Calm down on the temperature
Nothing that happens to your face should cause you to feel pain or shock, so avoid freezing water and scalding temperatures. In general, try to relax. “You want to aim for moderation in time, intensity and temperature,” Kourosh said. “Use lukewarm or cold water, keep it on for a few minutes, and avoid harsh scrubbing or rubbing to avoid irritation.”
“It’s a complete myth that hot water opens your pores and cold water closes them,” Zeichner said. “There are no muscles in the wall of your pores, and they don’t open and close like windows. Hot water can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to flushing and worsening of conditions like rosacea.
How to choose the right cleanser
Before washing, be sure to prepare your face well. “If you’re doing makeup, use a makeup remover wipe or micellar water to remove makeup first, followed by your cleanser,” Davis said. Then set the faucet to a nice, warm temperature and get your cleanser.
“Think of your cleanser as the foundation of your skincare routine,” Zeichner says. “The goal of cleansing is to remove dirt from the outer layer of the skin without disrupting the skin barrier.” Just like water temperature, cleansers should be gentle. “When it comes to cleansers, gentle and moisturizing is better,” Ugonabo said.
When shopping, beware of empty jargon on package labels. “There is no standardization or regulation in the beauty industry for the use of terms such as ‘natural beauty’ or ‘clean beauty’, so these terms are very misleading,” David said. “Avoid falling into the trap of buying overpriced fancy cleansers, and remember that it’s a cleanser’s job to remove things from the skin, not add things, so a cleanser Drugstore brand will do.It’s more important to know your skin type and what formulations work best.
If you have oily skin, you can try mousse. “Foaming cleansers tend to be harsher on the skin than other types, but they’re a great option for people with oily skin,” Zeichner said. “For people prone to acne, a cleanser containing salicylic acid may be useful to help remove dead surface skin cells that contribute to clogged pores.” Those with dry and/or sensitive skin may consider a moisturizing cleanser, milk balm, or micellar water.
After you’re done washing, “dry with a clean towel to avoid harmful bacteria, rather than scrubbing,” Graf said. “You can also just air dry your face.”
Expert Thoughts on Special Equipment
There are many products, like the Clarisonic, that make big claims about skin cleansing. How do they evaluate with doctors? “Generally speaking, sonic cleansing brushes are considered safe and effective, as long as you use them as you should,” Zeichner said. “Sonic brushes are one of the most rigorously tested and validated options you can get, but they’re very expensive,” David said. “The cheaper, but still effective alternatives are silicone scouring pads which come in electronic and manual versions. Personally, I love the little silicone manual scouring pads.
Gentle and safe should be the keywords for anything that touches your face, dermatologists say. “Be careful when using cleaning tools like washcloths, sponges, or loofahs because they can irritate the skin,” Zeichner said. “Items like washcloths can be a breeding ground for microorganisms if left wet and reused.”
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