November is National Healthy Skin Month and I for one am pretty passionate about good skin care. Dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart from La Jolla Skin Dermatology shares her tips on the right way to wash your face. Her subtle tips can help make the difference in great looking skin, especially as we approach winter. Let's keep our skin looking radiant!
It's important to stimulate your lymph system to get much needed oxygen and blood circulating in your face. Also, be sure that you are using the correct cleanser for your skin type and Dr. Stuart recommends to avoid using bar soaps at all costs — they can really dry out your skin. She explains that, "the goal of face washing is to unclog pores and to dissolve dirt, makeup and remove excess oils. You may not realize that this is also a great opportunity to slough off dead skin cells by exfoliating."
(I use the Clarins' Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter that leaves my skin soft. It doesn't feel stripped like most cleansers do for my skin.)
Begin washing your face starting at your forehead and work your way to your nose, then outwards to your cheeks and eventually down to your face and neck. A proper face wash is a really simple way to maintain the health of your skin.
Dr. Stuart’s Four Step Process for Correct Face Washing
Step 1: Begin by washing your hands. (You don't want all of the grease, grime and germs from your hands on your face, do you?) And, if you have on any eye makeup, remove it before you begin to cleanse.
Step 2: Wet your face completely with tepid water. Anything too hot will shock the skin and could even burst capillaries, resulting in those sensitive red marks usually found around the nose and cheeks. Next, squeeze a dime-sized amount of cleanser onto your fingertips and rub them together. Use your fingertips to massage the cleanser into your skin (anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute) in small and gentle circular motions.
Step 3: One of the best ways to ensure that dirt and makeup are removed is by using a muslin cloth when you rinse. In addition, if you gently scrub in small circles, the cloth also acts as a light exfoliant! Also, don't forget to rinse your hairline, your neck and the nooks on either side of your nose.
Step 4: Finish by splashing your face two to three times with cool water (not freezing cold—again, you don't want to shock your face) to close your pores and then pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
List of Face Washing Mistakes
Not washing your hands - Before you start with washing and cleaning of your face, thoroughly wash your hands. You do not want bacteria from hands to be transferred onto the delicate facial skin.
Don’t use cold water - It is a big mistake to rinse your face with cold water due to close the pores. Not only will the cold or hot water shock and irritate the skin, but it will also lead to varicose veins on the face.
Be cautious when applying facial cleansers. Never apply facial cleanser without moisturizing your face first. Most of these products are aggressive and should be mitigated by water.
Not rinsing and repeating. If you don't wash out well cleansing product, it will dry out your skin and clog pores. Rinse face until you completely remove the cleanser. Do not forget to rinse the area close to the scalp, as this leads to skin irritation.
Do not exaggerate with peeling. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells leaving smooth skin on your face. But if you do the peeling often, you can remove and dry up a new layer of skin, which will eventually weaken the natural protection of the skin of the face.
What about the towel? The towel you use for your face should always be clean and soft.
Never go to bed without first thoroughly cleaning the face of makeup and dirt. Leaving makeup overnight can lead to accumulation of fungi and redness and irritation.