How to Clean Your Face According to Experts

As you are growing up, you are taught to wash your face and hands. Mom and dad probably held you up to the sink or gave you a stool so you could reach the water. It’s part of growing up; however, what many people don’t realize is that your face washing technique needs to grow up too. The American Academy of Dermatology says that cleaning your face properly can be beneficial in preventing acne and other skin conditions.

Skin Types and Face Wash

Before you can wash your face the right way, it can be beneficial to know your skin type. Use these definitions to help determine what your skin type is:

  • Normal skin: Not dry or oily
  • Oily: Appears shiny with visible pores
  • Dry: Appears dull and flaky and feels tight
  • Combination: Dry in some areas, oily in others.

Once you determine this, you can select skin care products optimized for your skin type, or simply select cleansers for sensitive skin.

No face washing information would be complete without a brief message about soap and face washing. Soap, as in the bar soap your mother used in the bathtub and most softsoaps, aren’t ideal to cleanse your face. These soaps are body soaps and not pH balanced for the delicate skin on your face. Regular soap may make your face dry and irritated.

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Face washing should be done twice a day, morning and night, unless you have very dry skin. Make sure you’re always washing your face before bed so that daytime dirt, oils, and makeup don’t sit on your skin overnight clogging your pores. Also, if you participate in sports or have other exercise activities throughout the day, applying a gentle cleanser afterwards to remove dirt, excess sweat, or bacteria.

On the other hand, you can irritate your skin over time if you wash it too much. Soap and hot water can strip the skin of natural oils necessary for a healthy skin barrier.

Twice a day is usually enough for most people. If you must, a third wash won’t hurt you; however, if you over-wash your face, you can strip it of its natural oils and cause dryness. If you are planning to shower before bed, wait and do your face in the shower. Take your makeup off before getting in, and then wash with your face cleanser while showering. Don’t forget to moisturize when you get out.

Benefits of Washing Face at Night

Your skin regenerates and renews during the night. Try to help the process along by faithfully cleansing and applying a dermatologist recommend moisturizer. Your skin needs to breathe while you sleep. Cleaning your face at night is one step towards healthier younger-looking skin.

Washing Your Face Correctly

Now that you understand your skin type and how often you need to clean your face, it’s time to start. Using a plant based gentle facial cleanser for sensitive skin, warm water, and your fingertips are the only ingredients you need to start.

  • Use lukewarm water or hot water to wet your face and open your pores
  • Apply a nickel sized amount of cream cleanser
  • Use your fingertips to massage in a circular motion
  • Rinse with lukewarm or cold water to close your pores after cleansing
  • Pat dry with a soft towel or soft clean cloth and don’t rub it aggressively

Skincare After Cleansing

If you want to use exfoliating products to remove excess dead skin cells, a lightweight exfoliant or cleanser with salicylic acid or similar ingredients is ideal. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends exfoliating a couple times a week to promote new skin cells.

Next, apply a facial moisturizer to hydrate your skin. Using the right plant based moisturizer will contain ingredients that balance your skin’s barrier and repair environmental damage. Any dermatologist will say that even people suffering from acne will want to use a moisturizer as part of their morning and night skincare routine. Hydrating the skin is the best way to ensure that your pores don’t make excess oil which can lead to even more acne.

Avoid using an oil-based cream if you have oily skin or if you are prone to acne. Using a cleansing brush is not always the best option as one use may transfer bacteria or skin cells from a previous use and could make your skin worse.

If You Wear Makeup

If your morning beauty regime consists of makeup, you know the importance of removing it every day. In this case, proper cleansing should be a two-step process that includes a makeup remover and then a cleanser.

Removing makeup involves taking care to remove all traces of your daytime cosmetics. Your nighttime face cleansing routine should be a double-cleansing process.

  • Use a gentle remover or an oil based product to remove makeup as they work better than soap.
  • Gently use the oil cleanser around your eyes to remove all traces of eyeliner and mascara.
  • After removal, wash your face with lukewarm water using the steps outlined above.
  • Rinse your face with cool water and pat dry.
  • Apply your nighttime moisturizer.

If you regularly wear makeup, this will become a daily routine that will help keep your face soft and supple.


Knowing how to clean your face like the experts is the first step in retaining that youthful, dewy look that you had as a young person. Ask your dermatologist or skin care specialist for recommendations on ideal gentle cleansers for your skin. Add a moisturizer, and you’re ready to face the day.

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