This post may contain affiliate links. Any sales made through such links will reward me a small commission – at no extra cost for you!
Washing your face is one of the essential skincare steps. Face wash removes all the impurities, bacteria, makeup and excess sebum collected throughout the day. It maintains your skin pure, healthy and fresh looking and prevents acne, dullness and other skin imperfections.
And it is quite a straightforward process, isn’t it? You rub some cleanser into your skin, rinse it off and you are done.
Except that, if you start thinking about it, several questions will inevitably emerge. Like, how often you should wash your face? Or for how long to leave the cleanser on? What even makes a good face wash? And what’s the deal with double cleansing?
So, to clear out some of the confusion and help you get the maximum out of this so important skincare step, here’s how to wash your face properly and get that beautiful, clear, healthy skin…
How to Wash Your Face Properly?
Start by splashing some lukewarm-to-warm water to your face. When your face is wet, apply a small amount of your face wash. Using deep massaging, but gentle circular motions, spread it all over your face.
Unless the instructions on your face wash say otherwise, you should leave the product on for 1 – 2 minutes. That is how long most face washes need to properly cleanse your skin. But you shouldn’t leave it for longer than that, or it may start to dry out and irritate the skin.
After 1 – 2 minutes, wash the cleanser off with a generous amount of lukewarm water. Make sure to thoroughly remove it, because sometimes even trace residue is enough to mess up with your skin.
Always follow with a moisturizer! If all you use is a face wash and face moisturizer, apply the moisturizer while your skin is still slightly damp (not wet). If you use other products too, like toner or serum, pat dry your face with a towel. Apply those other products first, then quickly follow with a moisturizer.
How Often To Wash Your Face?
This is a bit tricky question, because there is no straight answer. If you are anything like me, you’ll hate to hear this, but – how often you should wash your face depends on your skin.
Not even on your skin type (though oily skin tends to need more washing in most cases). Literally – on your skin’s individual needs.
For years and years we used to assume we need to use a face wash every single morning and evening. And that does work for some people. But doesn’t work for many others.
Many girls have discovered that they can skip their face wash in the morning. And not only they don’t break out – they actually get better results, a brighter, dewier and better looking skin!
So what do they do in the morning? Well, for some, just a quick splash of water before moisturizer will do. Others feel more comfortable with a swipe of micellar water.
There are also in-between cases – girls who use a face wash in the morning, but a very gentle one, usually all-natural or even homemade. Something that would never be strong enough to deal with all the makeup, sweat and debris in the evening. But it is more than enough for mornings, when your skin is already more or less clean.
But please, don’t try and guess in which category you fit in. Take the effort to experiment and try it all out. A lot of people get astonished by how much their skin changes after figuring out this one just quite right.
What’s The Deal with Double Cleansing Method?
What is double cleansing? As the name implies – it means to clean your skin twice in order to get it perfectly clear before going to bed.
The first cleans is about taking off makeup and other oil based products. For this step, you can use a makeup remover, micellar water, cleansing balms or my favorite – a cleansing oil. It is important though to choose a very gentle product, so that you can follow it with an actual face wash and still not dry out your skin.
The second cleans – your face wash – should remove any residue debris, as well as the traces of the first “cleanser”.
How to Choose the Right Face Wash?
When it comes to finding a face wash you’d be happy with, there’s only one rule that really matters – it has to work for your skin. Your face wash needs to be strong enough to remove all impurities and excess sebum, but not too harsh so that it doesn’t dry out or irritate your skin.
You can skip the products that contain alcohol, a lot of fragrance or too foaming formulas. These are usually way too harsh. Instead, try to find a gentle, hypoallergenic face wash that is suitable for your skin type.
Cocamidopropyl betaine or caprylic triglyceride should be pretty good mild sulfate-free surfactants that won’t irritate your skin. AHAs can also work quite well for all skin types, especially if you don’t exfoliate your face otherwise.
If you have dry skin, try some gentle creamy cleanser that won’t disturb your skin’s lipid barrier. Gel formulas that contain salicylic acid, clay or tea tree oil are usually more suitable for oily and acne prone skin.
If your skin is very sensitive or you’ve tried out a ton of cleansers with no luck, it might be best to just go to a dermatologist and ask for a professional advice, tailored to your skin’s specific needs.