Washing your face seems like the least complicated part of your beauty routine as rub in and rinse off may sound self-explanatory. However, there are some common habits that can cause a whole list of skin woes, including dryness, irritation, oiliness, and breakouts. So, keep on reading for the 6 beauty mistakes you didn’t realize you were making so you’ll keep your skin beautiful and healthy.
- You wash your face too often.
According to Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor at Yale’s department of dermatology, people with dry skin might only need to cleanse once a day, while those with more oily skin should wash twice a day at max. If you do wash just once, make it at night rather than in the morning. Take note that washing your face too often could dry out your skin, making it produce even more oil to compensate. “You wash off the day’s grime and pollutants that accumulate during the day,” she says. “Not only does sun give aging, but pollutants do as well.”
- You use the wrong products for your skin type.
According to Dr. Gohara, you must never substitute a soap-based product for a non-soap cleanser. “Soap-based products strip the skin of natural oils and leave skin irritated, dry, and more likely to be inflamed, while non-soap cleansers hydrate the skin and replenish the skin barrier, so the skin is much more healthy,” she says. While foaming washes work well for oily skin, a more hydrating cleanser is better for dry skin. Those with oily skin can benefit from alpha-hydroxy acids or salicylic acids, but those ingredients can be too harsh on people without oily skin. “If you have delicate skin, you don’t want something irritating. If you’re acne-prone, a mild wash will only work if you use an astringent later,” says Michele Green, a New York-based cosmetic dermatologist.
- You exfoliate too often or you use the wrong water temperature.
An exfoliating cleanser can slough away dead skin cells and leave the skin glowing, but daily exfoliation can lead to dryness and flakiness. That squeaky clean feeling will lead to irritation,” says Ivy Lee, a dermatologist based in Pasadena, California. So, limit exfoliation to just once a week. Also, water that’s too hot will dry your skin, while cold water won’t let your pores open. “Tepid water is the best water temperature, not too hot and not too cold,” says Green.
- You rub in your cleanser too vigorously.
You don’t need to scrub aggressively to get rid of impurities on your skin as gently rubbing it in will do the trick without being too rough on your skin. For the most effective wash, rub in your cleanser using circles that go outward to stimulate blood flow which will plumps up skin and primes it to sit in an upward position instead of sagging. Also, avoid rubbing a towel against your face which will only remove the lipids, proteins, and fatty acids that protect your skin from irritation. “It’s better to pay dry to keep that barrier intact,” says Dr. Gohara.
- You use facial wipes or washcloth that isn’t enough.
You may stash some wipes in your gym bag, but give your face a full wash with cleanser and water when you can. “They don’t clean the skin and they have chemicals,” says Dr. Green. Also, you should change the towel you use to dry your face every couple of days to keep bacteria at bay as moistness can accumulate bacteria. Opt for a soft washcloth that can be a good way to apply cleanser as an overly abrasive one will be tough on your skin.
- You wait to moisturize or you let products build up.
The best time to apply creams and serums is right after you’re done washing your face, so don’t wait to put them on. “Your face is the cleanest it’ll be, and you’re locking in the hydration from the water,” Dr. Gohara says. On the other hand, if you don’t adequately scrub off face products or makeup, or you don’t rinse your cleanser off thoroughly your skin could get irritated and break out. By taking these things into consideration, you’ll be able to take care of your skin and get that perfectly healthy glow.