Women go through hell and high water to achieve flawless skin that they can flaunt to the world.
I can only speak for myself, but I've “invested" tons of money into skincare products that promised to give me the skin of my dreams to no avail. As a teen, I boasted about acne skipping right past me, but here I am now, as an adult, trying to figure out why breakouts decided to start making an appearance now. After years of studying skin and trying to really comprehend what the hell it is that I'm doing wrong, it seems as if the answer lies in the initial step of my 10-step skin regimen--washing my face.
My skin used to be so perfect that I could just “wash" my face with a warm rag and the result would be a morning glow. Nowadays, for myself and many other women, it's not so easy. After many trials and tribulations - and much research - I finally understand why that first step - washing your face - is so important and what many of us have been doing completely wrong.
1. Not Washing Off Makeup Beforehand
When washing your face, makeup serves as a barrier that makes it almost impossible for your skin to get properly cleansed. While I hate to add another step to your twice-a-day regimen, removing makeup with a remover/cleanser specified for makeup then following up with a cleanser may be the better option. Makeup remover removes makeup while cleansers remove dirt and oil. In my own experience, 2-in-1 products have yet to do the job of both.
Too much of something is good for nothing. How many times have you heard this saying in your life? Plenty of times, I'm sure. Washing your face should be done 1 to 2 times a day and typically for 30 seconds to one minute at a time. You don't have to scrub for five minutes to get a proper cleanse.
3. Using Scalding Hot Water
I'm a big offender when it comes to this no-no. I hate the feeling of cold water unless it involves a swimsuit, sand, and 80 degrees+ weather. Hot water is actually very damaging to the skin and can dry it out. Cool water is your best friend when it comes to washing your face. If you take hot showers much like myself, avoid washing your face in the shower to resist the urge.
4. Sharing Clothes/Brushes
This is just asking for trouble and asking for that person's bacteria to now become your problem.
5. Using a Scrub as a Cleanser
I've been surprised by how many people I've had consultations with over the years that religiously use scrubs like the infamous St. Ives Apricot scrub to clean when it's meant to be a 2-3 times a week exfoliator. Using a scrub everyday is a bit much and disrupts the skin, causing a lot of damage, including the very thing you're trying to prevent: breakouts.
6. Not Completely Rinsing off the Skin
Soap, whether it's on your body or your face, is meant to be rinsed off for a reason. Make sure you take the time to really wash off all of your facial cleanser (even if you're in a rush) to eliminate the risks of breakouts or any other pesky skin issues that may arise.
7. Drying Your Face With a Towel
I have two words for you: air and drying. If you've read my previous article “Why I Am No Longer Using Washcloths & Loofahs To Shower" featured here on xoNecole, you know that towels and washcloths are a breeding ground for bacteria and therefore, it should be the last thing that you want to dry your face with. Air dry instead and save yourself an extra towel a day.
8. Not listening to your skin
My favorite thing about beauty and people in general is that what works for one person won't necessarily yield the same results for someone else. Even though having a one size fits all cheat sheet to great skin would be awesome, there is nothing more satisfying than when you find a product that works wonders for you. Listen to your skin's wants and needs instead of going off of someone else's.
If you're not properly washing your face, you've already lost the battle. Proper cleansing sets the tone for the rest of your regimen, including how effectively your other products absorb through your skin and work for you overall. Eliminate these face cleansing no-no's and watch how much your skin will thank you for it later.
Do you have some other tips for washing your face that we didn't mention hear? Share them below if you do!