How to use a skin cleanser and see results

In a previous column, I explained how to choose a cleanser based on your skin type and needs. In this article, I will share the steps to take to use your cleanser properly and see the best results. Surprisingly, many people are not washing their face correctly, so it is worth reviewing. Otherwise, your skin may not be getting as clean as you might think.

1. Start by washing your hands so that any dirt or bacteria that is on your hands does not get transferred to your face when you cleanse.

2. Remove your makeup with a cleansing wipe. Use circular motions to remove all of the makeup from your skin. You may need to use more than one wipe for this step.

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3. Dampen your fingertips, then put about a quarter-size drop of cleanser in your hand. Use a circular motion to gently rub the cleanser onto your skin. Be sure to cleanse your neck and chin area, too, especially if you apply makeup to these areas.

4. Make sure you remove all the cleanser. Cleansers are not meant to have long-term contact with your skin, so make sure you thoroughly rinse your face after cleansing to remove all of the product. If you have sensitive skin that reacts to tap water, you can try using a special water like Vichy, La Roche Posay, Pellegrino, or Evian to wash your face.

Tap water has all kinds of things in it that can affect your skin, such as fluoride, calcium, and magnesium. Here in Miami, our water has high levels of chlorine, which can irritate some people. You only need to worry about this if you have sensitive skin, though. Otherwise, rinsing your cleanser off with regular tap water is fine.

5. Gently pat your face dry with a soft towel. Avoid vigorously rubbing your face, as this can cause redness and irritation.

Cleansing tips to remember

  • Wash every night, no matter what. Everyone, no matter their skin type, needs to wash their face every evening before going to bed to remove SPF, makeup, oil, and debris that can clog pores and interfere with the cell renewal that happens at night.
  • Some skin types can skip morning cleansing. Dry types can skip cleansing in the morning if you tend to flake or have sensitive, reactive skin, but oily types need to start with a fresh, oil-free face in the morning.
  • Sensitive skin types need to avoid using scrubs, loofahs, and facial brushes. If you have one or more subtypes of sensitive skin — acne, rosacea, stinging or burning, and frequent rashes — never use an exfoliating scrub, bath loofah, or facial cleansing brush. These can cause irritation and inflammation, making your skin condition worse.

Summary

Using the right cleanser and cleansing your face properly are two crucial steps in your skin care regimen to get and maintain healthy, beautiful skin.

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