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How to Properly Wash Your Face?

Most of us assume that cleansing is as basic as brushing your teeth. But with all the various skin-treatment options, such as lotions, milks, foaming mousses, oils, wipes, motorized brushes and anti-aging ingredients to consider, there’s a lot more to it than soap and water. Look for cleanser ingredients such as products with antioxidants, alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids or vitamin C, which also help with fine line wrinkles.

You can’t just wash and run, at least, that isn’t the best recommended daily face wash routine. It’s more of a two-step process. Remove your makeup before you wash your face because many cleansers can’t take off concealer or foundation completely, especially around the eyes and nose. Use an oil-based cream, an emollient wipe, or a cleansing oil to dissolve stubborn sunscreen and makeup. Follow with lukewarm water and a dime-size amount of cleanser and look for the ingredients cocamidopropyl betaine or caprylic triglyceride, which are sulfate-free, on your fingers or a clean, damp washcloth. Rinse and pat dry with a soft paper towel or dry wash cloth. Always wash your face after a workout to prevent breakouts or after a night out with makeup, and wash excessively oily skin morning and night. For very dry or sensitive skin limit yourself to cleansing once daily in the evening.

You don’t need to try closing your pores by massaging your face to increase circulation or splashing with cold water because it won’t work. Pores don’t open and close. In fact, extreme hot or cold can exacerbate problems like rosacea and redness. What does work well for your skin is a mild steam to help soften hardened oil in pores, which is why shower steam can help while you use your cleanser.  A natural and healthy skin remedy is exercise, to boost circulation- so long as you wash post-sweat session.

In most cases, it doesn’t matter what kind of skin you have as long as the ingredients list doesn’t contain fragrance, which can be irritating; parabens, which are potentially toxic preservatives; or harsh soap that tends to over dry the skin . Cleansers are more of a personal preference than anything. With the exception of people with dry skin who may prefer formulas with added moisturizers, like glycerin or shea butter and those with skin that tends to get oilier, and may prefer ingredients that will clear their face up more without drying them out.

Scrub and exfoliate the skin in a routine that alternates with a gentler cleanser that contains salicylic- or glycolic-acid cleanser is gentler. The grainy scrubs offer antiaging benefits and help prevent breakouts by removing dead skin to make way for newer, fresher skin layers. Alternate with your regular face-wash routine. Try starting with three times a week and then adjust according to how your skin looks and feels on short and long-term scales.

You don’t need to use a brush to your skin every single day in order to let your skin regenerate itself. A brush removes oil, dirt and dead skin better than your hands can and it tends to be less aggressive than most exfoliating cleansers or scrubs. Although, if you’re applying ingredients such as retinoids or acids, it’s not a necessary face washing step to use every night. Too much exfoliation can cause inflammation Make sure to rinse and air-dry after use in order to keep your brush bacteria-free and also replace the brush head every three months.

Remember: anything that’s expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s effective for you. Save your pricier ingredients, like retinol or antioxidants, for leave-on products instead of washing them down the drain because they’re most effective concentrated on your skin.

About author - Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar

Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD, FAACS, is the founder and medical director of the New York Cosmetic, Skin, & Laser Surgery Center. Dr. Rokhsar is a graduate of Harvard College and NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Rokhsar is double board certified in dermatology and micrographic dermatologic surgery, being one of the few select dermatologists in the country who is also fellowship trained in laser surgery. A researcher and innovator, Dr. Rokhsar is the creator of the non-surgical nose job and has been instrumental in the research and development of laser systems such as the Fraxel, CO2, Mirady, Vbeam, Themitight, and Ulthera devices. An Associate Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC, Dr. Rokhsar actively teaches the cosmetic dermatology clinic to the resident at Mount Sinai. An expert injector of fillers, and a trainer for many companies, patients fly in from around the world to see Dr. Rokhsar in his Garden City and Manhattan offices in New York.

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