Face Washing 101
Lather, soap and towel-dry may work well for cleaning dirty dishes but it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to your face. Medical aesthetician Giselle Curcio gives you The Skiny on proper face cleaning.
Cleansing Tools vs. Bare Hands
If your skin gets red and irritated easily, ditch abrasive tools such as cleansing brushes, rotary brushes, exfoliating mitts, and wash cloths. They can not only lead to more aggravation or diffused redness on an already reactive skin type, but the texture of a washcloth can, at times be rough, and this strips away at the natural barrier protection of the skin. This can potentially leave the skin vulnerable to damage by external aggressors. Without the barrier protection, it becomes difficult for the skin to retain moisture, for that fresh dewy glow. The takeaway: Bare hands for fragile faces.
Choose the right cleanser
Tempted to use that shower gel or body soap while you’re in the shower? Don’t do it! Not all cleansers are created equal. Body soaps and shower gel formulations are formulated for skin on the body which is thicker; using these on facial skin can eventually cause dehydration and irritations such as breakouts or excessive flaking.
Better bet? Whether you are dry, oily, normal or combination, choose a cleanser that contains do-good ingredients, and the right texture to keep your skin comfortable.
Our resident dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett has two great cleansers in her eponymous line, Kellett Skincare, that work with specific skin types.
Receive 20% off any Kellett Skincare cleanser with checkout code “theskiny.”
The 5 Essential Steps to Face Cleaning
Step 1: Wash your hands. Tie hair back with a headband or barrette and wash your hands thoroughly.
WHY? Throughout the day we accumulate dirt, debris and more so, bacteria all over our skin, including our hands. By squeezing out that cleanser onto your hands, rubbing them together, and applying it to your face, the bacteria has now caught a first class ticket to the face, which is a euphoric habitat for them, as the skin possesses natural oils and dead skin cells which they feed off of.
Step 2: Remove heavy makeup. If you wear thick foundation and water-proof or very pigmented eye makeup, use a bi-phase makeup remover (which contains an oil and water solution) to lift all traces of makeup right off the skin. Rinse with room temperature water.
WHY? Some cleansers may not be strong enough to remove makeup. Using a bi-phase makeup remover will ensure you get it all off; and they are especially beneficial for oily skin types because oil attracts oil. Oil sticks to an oily skin like glue, and traps anything and everything beneath it. Counterintuitive as it may seem, oily skin can use an oily product.
Step 3: Dispense a nickel-sized amount of cleanser onto the palm of your hand and blend together with both hands. Lather with a small amount of room temperature water to allow the product to spread evenly. Apply cleanser on the skin using gentle circular motions with your fingertips.
Step 4: Finish off with cool water. Change the temperature of the water to slightly cooler for the final splash.
WHY? Cool water will leave the skin feeling fresh and renewed. Conversely hot water may cause the skin to become dry and irritated, and once again tampering with that natural barrier protection.
Step 5: Gently pat face dry with a clean towel to avoid contamination of bacteria. Do not rub. While your skin is slightly damp, proceed to apply your most potent skin care products to maximize absorption of the active ingredients that it contains.