How To Wash Your Face: A Step By Step Guide To A Clear Complexion

How To Wash Your Face _ Guide to a Clear Complexion

When did something so simple as washing your face, turn into a complicated ordeal? Multi-step regimes are all the rage and the world of serums has exploded. Yet, here we are back to the basics of how to wash your face – the right way! 

Cleansing your skin is the foundation of any skincare routine. It is essential to removing dirt, bacteria, and makeup that can lead to pimples and irritation. You can apply all of the serums and masks you want, but they won’t work well if applied over dirty skin. 

Unfortunately, for most people washing your face is more than just splashing some water and scrubbing. In fact, how you wash your face, what products you are using, and how often can make a huge difference in your skin. Below is a step by step guide on how to wash your face and getting that clear complexion! 

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Washing your face twice a day is optimal especially if acne is an issue. You should wash your face after any heavy sweating as well, but be mindful that over-washing your face can be counterintuitive and strip your skin of the oils that produce a healthy ph. It may even cause your oil glands to produce more oil which will then cause more breakouts. I, personally would try to time a workout that would cause heavy sweating in the morning, so that you are only washing your face in the morning and at night. 

A lot of people suggest, just splashing your face with water in the morning, instead of using a cleanser. However, I find that when I am using a cleanser twice a day, my skin looks its best and absorbs any product better. Also, remember that your skin may get dirtier than you think while you sleep. I know that I don’t change my pillowcase each night and that most nights I find that Chubby (my cat) has snuggled up against my face or I am cuddling against Hunter while I sleep. As much as I love my cat and husband, oils on skin and fur can lead to a dull complexion with acne. 

What Facial Cleanser Should You Be Using?

This is where knowing your skin type can be incredibly helpful. However, that in itself can be another post. Look for a cleanser that is gentle on your skin and non-abrasive. A great place to start is Cetaphil. It is a gentle cream cleanser that is fragrance-free. I have been using the Revision Brightening wash and I love it! It has salicylic and glycolic acid which helps remove dead skin, brighten dark spots and keep my blackheads and pimples away. I do have dry skin though so I use a hydrating serum and a good moisturizer after.

If you are new to skincare routines, start with this post here. It will be a huge help to you! I go into more detail about cleansers, toners, serums, and more!

What Is Double Cleansing And Should You Be Doing It?

Double cleansing is as simple as it sounds. You cleanse your face twice at night! The first cleanse involves using an oil cleanser or micellar water to break down makeup, SPF, and oils.  Then you wash your face using a water-based cleanser that removes bacteria, dead skin, sweat, and environmental pollutants. 

By doing a double cleanse, you are ensuring that your skin is the cleanest it can possibly be. This allows for serums and moisturizers to absorb better while fighting blemishes and dullness. There has also been a study that air pollutants speed up the aging process (source) and the best way to rid your skin or air pollutants and toxins is to wash it at night. 

Truthfully though, if you have days where you don’t wear makeup and didn’t use an SPF, then double cleansing your face maybe be a bit much.

Should You Wash Your Face With Hands Or A Brush

Facial brushes are all the rage in the beauty department! But do you really need one? Let’s back up a step. Whatever you are using to wash your face should be clean – whether that be your fingertips or a brush. So please PLEASE don’t use a washcloth, which is just a bacteria feeding ground plus washcloths are too abrasive on your face. 

These tools have become popular because they really do help you get a deep clean, exfoliate, and personally, I find that it helps with blood circulation. However, you have to make sure that your brush remains clean! This is why I would recommend a facial brush like the PMD Beauty or the Foreo Luna. They both have silicone bristles which are antibacterial. Be wary of brush heads (think Clarosonic) due to the removable parts and hair-like bristles that can harbor bacteria. 

Overall, you definitely don’t need a facial brush to have amazing skin – your fingers will do just fine. However, I understand the lure and they do make washing your face a spa-like experience, but make sure to invest in high-quality skincare before diving in to buy a facial brush.

How Long Should You Wash Your Face?

You need to be washing your face for at least 30 seconds, but not longer than 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remember that a cleanser is not a mask and should never be left on for more than 2 minutes. 

When I double cleanse my face, I normally was with my oil cleanser for 30 seconds and then my water-based cleanser for 30 seconds. 

How To Wash Your Face: Step By Step Guide

1. Pull your hair out of your face

It may seem obvious, but then again this is a step by step guide 😉 Besides you want your main concentration to be on your face and not your hair that keeps getting in the way.

2. Wash Your Hands

If there is one theme that keeps reappearing in this post it’s CLEANLINESS. You are doing you face a disservice by washing it will dirty hands. You don’t want the bacteria or germs from your hands to transfer to your face during the cleansing process.

3. Begin with the double cleanse using an oil-based cleanser

If you don’t wear makeup you can skip this step.

Start with a teaspoon size of the product and gently work it into your skin without water. If you are using the One Love Organics Vitamin B Oil – I normally use half a pump and then add a little more if I need it. 

Use small circles starting inside and working your way out. I do gently take off my eye makeup with the cleansing oil and I only use my ring finger to breakdown the mascara and eye makeup. 

Add lukewarm water to help emulsive the cleanser and massage skin to help further breakdown makeup. 

Rinse with lukewarm water

4. Next, use a water-based cleanser

Add a teaspoon of cleanser directly to your face and once again massage in small circular motions. 

Add lukewarm water and continue to massage making sure to include your neck. 

Finally, rinse off the rest of the cleanser. 

5. Pat your skin dry

Make sure to use a clean towel and pat your face dry. Try not to pull or tug at your skin as that can cause damage over time. 

5 More Tips For Proper Face Washing

1.Wash your face in the shower! This also gives you a chance to not only wash your face but to pay special attention to your neck and decollete! Just make sure the water isn’t too hot or it can cause dryness. 

2. If you are still dealing with regular breakouts, try patting your face dry with a different clean washcloth each night, and don’t forget to change your pillowcase often! Also just as a reminder, try not to touch your face. The bacteria and germs on your hands can easily on your face leading to pimples. This applies to your makeup brushes as well. Clean brushes at least once a week.

3.  Try using a purifying face mask once or twice a week. I love this one and can really tell a difference after each use! 

How To Use & Apply A Face Mask

First, start by cleansing your face, depending on whether or not you are wearing makeup, it may need to be a double cleanse. Once you pat your face dry after the final wash, apply the mask with either your fingertips or a clean makeup brush (large concealer brushes are great for this.)  Read the directions for how long to apply the mask. Then gently wash off with warm water. Continue with the rest of your skincare routine. 

4. Stay away from sulfates. You probably have heard by now that sulfates are not good for. Sulfates can cause dehydration in your skin so stay away from ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate to ammonium laureth sulfate.  

5. Try sleeping on a silk pillowcase at night. Silk reduces the pulling and tugging on your delicate facial skin while your sleep causing fewer wrinkles. It also doesn’t absorb your moisturizers and serums like a cotton pillowcase. 

I hope this guide on how to wash your face was beneficial and if you have any other questions or comments, leave them below! 

All My Love,

Michelle Marie






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