Face Washing 101 – The Many Facets to Having Great Skin

We are all so different in terms of our skin, from what color our pigmentation is, to whether we will have freckles, moles, or even patchy spots. Some of us are born with port-wine stain birthmarks, and others have tan colored birthmarks that show up in places that are just plain awkward. Some of us get acne constantly, even into adulthood, while others are blessed with the creamy glowing complexion of a forest sorceress. Regardless how you were born, or what condition your skin is in right this moment, there’s tips you can gain from learning the best way to take care of it. For those suffering from dermal issues, products like Skin Whitening Forever can make a drastic impact on the ability to feel better about yourself and look better too.

According to the AAD (American Association of Dermatology) face washing is recommended only twice daily and after sweating. They say that you should wash as soon as possible after sweating, to avoid clogging the pores. They also suggest to use a gentle and non-abrasive cleanser containing no alcohol, then to follow with wetting your face using lukewarm water. Use the cleanser lightly with fingertips only, as washcloths or any other fabric can serve to irritate the skin. They stress that you should never scrub at your skin on your face, this increases irritation, and is the opposite of what you’re going for. Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel, don’t rub!  At this stage you can apply moisturizer of choice if you have dry skin or itchy skin, but be gentle near your eyes so you don’t pull too hard on the delicate and thin skin layers near your eyes.

Here’s some of the biggest mistakes most people make when approaching face washing protocols:

Bad Products – The best cleanser for your face will be something as natural as you can find. The more chemicals it contains the less likely it will be that it’s going to be healthy for you to put on your most delicate skin. Your skin should not feel tight, irritated or squeaky after you wash off your cleanser, but neither should it feel clogged or oily. Whatever you do, never ever ever, use bar soap, no matter what brand it is, bar soap is far too drying and not meant for facial skin. Whatever cleanser you end up using, be sure you wash it off completely, because any residue left over can lead to dryness, or clogged pores.

Clean Those Hands! – Amazingly, many people figure that if they’re washing their faces, the soap or cleansing agents from the face wash will clean anything from their hands that has accumulated during the day, but that would be grossly inaccurate. According to Dr. Jeanette Graf M.D., Assistant clinical professor of dermatology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, your hands must be perfectly clean and dry before going through the ritual to clean your face or you’re only placing the built up dirt and residue from the day onto your face which you’re trying to clean, which is completely counter-productive. Further, your fingers have whorls and circles that make up your fingerprints, these indentations hold a good amount of dirt and bacteria surprisingly, and your hands don’t need to look dirty to BE dirty.

Don’t Overdo It – You may find that washing your face more than once or twice a day is actually too much depending on your skin type. If you’re over-washing your face, it ironically creates an overproduction of oil which leads to more of a problem than the one you’re looking to solve, or at worst becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. No more than twice a day is necessary with some able to go without washing it even less. If you haven’t worn any makeup at all, or put on sunscreen, or if you haven’t done anything that caused you to sweat, don’t bother with cleanser at all nightly and just give your face a rinse with some lukewarm water. Letting your skin naturally hydrate itself and produce oils to keep it healthy is a GOOD thing. Too many products and over-washing means you’re not just clearing away impurities and buildup throughout the day, you’re also stripping your skin’s natural protective oils. Eventually this leads to a breakdown of the top layer of skin that is needed to stay soft, supple and give that look of agelessness. That same topmost layer of skin is the protective barrier against acne causing bacteria as well, so when we’re scrubbing it away constantly, we’re inviting in acne as well.

Water Temperature Matters – We have all probably been taught and heard that hot water is what opens up our pores, and that cold water closes them. Though we’re not sure exactly where this bit of bad information came from it has become ridiculously pervasive bad advice, and doesn’t have a single solitary particle of truth to it. As with most things passed down from generation to generation, it was probably a guess made by old science that just stuck around. Think about what we’d still be doing if old science stuck around as much as some of the things we still believe? People used to get frontal lobotomies with a drill into their forehead to cure them of dementia. While hot versus cold water and pore opening and closing is nowhere near as grisly, the advice is just as bad. Pores aren’t muscles, they don’t have the ability to open and close. Hot water might feel better, but it can chase away those good oils your skin has created and needs for protection which leads to over-drying or the over-production of sebum. Always use lukewarm or tepid water to wash gently.

Don’t Fear Oil – Just as with other old advice, it was thought once and for a long time that oils clogged pores and were the bane of anyone’s facial health. Experts now say that all skin types can benefit from oil cleansing, even people who have naturally oily or acne-prone skin! Coconut oils and olive oils are high on the list for natural oils but things like sesame oil are also great as well. The reasons they work is because oil dissolves other oils, the right ones help to flush out the dirt and bacteria that have settled, as well as help to heal the skin and create balance where your natural skin oils may not have gotten to. There are many cleansing oil options out there within products, you want to look for things like apricot kernel oil, grape seed oil, and nothing that contains any exfoliants within. If you find one oil causes more problems than it helps, try another. Olive and coconut tend to work for some, but not all. Just massage the oil gently onto your face and wipe away with a super soft microfiber cloth that has been dipped in lukewarm water. Be sure to gently wipe away all the oil, and do not cleanse thereafter or you’ve undone all the good you did by oil cleansing.

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