What’s the Right way to Wash your Face?
This is part of our “Ask NuVista Plastic Surgery” series. Valerie, our office manager and aesthetician, answers your questions about beauty topics. Ask her a question by leaving a comment in the space to the right of this post, or leave her a comment on facebook.
Washing your face it the corner stone of a good skin care routine. For the most part washing your face once or twice a day is good protocol. Anymore than that can irritate your face leading to an over-production of oil and, ironically, a dirtier face. If you didn’t wear makeup, slather on sunscreen, or sweat much that day, skip the cleanser at night and try rinsing with tepid water. Giving your skin a break from the cycle of products is healthy from time to time.
How do you pick the right cleanser? The right cleanser should completely remove dirt, makeup, and grime, but not strip away too much of your skin’s natural oils or healthy cells. Find one that does the job and is neither too gentle (you should not have to wash twice or scrub hard to cleanse thoroughly), nor too harsh (it makes your skin red and irritated or tight after drying).
Exfoliation is a healthy practice to slough off dead skin cells, but moderation is key. A good skin care routine requires exfoliation, but cool it on grainy exfoliants like the ones with round seeds or stones fruit pits (sugar scrubs and fruit acids are a gentler pick) and stick to exfoliating two to three times per week max. Use your fingers instead of a washcloth when exfoliating to prevent pulling and tugging of the skin.
Skimping on rinsing leads to residue build-up, which can clog pores and dry out skin. Rinse thoroughly, even when you’re rushing in the morning or dog-tired at night. The jawline, hairline, and nose are the most commonly neglected spots, so show them some love!
Do your face a favor and avoid irritating ingredients such as fragrances, colorants, and synthetic preservatives such as parabens. Sodium lauryl sulfate is another one to sidestep—it’s commonly used as a surfactant to wash away debris, but is also a common cause of irritation and allergic reaction. Always read ingredient labels.
Pat, don’t rub. Rubbing can feel really good, but it tugs and pulls your skin, which puts your elastin at risk. And don’t just grab the nearest hand towel, used or not. Friends don’t let friends spread bacteria—especially all over a nice, clean face. Designate a clean, soft towel to blot your fresh face.
To maximize absorption and help seal in moisture, apply moisturizers immediately after cleansing while skin is still damp. The same goes for serums and special treatment products. Waiting until your skin is completely dry will make it harder for the active ingredients to sink into your skin and can cause skin to feel greasy or tacky.
Excellent skin care routines can become expensive. Shelling out a small fortune for face wash may not be the most prudent purchase. Look for one with simple, natural ingredients and save your dough for products that will actually stay on your skin and offer longer-term benefits, like serums and moisturizers. In our office we sell NIA 24 products, including a creamy cleanser. It is a good option that won’t break the bank and lasts a really long time.