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Dermatologists Explain How to Wash Your Face (the Right Way)

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Instead, he recommends using gentle cleansers that respect the delicate balance of your skin. If you still want to keep it simple with a bar or solid cleanser, try using Dove Sensitive Skin Beauty Bar ($13, Target) or the Lush Sleepy Face ($6, Lush) solid cleansers. Not only are these gentle and easy to use, they’re also great for traveling because you don’t have to think about liquid TSA regulations.

Have a separate product just for exfoliating.

It may seem like using a scrubby exfoliant is an easy way to knock out two skin-care steps in one. But the truth is that, unless you’re trying to manage acne with something like a salicylic acid-containing cleanser, you probably don’t want to be using an exfoliant every day—and there are almost certainly better cleansers out there that will be kinder to your skin.

Both chemical exfoliants (like salicylic acid and glycolic acid) and physical exfoliants (like scrubs and motorized brushes) can be very effective at removing dead skin cells, dirt, and other gunk that can clog pores. “Exfoliating can help remove dead cells that accumulate on the surface of the skin to improve skin radiance,” Dr. Zeichner explains. But when overused, they can actually disrupt the delicate skin barrier that keeps your face hydrated and protected, causing irritated, flaky, dry skin. So, most of us should not exfoliate more than a few times per week. And those with sensitive or dry skin may only want to exfoliate once or twice a month.

Only wash your face as often as you have to.

Ideally you should be washing your face twice a day (once in the morning and once at night) as well as after workouts or any other excessive sweating. But that’s the maximum.

“Washing your face more than twice a day to remove germs is not a real necessity for people, unless they are prone to skin infections,” says Dr. Garden. “Not only does too much washing lead to dry, irritated skin, but it can actually lead to the skin paradoxically producing too much oil.” So, the vast majority of us should stick to the twice-a-day routine—and if your skin is ultra-sensitive, just use water in the A.M.

But, yes, it’s crucial to cleanse your face after a workout. “When you work out, sweat and dirt accumulate on the skin,” Dr. Zeichner says. “If you forget to cleanse your face afterwards, it can increase your risk of developing acne breakouts.” So the next time you pack your gym bag, don’t forget your face wash.

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Use your moisturizer quickly after cleansing.

The timing of your skin-care steps—especially moisturizing—can make a big difference in how effective they are. Most moisturizers contain both humectant ingredients (which draw water into the skin) and occlusive ingredients (which help seal that hydration into the skin). So, applying your moisturizer while your skin is still a bit damp from cleansing—not fully wet—helps keep even more of that moisture in. (If you have acne, you still need to moisturize, by the way— just make sure to find a dermatologist-approved moisturizer for acne-prone skin.)

“If you wait even a few minutes, the surface cells dehydrate and are actually harder to moisturize,” Ellen Marmur, M.D., dermatologist in New York City, tells SELF. Of course, that might be a little bit difficult if you have a few other steps in between cleansing and moisturizing. But if you can swing it, you’ll give your skin an extra boost of hydration.

And, remember that you should always be wearing a daily sunscreen with broad spectrum protection and at least SPF 30. If your daytime moisturizer doesn’t have that, apply a sunscreen on top. “The SPF will help protect all the hard work you’ve been putting into your skin care,” Dr. Garden says.

You may need a makeup remover in addition to your cleanser.

You probably know the perils of falling asleep with a full face of makeup (acne and dullness, for instance). But your gentle cleanser may not be up to the task of removing all that makeup, especially if your products contain mineral SPF ingredients or oil.

Source: Self

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