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Are You Making These Common Cleansing Mistakes?

Washing your face is the simplest task. It sounds so straight-forward. Use a little cleanser, scrub a little and rinse. Done!

It’s the most common and easiest step but you’ve been making mistakes. No one really tells you about this, there’s a right way to do it so your skin will benefit and look even better.

To get the most out of your cleansing routine, it takes a little more care and consideration. Several factors play a part, like when, how often and what type of face wash you use.

“Proper facial cleansing prevents acne breakouts, can improve skin health, and may even reduce skin inflammation,” explains Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. 

These are some common mistakes you should avoid when washing your face.


Mistake #1: Skipping Either the AM or PM Cleanse

It’s best to cleanse your face twice a day. It’s so easy to feel like you don’t really need to wash your wash again the same day but there’s a reason for both.

In the evening, you’re cleaning up all the dirt, pollution, sweat, oil you gathered from your day. In the morning, you’re cleaning up the germs you gathered from the pillowcase (even if you religiously wash it). Also, the oils from your hair and saliva as you toss and turn at night can cause skin irritation, inflammation and acne breakouts.


Mistake #2: Using The Wrong Temperature Water

Hot water is not your friend. It may feel cozy to take a hot shower especially when it’s cold outside. However, you’re stripping away all the oil barrier your skin needs to protect itself.

“Extreme temperatures, such as hot, steamy showers or hot water, can cause dilation of blood vessels and breakage of delicate tissue,” warns Dr. Zeichner. 

Using hot water will dry out your skin, make it flaky and itchy. Stick to lukewarm water for your skin.


Mistake #3: Removing Make Up

I’m guilty of this one as well, completely removing make up. You think you might have taken off all the make up with one cleanse but often that doesn’t happen.

In the evening, you can double cleanse with an oil cleanser first then using a mild cleanser. To really get a clean skin.

Using only make up wipes isn’t sufficient. Although, they can remove make up and dirt. They leave behind residue. You can use them first to remove make up then rinse away residue and residual oils with a gentle cleanser.

Extra tip: Use the right cleanser. If you have sensitive skin, stick to a hydrating cleanser. If you have oily skin or acne prone skin, use foaming cleanser and for dry skin use a cream cleanser.


Mistake #4: Wiping Your Face with a shower Towel

When you get out of the shower, do you wipe your face and body with the same towel? Even though you just cleaned your body, different microorganisms live in different areas of your body. 

Having a separate wash cloth for your face is the best. And frequently washing your wash cloth so it doesn’t collect dirt and mold is a great practice.


Mistake #5: Washing Your Face Too Often (Or too long)

It is ideal to wash your face twice a day but more than that is unnecessary and harmful. With the exception of after workouts or excessive sweating.

“Not only does too much washing lead to dry, irritated skin, but it can actually lead to the skin paradoxically producing too much oil.” says Jerome Garden, M.D., director of the Physicians Laser and Dermatology Institute in Chicago.

Some assume the longer they spend cleaning their face, the cleaner it’ll be. About 20-30 seconds is more than enough. Once you’ve built up a nice lather, rinse and pat dry with a clean, dry towel.

Reminder, don’t forget the T-zone (nose and forehead) and the U-zone around the jawline. People usually ignore them.


Have you been making any of these mistakes while washing your face? I know I was and I would constantly wonder why my skin wasn’t looking its best.

Your facial skin is the most sensitive area of your whole body so make sure to be a little more gentle.