Face Washing 101

HealthScope®: We all know that removing makeup and cleansing your skin is important. But how many times each day should you wash your face to get it thoroughly clean?
FW1Salli Katz: I would say regardless of skin type, you should cleanse your face twice a day, unless you work outside sweating or are exposed to environmental pollutants more than the average person. Over-cleansing can dry your skin and if you have an acne issue, it can cause skin to overproduce oil, making acne worse. In the evening, instead of a harsh cleanser, I use cleansing pads and just warm water. There’s a product called micellar water, which is a natural way to remove the makeup and oils from your skin. It’s specially formulated with a pH that helps break down the skin’s oils without having to use a soap.
HS: Will any water temperature do when washing your face, or is there a certain temperature you should always use?
SK: The water should be lukewarm. Warm water helps remove dirt but it will also dry your skin, so you don’t want it to be hot.

HS: Speaking of dry skin, is there a certain type of cleanser that works best for dry or oily skin types?
SK: If you have dry, mature, or compromised skin, you would need to use a gentle cream cleanser. For normal or oily skin, you’ll want to use a gel that has more of a lather to it.
FW5HS: What types of ingredients should you look to get in your facewash? What ingredients should you avoid?
SK: I would avoid an astringent. The fewer ingredients the better and water should be the first ingredient in the facewash you choose. I’d also look for a product with some type of an aloe vera, which is cleansing for the skin but is also healing. If you need a deeper cleanse, a benzoyl peroxide can help with acne. An exfoliator with a micropolish will provide gentle friction to exfoliate outer skin cells, but be sure not to exfoliate more than one to two times per week. Over-exfoliation can lead to abrasions and increases the appearance of fine lines.

HS: Once you have your water temperature set and your product chosen, is there anything else you need for an effective wash? Should you use a washcloth or a loofa?
SK: Typically, I prefer just the cleanser and my hands. If you use something like a pad, it can be too strong on the skin and can pull, tug, and stretch the connector tissue. If you’re just using your hands, there is enough of a natural glide that you won’t pull your skin all over the place.

HS: You’ve washed and dried your face. What products should you use next to complete the process?
SK: When you use a cleanser it removes all of the surface acidity, which is the skin’s protective barrier. To fix this, use a toner that helps reset the skin’s pH. Then add a serum or moisturizer. I use moisturizer every time I put water on my face. Water is acidic, so it’s naturally going to take some of those waxes and protective barriers off of the face. Choose a moisturizer with a broad spectrum sunscreen of at least 20 SPF already built in.