red sink with running faucet
By: Jeremy Levine

Washing your face is as natural as brushing your teeth. We do it regularly and often without thinking twice. So it comes as a surprise that this healthy habit could be detrimental depending on how we go about it. Feeling dry or oily? You may be making some of these face washing mistakes that are keeping you from a gorgeous, dewy glow.

  1. Don’t just grab the first face wash that claims “skin clearing” or “even complexion.” Read each label to make sure it is the right cleanser for your skin type. If one of the main active ingredients is saclicylic acid, then it will be effective in clearing acne. Most face cleansers will be able to remove makeup and dirt, but you want to make sure it’s not so powerful that it’s stripping your skin of all its oils. If you have dry skin, look for creamy products or hydrating lotion cleansers. If you have excessive oil, then you’ll need anti-inflammatory gel cleansers.
  2. We’ve mentioned the consequences of washing your hair in hot water, but it can be just as bad to wash your face in hot water. Hot water will dry out your face’s water supply leaving you with dry, rough skin. Instead, opt for lukewarm water.
  3. You may be exfoliating more than you realize. It is beneficial to exfoliate your skin every so often, but not daily. Exfoliating removes toxins and dead cells, but rough face washes force unwanted exfoliation on a daily basis. This can lead to microscopic tears in your skin that make it more prone to blemishes and irritation. Only use a face exfoliator one or two times a week.
  4. Even though washing our faces is something we’re used to doing regularly, we can often rush it out of boredom. For best results, make sure you massage the face wash on your skin for 40-60 seconds before rinsing.
  5. We’re guessing this thought has gone through your head: it doesn’t matter if my hands are clean because they’ll get clean from the face wash too. Not so much. Wash your hands before you even think about touching your face. Even if they feel clean, you can’t see the bacteria lurking on your fingers that can make it past the face wash and cling to your skin.
  6. Go easy on the towel rubbing. Pat your face with a clean towel to dry it after cleansing. Rubbing a towel on your face may feel good, but it pulls your skin and damages your elastin.
  7. Don’t forget to wash your face in the morning. Overnight new oils surface to your skin and a quick cleanse can help remove them for overall healthier skin.

Kate Wilke is a 200-RYT yoga instructor, meditation teacher, and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She teaches and works with clients in Nashville, TN. She believes in self-care in the form of colorful, healthy cooking, daily walks with her dog, and a glass of red wine. Follow her on Instagram — @meditatekate