6 Face-Washing Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Skin

Washing your face seems like one of those fundamentally easy things, doesn’t it? Grab your washcloth, turn on the water, add soap, lather your face up, rinse, leave it feeling squeaky clean, and you’re left with a glowing complexion. How could you mess this up, right? Wrong. If only it was that easy.

It turns out there are plenty of ways you could be screwing up the seemingly simple task of washing your face. Even more worrisome? Making these face washing mistakes could be doing more harm than good to your precious face. Breakouts, irritation, dryness, oily zones, all of these symptoms and more could be due to the way you’re washing your face. Yikes!

It’s also possible that your skin may not be experiencing any obvious symptoms from poor face washing techniques. It could be that your skin is just lacking that certain luster. Regardless of what your skin looks like, it may be time to reassess your cleansing methods. With a few tweaks in your daily cleanse, you can easily alleviate any accidental stressors to your face. Avoid these common face-washing mistakes, and perfect your daily routine for optimal glow and that fresh-faced feeling you’ve been striving for.


You Don't Wash Your Hands

Before grabbing your washcloth, wash your hands. "Think about the number of things you touch during the day, that bacteria can easily transfer from your hands to your face," says Dr. Murray Cotter of Dermatology Associates of Northern Michigan. Washing your hands assures that fewer germs will be transferred to your face.

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You Over Exfoliate

"Resist the temptation to scrub your skin, because scrubbing irritates the skin," dermatologist Thomas Rohrer, MD, says. He recommends using a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner for best results. Exfoliating too frequently can cause unnecessary irritation.

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You Use The Wrong Products

Finding the right cleanser for your skin type can be tricky, but according to Cotter, it's "one of the most important steps you can take to protect your skin." Whether your skin is oily, dry, sensitive, or acne-prone, your cleanser should remove traces of make-up and dirt without stripping your skin completely of its natural oils.

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You Aren't Consistent

Stick to the same routine, whether it's a makeup remover wipe, an extensive line of moisturizers, or simple soap and water. "Being consistent in your routine can prevent unnecessary irritations to your skin," Cotter says.

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You Use Hot Water

"Using hot water dehydrates your skin," says Cotter. When skin dehydrates, it sends the glands beneath your epidermis into oil-production to counter the dryness. Lukewarm water is the most effective temperature to cleanse your face with.


You Only Wash At Night

Don't skip the morning wash, says Cotter. "Even if your skin doesn't feel dirty in the morning, wash your face." Removing any natural oils that may have surfaced while you were asleep helps restore balance to your skin before you start your day.

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