It might seem straight forward, but if you’re not doing it right, it'll wreak havoc with your skin
It might seem straight forward, but if you’re not doing the first part of your skincare routine properly, you may as well not bother with the rest. Not only can the wrong formula strip your skin of its natural oils, it can disrupt the pH balance of your skin. And that’s just the beginning. So before you take the day off, make sure you’re using one of the best cleansers and not making one of these common face washing mistakes.
1. You’re not working with your skin type
Using a face wash that disrupts the pH balance of your skin can cause all sorts of problems, like flaking and blemishes. So make sure you choose a formula that will work with your skin type.
‘If you have combination or oily skin, you should be using a gel based formula’, says dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting. ‘Get one that lightly foams if your skin is very oily.’ La Roche Posay’s Effacer Purifying Foaming Gel, £11, is great for banishing excess oil without drying out skin.
If you have dry skin, go for a moisturising cream, mousse or cleansing milk to soften and hydrate your skin, while retaining the natural hydro-lipid barrier as you wash. Ren’s Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk, £16, has anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness, help heal and soothe sensitive skin.
And for a great all-rounder, try Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap, £16.50, to remove all traces of dirt.
2. You’re using the wrong formula
Remember, different cleansers require different methods, so check that you’re using formulas correctly.
Apply gels and foams on to wet skin and allow them to sit on the surface for over a minute to let the ingredients work their magic.
If you’re using a creamy lotion, apply it to completely dry skin and rub it in for a few minutes like you would with a moisturiser. This gives the cleanser a chance to break down the oil and dirt in your skin. When it gets to the point of feeling tacky, or almost completely disappearing, apply a small amount of water with your fingertips to emulsify the product, using circular motions to cleanse deeply.
On the lookout for the perfect cleanser? The clever clogs over at Powder have tested all the best ones to help you find your best match.
3. You’re using a wash cloth
Contrary to popular belief, wash cloths aren’t always the most effective way of removing your make-up.
A damp wash cloth is a breeding ground for bacteria and they can be abrasive and too harsh for your skin. If you must use one, go for a baby wash cloth or muslin cloth, and make sure it’s been freshly laundered every time.
4. The water is too hot
Washing your face with hot water feels nice, but it can also mess with your skin’s natural oils leading to over-drying and subsequent excessive sebum production. Turn on both taps and wash with lukewarm water instead.
5. You’re resorting to wipes
They might be convenient, but a substitute for face washing, wipes are not. Instead of taking away the grime, most of them simply move old make-up around your face. If you absolutely have to use them, try This Works In Transit No Traces, £17. The pads are drenched in rose water and water mint to keep your skin calm – but remember to rinse your face after you use them.