As I was washing my face this morning, I thought about all the techniques and products I have come across over the years. It inspired me to write a post about it. While I will mention the things that work for me, this post is not intended to be a list of “don’ts”. It is possible that something that doesn’t work for me has worked wonders on someone else.
Let’s start with soap: There are so many on the market these days, it can be a bit overwhelming. I have found that the less abrasive and complex the better. I have been battling acne for the past 10 years and have tried probably every over the counter product on the shelf. I eventually I found that the Cetaphil Antibacterial Bar Soap to be the most gentle and effective. The box says for dry skin, however, I have oily skin and it has worked great for me so don’t be discouraged. They have a version that’s doesn’t have the antibacterial in it, however, I have found it doesn’t work as well for those of us with acne. Not that it cut out the acne all together, but it helped to minimize the size and spread of it. The price is hard to beat too at around $4 a bar. Just a side note: my sister has extremely sensitive skin and she really likes the 100% Pure brand. This is a bit more expensive and harder to find, but it might be another option to try.
While washing: There are 2 main aspects of washing your face. Direction and duration. Your pores face downwards. So when washing, make sure to massage the soap in a circular direction to get into those pores and clean them out. Also, be careful not to scrub to hard. From experience, I have found it can aggregate your acne and dry out your skin. If you want the exfoliated feeling, try a mask or occasional scrub specific for that purpose. Now duration. How long do you wash your face? Is it enough time to really get all the dirt and oils out? I like to turn the water off and just massage the soap into my face. Not only can it be relaxing, it helps me to make sure I get everywhere, along with my neck(which is an extension of your face by the way and should also be included).
Rinsing: Rinsing is just as important as washing. After reading many, many articles on the topic, I will always remember one that stated that you should be rinsing longer than washing. At first this sounded strange, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. My husband always makes fun of how long I sit under the sink rinsing off my face, but I believe it to be true. Get all that soap and dirt rinsed off! Don’t wash your face and then turn around and not rinse it all off. Ok, that was a don’t….but it’s a good one.
Drying: This tip probably rings true primarily for those of us with acne. When trying don’t drag the towel across your face. Pat dry. It’s less abrasive and damaging. And for goodness sake, make sure the towel is clean. I like to keep a separate towel for just drying my face that is apart from the towel that is used for drying hands after using the facilities. Who knows what on that one!
Moisturizer: Please, please PLEASE, always moisturizer your face. It can be very difficult when you either have acne or an already greasy face to want to moisturize. However, you are doing more harm than good when you don’t. I will be perfectly honest here: I didn’t moisturize for a long time thinking I was adding oils to my already oily acne prone skin. The truth is, if you don’t moisturize, your skin will do it for you and probably on overtime because its dry from washing. You’ll have to do a little experimenting before you find a moisturizer you like. I know I did. See what works for you. Try something out for a week or two. Give it time to really start doing its job. I used Avalon Organics Vitamin C Moisturizer. I like it because it’s non-toxic and nourishing my skin at the same time. While it is a little pricey for a small bottle, a little goes a long way and after trying some many others, it’s worth it to me. It also has SPF 15 in it, so that’s an added bonus!
Also on the topic of acne, if it is a real problem, go see a dermatologist. Follow their direction and be patient. Sometimes it can takes weeks or even a few months to flush out all the dirt from down deep in your pores. Granted they are not always 100% effective but work with them and communicate. Ask questions! They are there to help.
So there you have it. My face washing regiment. If you would like to add anything you feel I have missed, please do!