Am I serious? Am I actually about to tell you how to wash your face, like you don’t know? Well, yeah, I am serious. Because I always thought I knew how to wash my face, but it turned out there are some seriously amazing tips – especially if you wear makeup – that really make a difference.
It all started because I switched from mineral foundation – which comes off easily with the gentlest of cleansers – to liquid foundations, which can be harder to remove. My dermatologist has my sensitive skin on Cerave, a hydrating non-soap cleanser, and it just wouldn’t take off the liquid foundations unless I washed my face several times with it. I’d been advised not to use toners, so what could I do? Leaving traces of makeup on my skin wasn’t good, either.
Then I found out there was a way to use Cerave to get the makeup off so thoroughly that toner couldn’t pick up a trace of any residual dirt. Now, if you don’t wear makeup, you may be thinking this doesn’t apply to you. But you sweat and pick up environmental pollutants on your face and may get clogged pores and so on, and these tips will help. The makeup example just proves how effective it is, since makeup is essentially artistically applied dirt.
Face washing instructions
First of all, if you wear eye makeup, follow my instructions for that (see below). Then wash your face as instructed here:
- Get some cleanser in your hand. Absolutely any cleanser, including an extremely gentle cleanser will work. (That’s the beauty of this method – no matter what kind of a hard case your skin is, you can switch to a gentle cleanser and get thorough cleaning results.)
- Wet your hands.
- Get a decent amount – enough to get “slip” – in your hands, and rub your hands together just long enough to get a little cleanser on both.
- Rub the cleanser over your face for a full sixty seconds. That’s the big trick, and it makes all the difference. Just rub your hands gently but vigorously over your face, in little circles, carefully getting every area, for a full sixty seconds, and your face will be pristine.
You only want to do this once a day – probably at night. If you wash your face in the morning as well, just do it for a few seconds because all you’re trying to get off is whatever moisturizer you may have put on the night before, plus sweat and any excess oils.
What this did for me over a few weeks is pretty amazing:
- My face is absolutely clean, without using harsh cleansers or toners or anything my dermatologist didn’t recommend.
- My skin has improved texture, smaller pores and reduced irritation. I really think this gives me the benefits of exfoliation without the irritation (my dermatologist warns me not to even use a washcloth, because my skin is so sensitive, particularly with the topical medications she has me using).
- I don’t need to deep clean with a mask nearly as often as I used to.
- ETA: it’s been another 10 days since I wrote this post, and now I’m seeing significant reduction in redness on my face. My color is becoming more even overall.
It’s such a simple change in my routine, and the benefits are just shocking in comparison.
Removing eye makeup
If you wear eye makeup, it’s important to remove it gently, too. This tip came straight from my dermatologist:
- Get a gentle liquid eye makeup remover. Neutrogena is fine. Lancome and Estee Lauder are recommended, too, but drugstore brands work just fine. If you wear waterproof liner or mascara, make sure your remover says it can take those off.
- Dip a cotton swab in your eye makeup remover.
- Close your eye and rest the cotton swab along your lashes, letting the remover soak into the liner and mascara. After a few seconds, begin rubbing gently from side to side (downward strokes also work) to loosen the makeup and pull it gently off your eye. Repeat for the other eye, using the other end of the cotton swab. Don’t dip a dirty end of a swab into your remover, and don’t use the same swab on both eyes (just in case you ever have an eye infection, you don’t want to transfer it to the other eye, too).
- At this point you’ll look like a racoon, because the makeup will be all around your eyes. But that’s okay, because now you’re going to wash your face as directed above, and the cleanser will take every bit of that makeup off during those sixty seconds.
These methods together are extremely gentle, and they’ll work even if you wear extreme makeup. This enables you to get your face thoroughly clean with a minimum of irritating ingredients, and a minimum of skin tugging.