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How to Wash Your Face: Do's and Don'ts

4 mins

Akhila Jerripothula

Learn how to wash your face, because, yes, there are good & wrong ways to do it. We’re going back to basics with tips on how to properly wash your face.

Makeup is key to highlighting your facial assets, but it does little if you don’t treat your skin right. There are proper ways to wash your face, and thoroughly cleansing the pore-clogging, dirt, oil, makeup, and pollution is sure to give your clearer, brighter skin - making makeup application even more flawless!

What is the best way to wash your face? Can I wash my face 3 times a day? We’re going back to basics to answer these questions + more and to teach you how to properly take care of your largest organ - the skin. 

Face Washing Do's

These non-negotiable tips are easy to follow, and work for every skin type:

  • Do Cleanse Daily.  Washing your face with a cleanser first thing in the morning and again at the end of your day is ideal for proper pH balance and skin maintenance. If you’re short on time, go for a double-duty exfoliator and cleanser like WOW’s Foaming Face Wash with Brush! For those who have more sensitive skin, choose a gentle cleanser that won’t irritate your skin. 
  • Do Wash Your Face After Working Out. Any activity where excessive perspiration occurs is going to warrant a face wash. Imagine all that sweat clogging your pores, it’s the recipe for pimples, even on your body. Even if you’ve washed your face twice during the day, another cleanse is necessary to reset and balance your skin. Follow up with hydrating ingredients to replenish the moisture lost from sweating it out. 
  • Do Use A Cleanser. Even with a consistent skincare routine, it means nothing if you’re not using the right products for your skin type. A good cleanser can really make or break (out) your face. Literally. If you have generally healthy skin, using the wrong cleanser can irritate and ruin the balance of your skin. Not all cleansers are made equal, so choose carefully to make sure the ingredients don’t harm your skin. Brands that use natural ingredients such as WOW Skin Science have plant-powered cleansers inspired by nature, so you can trust them for your skin. 
  • Do Be Gentle. Overworking the skin can be abrasive, causing microtears that are very damaging. The best tool? Your clean fingertips or a gentle silicone brush, like the one in WOW’s foaming face washes. Gently rubbing your fingers in a circular motion for at least 60 seconds can effectively remove dirt, dead skin cells and excess oils. 
  • Do Rinse With Lukewarm Water.  While a hot shower or bath might sound dreamy when you're looking to unwind, when it comes to facial care, hot water is a big no-no. It dehydrates the skin and strips away necessary oils, while lukewarm water will open your pores enough to be able to remove unwanted dirt and oil without the harsh temperature.
  • Do Pat to Dry - Treat your skin with respect by drying it as gently as possible, avoiding any abrasive friction to your face. Patting your skin dry with a microfiber or cotton towel will absorb excess water without irritating your pores that are already open from washing.  
  • Do Moisturize. This last "do" is a pretty important step in the overall maintenance of your skin's health. After following all of the pertinent techniques for good washing habits, the process can be dehydrating to the skin. Apply your skincare right after washing so it can soak into your clean skin. Seal the moisture in with a hydrating cream, or gel if you want something lightweight. Be mindful of what ingredients are listed in the products you choose, as more oil-based moisturizers can exacerbate oily, acne-prone, or even combination skin types.   

Face Washing Don'ts

Now let's move on to what you shouldn't do when washing your face. It's likely that you have fallen victim to these complexion crimes, but it’s not too late to change! 

  • Don't Use Dirty Hands. It will do you no good to wash your face if the hands touching them are covered in germs and bacteria. Much like you would not clean your table with a dirty rag, you would treat your face in the same manner. Always be sure to thoroughly wash your hands before washing your face so you don't allow contaminants into your pores while they are open during the cleaning process. 
  • Don't Forget to Remove Your Makeup. Sometimes, cleansing isn’t enough to remove stubborn or waterproof makeup. Even if you think its spotless, swiping toner on a cotton pad will reveal the opposite. Double cleansing is a popular method to combat this, by using an oil to breakdown makeup, and then a cleanser to wash everything away. Stay away from cleansing wipes, as they can rub your skin too hard and create microtears. 
  • Don't Use Hot Water. Even though it's been stated before, hot water must NOT be used when washing your face to avoid irritation
  • Don't Rub Too Vigorously. As much as it feels nice to really scrub down deep and hard, everything you want to wash away is on the top layer of your skin. There’s no need to rub your skin raw--it won't make it any cleaner. The only thing it will do is cause irritation.
  • Don't Overwash. Particularly for those who have oily skin, your initial thought may be to wash more frequently in order to remove unwanted oil. Your skin is a delicate organ and needs to be treated as such. Each time you wash, moisture is removed, which yes, is great for extracting oil, but there are some oils in our skin that simply just need to thrive for our skin health. Overwashing signals to your oil glands to overproduce to compensate for that lack of moisture. Washing twice a day, once in the morning and evening is the suggested amount, with a possible third time after sweating from working out. While it may feel refreshing to have a squeaky clean skin all the time, that dry, tight, feeling isn’t as good for you as you think. 
  • Don't Use Harsh Chemicals. That includes bar soaps, which often contain binders that can be too harsh for your skin. Sulfates are often a lathering agent often found in hair care products, however many versions of this chemical can be included in facial cleansers as well. Be aware of the ingredients on the label, and look for brands such as WOW Skin Science, whose primary focus is on providing natural beauty products free of harmful agents, while focusing on utilizing the best naturally-derived ingredients available. 

While this list may seem extensive, your skin will thank you! Likely, these facts aren’t new to you, but understanding why it’s important will push you to be consistent with this healthy routine. The reality is, these practices are very easy to incorporate into your routine. By familiarizing yourself with these do's and don'ts, you can improve your skin's vibrancy, look, feel, and overall health. Healthy skin requires constant maintenance, so keeping your processes in check by improving your overall washing technique will give you the best chance of the everlasting glow you have always strived for!  


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