A simple truth commonly overlooked is that cleaning your face is just as important as washing your hands. In fact, the US National Library of Medicine says that “hand hygiene programs aiming to improve [the health of those in contact with the ill] should include a message [about] mouth and nose touching.” Why? The same study found that a person touches his face, on average, 23 times per hour!
So, what simple principles should you keep in mind when cleaning your face? How much should you stress a healthy facial-cleansing routine?
Temperatures Rise and Fall
In terms of temperature, you probably think of the season and the weather. And, if the humidity is low, your skin may dry out. Or, if you easily get overheated, that the high humidity could easily dehydrate you. While the weather does affect your skin, it’s not the only heat or humidity that you have to deal with regularly.
Realistically, when you wash your face, you shouldn’t use hot water. While hot scalding water may be great to kill germs, it’s usually too harsh for your skin. Just as high humidity can dehydrate you, hot water can strip your skin of natural moisture, leaving you with dry skin. The solution? Warm or cool water.
Warm water is fine for removing dirt, debris, cosmetics, and bacteria from your skin while, cool water can rejuvenate and tighten your skin all the while preserving natural moisture.
Consistency and Thoroughness
Washing your face infrequently can have disastrous consequences. Namely, frequent breakouts or unwanted patchiness. But, over-washing can be just as harmful. Overwashing your skin confuses the natural balance of oils.
In fact, if your skin tends to run dry, over washing, can dry it out even more. Simply put, to compensate for losing its natural moisture and oils, your skin will begin secreting more sebum! And, what if you’re not properly washing off the cleanser you use?
Forsaking thoroughness can lead to clogged pores or patchy skin. Yes, perfect skin seems to require a lot of work! Though, in practice, clean skin doesn’t require that much, and, is definitely worth the effort.
What about exfoliating? Here the same concept applies. But, first, what is exfoliation? Simply put, it’s the process of removing dead skin. And, in this case, dead skin on your face. According to celebrity skin-expert Kate Somerville, “a good rule to follow is, the more intense the [exfoliant] or [the more] sensitive your skin, the less often you should exfoliate.”
The truth is that there are many factors to consider when washing and exfoliating. Namely, skin texture, sensitivity, product ingredients, harshness, method of exfoliating, and so much more! At most, washing thoroughly twice daily is enough to keep your skin clean. And, if necessary, exfoliating two or three times per week should suffice.
Moisture and Sensitivity
Do you sometimes forget to moisturize your skin? It’s alright; we all do. But, there’s a difference between forgetting and forsaking. Moisturizing sensitive, dry, or fresh skin is vital. Why? “Moisturizing reduces skin problems.” In fact, “moisturizing every day can reduce the chance of developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Both extremes are harmful for skin and cause common skin conditions like acne,” says The University of Tennessee.
The best time to moisturize is right “after a bath, shave or exfoliation.” That’s the time when your skin is most open to accepting help staying hydrated.
Moisturize! For one, pat your skin dry and apply lotion, oil, or cream. Second, use a humidifier throughout the night. Third, review the products you apply to your skin for harsh chemicals. Fourth, wear sunscreen.
Three Principles for Radiant Skin
Beautiful skin takes work. Cleanliness is not only satisfying but also appealing. So, in review, water temperature matters. Warm water is fine for removing dirt, debris, cosmetics, and bacteria from your skin while, cool water can rejuvenate and tighten your skin all the while preserving natural moisture. At most, washing thoroughly twice daily is enough to keep your skin clean. If necessary, exfoliating two or three times per week should suffice. And, moisturize!
If you have any concerns, feel free to speak to a doctor or a dermatologist. Remember that if you have any preexisting skin conditions discuss them as well.
The information provided herein has been reviewed for accuracy, but cannot be guaranteed to be free of infallalacy. The information herein does not qualify as a diagnosis nor does it substitute a consultation with a licensed physician.
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