You’ve been doing it for as long as you can remember — probably in earnest since you were a teenager dealing with breakouts. As your skin changes with age, the way you cleanse and the products you use have probably changed. Plus, the advice about facial cleansing has changed over the years. While there’s no one right or wrong way to clean your face, there are a few mistakes that people make that can mean more irritations or breakouts.
What’s Up With Double Cleansing?
The phrase double cleansing doesn’t mean washing your face twice a day, once in the morning, and again before bed. Instead, it means washing your face once, then washing it again immediately afterward. Double cleansing isn’t new; it originated in Japan hundreds of years ago, back when women wore make-up that was more like paint and that needed a strong cleanser to effectively remove it.
The products used to double cleanse aren’t the same. Typically, the process starts with an oil-based cleanser, which is used to remove makeup. If you use a makeup remover to wipe away eyeshadow, liner, and mascara before you wash your face, you are in some ways already double-cleansing. But, to get the full effect, you want to use the oil-based cleanser all over your face.
After rinsing off the oil-based cleanser, you want to switch to a water-based product for the deeper clean. The exact product you use depends on your skin type and any concerns you might have, such as acne or dryness.
While you might not need to double cleanse if you don’t wear a lot of makeup, it might be worth trying if you do. The staff at Quintessa Medical Spa can help you choose the cleansers that will remove makeup and really clean your skin without irritating it or stripping it of its natural oils.
Should You Scrub?
In reality, it might not be whether you scrub, but how hard or how frequently you do it. Exfoliating the skin is an essential step, as it removes dead skin cells that can make your complexion dull or dry looking. Over-exfoliating can irritate your skin. Using a harsh scrubbing product or brush can also scratch or upset your skin.
Our recommended option for regular exfoliation is to use the Clarisonic brush. The device uses the same technology as electric toothbrushes, loosening and removing dead skin cells, dirt, and other debris from the surface of the skin. The brush also works on a timer, reminding you to move to a different area of the face after a set amount of time. A variety of brush heads are available, too, for a range of different skin types.
What’s the Best Cleanser?
The cleanser you end up using should be appropriate for your skin type and any skin conditions you have. For example, if you’re dealing with regular breakouts and pimples, a cleanser that contains salicylic acid and enzymes can help you manage those pimples and reduce breakouts, without drying out your skin or causing irritation. If your skin is drier, a gentler cleanser without harsh surfactants or scrubbers is often the best option.
Other Cleansing Tips
It’s not just the cleansers and products you use that determine how effective your cleansing routine will be. Several other factors play a role, too, from the temperature of the water to how you dry your skin afterward.
One of the more persistent myths about washing your face is that you should use piping hot water. The thinking is that the steam from the hot water will open your pores. Unfortunately, steam won’t open your pores or help you get a deeper clean. In fact, hot water actually does a lot more harm than good, as it removes your skin’s natural oils, causing it to overcompensate and produce more oils to make up for it. Cold water won’t shrink your pores after cleansing, either. Your best bet is to stick with lukewarm water, both when actively washing your face and when rinsing at the end.
When it’s time to dry your skin, remember to be gentle, too. Try patting your face with the towel, not rubbing it. Also make sure the towel you use is clean so that you’re not transferring more dirt and bacteria to your freshly cleaned face.
Whether you need help choosing a cleanser for your skin type or want more advice about the Clarisonic, Dr. Andrew Campbell and the staff at Quintessa Medical Spa are here to help. Quintessa has three locations in Wisconsin, in Mequon, Sheboygan, and Delafield. To book an appointment at the Mequon location, call (262) 242-QSPA. To schedule an appointment at the Sheboygan location, call (920) 458-QSPA. And call 262-303-4876 for the Delafield office, located at W307 N1497 Golf Road Suite 200.