Cleaning your face seems pretty uncomplicated. You wet your face, lather some face wash over it and rinse it off. But while it’s simple, there’s still plenty of room for error. Washing your face is usually the first step of your skin care routine, and might even be the most important. After all, unless you get all the gunk off your face, your expensive serums and face creams are just sitting on your skin doing nothing. But if you’re not cleaning your face the right way, then you might actually be damaging it more than caring for it. Here are six mistakes you might be making that could age your skin.
1. You’re Spending Too Much Money On It
If you’re spending a good chunk of your money on a face wash, then you’re literally washing it down the drain. You might feel the high price tag is justified because it’s made from exotic ingredients handpicked by nuns, but that really isn’t going to do your skin much good. Face cleansers are on your skin for only about a minute, which really doesn’t give them time to change your skin in any way. Save your money by using trusted drug store brands which clean your skin without drying it out. You’re better off spending that money on serums and creams.
2. You Don’t Wash Your Face Twice A Day
Even if you washed your face the previous night, you still need to wash it again the next morning. While you sleep, metabolic waste, oil and bacteria accumulate on your skin. Unless you wash it out, they’re going to clog your pores and age your skin slowly. Taking two minutes each morning to wash your face could save you days of agonizing over a pimple. Washing your face at night is even more important. Throughout the day, pollution, dirt and makeup build up on your skin. Unless you want clogged pores and oxidative damage to your skin, you need to wash it all off properly.
3. You Rinse With Hot Water
Splashing hot water on your face can feel comforting, but it’s not worth the damage it does to your skin. Hot water strips your skin of its oils (the good kind), making it dry. When your skin loses its essential moisture, it’s more prone to wrinkles and other signs of premature aging. Always rinse your face with water that’s lukewarm, no higher. While on that subject, you also need to spend a good amount of time rinsing your face. Most of us concentrate only on lathering our face with cleanser and then spend a second or two on rinsing it off. Cleanser lifts dirt from your pores, but rinsing is what’s going to wash it off your face.
4. You’re Too Enthusiastic With Your Cleansing Brush
Battery-operated cleansing brushes were marketed as the greatest revolution in the history of face cleansing. Using your hands to wash your face was so last century. But while cleansing brushes do remove more dirt from your skin, they aren’t great for every skin type. If you have acne-prone, broken, sensitive skin, try not to use a cleansing brush more than twice a week. If you use retinoids or AHAs in your skincare routine, then be wary of cleansing brushes. They might over exfoliate your skin, leaving it dry and damaged.
5. You Use Harsh Face Scrubs
Your apricot scrub from high school shouldn’t still be in your skin care cabinet. Exfoliating your skin is very important to remove dead skin cells and let your face products sink in better. However, if your scrubs have rough particles with jagged edges, then you might be causing micro-tears in your skin. Instead of nut-based scrubs, use exfoliators that have jojoba beads. These are very gentle on the skin and as a bonus, they don’t damage the environment. If you have very sensitive skin, then use chemical exfoliators containing glycolic acid, AHA or lactic acid.
6. You Aren’t Choosing Cleansers For Your Skin Type
The first thing you should look for in a cleanser is if it will suit your skin type. A face wash that makes your friend’s dry skin glow, might work terribly for your acne-prone skin. If you have oily skin, choose a gel cleanser which is very effective at removing excess oil. Gel cleansers also wash away easier, so you won’t have any sticky residue left behind. If you have dry skin, choose a creamy cleanser that removes dirt while also moisturizing your skin.