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You may have heard that “cleanliness is next to godliness” but when it comes to your face, cleanliness is really a necessity. Luckily, there are plenty of facial cleansers on the market to help us keep our skin looking and feeling its best. But how do you use them? If you’re new to the world of facial cleansers, don’t worry—you’ll be a pro in no time with this helpful guide!
Here's a step-by-step guide to properly using face cleansers.
Step One: Remove Makeup and Other Impurities
The first step is to remove makeup and other impurities from your face with an oil-based cleanser or micellar water. This will help ensure that your pores are clear before you start washing with a traditional cleanser. After applying, use a soft washcloth to gently remove the product and rinse off any remaining residue with warm water.
Step Two: Choose Your Cleanser
Now it's time to choose the right cleanser for your skin type. If you have dry skin, opt for a creamy formula; if you have oily skin, look for something that contains glycolic acid or salicylic acid. For combination skin, try using a gentle gel-based cleanser. Whatever you choose, make sure it has no harsh surfactants (like sodium lauryl sulfate) or fragrances as these can irritate sensitive skin types.
Step Three: Lather Up!
Once you've chosen the right cleanser for your skin type, put some in the palms of your hands and add water until it forms a light lather. Gently massage this lather onto your face in circular motions for about 30 seconds before rinsing with lukewarm water—not hot! This will help ensure that all traces of dirt and makeup are removed without irritating or drying out your skin too much.
Step Four: Moisturize!
After rinsing off the cleanser, pat your face dry with a soft towel before applying a moisturizer appropriate for your skin type—this is crucial if you want to keep your complexion looking healthy and hydrated! Finally, don't forget to apply sunscreen every day—even on cloudy days—to protect against sun damage and premature aging.
Scrubs and Exfoliators
Scrubs and exfoliators are designed to remove the dead skin cells that accumulate on your face over time. To use one, start by wetting your face with lukewarm water and then gently massage the scrub into your skin using circular motions. Be sure not to press too hard or scrub too vigorously; otherwise, you could cause irritation or inflammation. Once you’ve finished massaging the scrub into your skin, rinse off with lukewarm water.
You can use scrubs and exfoliators anywhere from once a week up to several times per day depending on your skin type, so be sure to check product labels for instructions before using.
Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, we’ve rounded up our top 3 favorite scrubs and exfoliators for the face that are sure to give you the glowing skin you desire.
This daily microfoliant from Dermalogica is a rice-based powder that gently exfoliates the skin, leaving it feeling smooth and looking brighter. The unique formula contains papain, salicylic acid, and enzymes that work together to slough away dead skin cells and unclog pores.
These facial radiance pads from First Aid Beauty are soaked in glycolic and lactic acids, which help to brighten and exfoliate the skin. The pads also contain aloe vera and allantoin to soothe the skin.
This rice polish from Tatcha is a gentle exfoliator that contains Japanese rice bran, which polishes away dead skin cells and leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth. The formula also contains hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin.
Foaming cleansers are typically used in place of soap as they tend to be gentler and more hydrating than traditional bar soaps. To use one, start by wetting your face with lukewarm water and then pump a small amount of foam onto your hands.
Massage the foam onto your face using gentle circular motions until it forms a light lather and then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
Foaming cleansers can usually be used daily; however, some may cause dryness if used too frequently so double-check product labels before use if you have sensitive skin.
This foaming cleanser from CeraVe is a good option for those with sensitive skin, as it is free from harsh chemicals and fragrances. The cleanser contains ceramides, which are natural lipids that help to restore the skin’s barrier function. Additionally, the cleanser contains niacinamide, an ingredient that has been shown to help reduce redness and inflammation.
This foaming gel cleanser from La Roche-Posay is a good option for those with oily or acne-prone skin. The cleanser contains salicylic acid, an ingredient that helps to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. Additionally, the cleanser contains niacinamide, an ingredient that has been shown to help reduce redness and inflammation.
This foaming facial cleanser from Neutrogena is a good option for those with oily or acne-prone skin. The cleanser contains salicylic acid, an ingredient that helps to exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. Additionally, the cleanser is formulated with pink grapefruit extract, an ingredient that helps to brighten the skin and improve its overall appearance.
Cream cleansers are designed to hydrate dry skin while still thoroughly cleansing it. To use one, start by dampening your skin with lukewarm water and then massage the cream into your face in circular motions until it forms a light lather. Rinse off with lukewarm water when finished.
Cream cleansers can typically be used daily; however, some may cause dryness if used too frequently so check product labels before use if you have sensitive skin.
This cleanser is great for those with sensitive skin, as it is non-irritating and non-drying. Additionally, it is fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, making it a good choice for those with allergies or sensitive skin.
This cleanser is designed for those with dry, sensitive skin. It is soap-free and fragrance-free, and it contains glycerin to help lock in moisture.
This cleanser is a good choice for those with sensitive skin, as it is both gentle and effective. It contains no harsh chemicals or fragrances, and it is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic.
Oil-based cleansers are designed for those with combination or oily skin types as they help dissolve stubborn makeup without stripping away essential oils from the skin's surface layer (which can lead to breakouts).
To use one, start by rubbing an oil-based cleanser onto dry skin in gentle circular motions until it forms a light lather (this will also help remove any makeup residue). Rinse off with lukewarm water when finished and follow up with a toner or moisturizer if desired.
Oil-based cleansers can usually be used once or twice per day depending on how much makeup you wear; however, if you have very oily or acne-prone skin, you should avoid using them more than once per day as this could lead to excessive oil production/breakouts due to overstimulation of sebaceous glands in the dermis layer of the skin.
This cleansing oil is formulated with Jeju green tea, which works to cleanse the skin while providing intense hydration. The lightweight formula is suitable for all skin types, even those with sensitive skin. It can be used both day and night, and it leaves the skin feeling refreshed and hydrated.
This cleansing oil from Kiehl’s contains a blend of botanical oils that work together to remove makeup and impurities while leaving the skin feeling soft and hydrated. The non-greasy formula is ideal for all skin types, and it can be used both day and night.
This cleansing oil from Burt's Bees is formulated with coconut and argan oils that help to remove impurities while providing intense hydration. The non-greasy formula is suitable for normal to dry skin, and it can be used both day and night. It leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated.
No matter what type of facial cleanser you choose—scrubs/exfoliators, foaming cleaners, cream cleaners, or oil-based cleaners—the key is finding one that fits well within your daily skincare routine without causing irritation or dryness (or excess oil production for those with oily/acne prone skin).
With this guide in hand (and maybe even some trial and error) choosing the right facial cleanser for your unique needs should be a breeze! So what are you waiting for? It's time to get cleaning!