How to Wash Your Face the Right Way

Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to wash your face. Well, maybe not a wrong way, but definitely a better way to do it. Wanna perfect your face washing skills? Read on!

If your current routine consists of sudsing up a bar of whatever soap is in your shower or on your sink, mindlessly rubbing your hands over your face a few times and then rinsing it off with hot water, you’re not alone. If your current routine consists of a 15-step regimen with as many products, you’re also not alone. Whichever approach you take, there’s always a way to up the game a bit with one of the following (or all!) tips on the ideal face washing scenario.

Use the right amount of cleanser.

Consider your face Goldilocks: you don’t want too much product or too little product, but just the right amount, especially when we’re talking about cleanser. A tiny dot? That’s not going to do anything to actually clean your face, especially if you haven’t already removed the top layer of dirt, grime and makeup with the first step of a double cleanse. Half a bottle of cleanser in one go? It’s a waste; you’re washing the bulk of the nutrients straight down the drain.

If you’re using a cream or gel cleanser, a dime-sized amount of the stuff is perfect. Gently massage the product into your skin — all over, seriously — don’t miss a millimeter — for about a minute. It may seem like a long time, but if you wash it off too quickly, your skin won’t get the chance to soak up the good stuff. Same goes for bar soap, except you’ll want to work up a decent lather before the massaging starts.

Pay attention to water temperature.

Still think scalding hot water is the only way to get your face really clean? You’re not a scullery maid in 1850s England trying to get a red wine stain out of an apron — this is your skin we’re talking about and it needs a happy medium when it comes to water temperature. Too hot? Your skin will dry out very, very quickly (and you also run the risk of burning it.) Too cold? A lot of cleanser don’t play nice with ice cold liquid.

The ideal water temperature for washing your face? Good ol’ fashioned warm. Most faucets are finicky, so play around with how open each tap is to find the right blend until you find the one that feels like a cozy blanket. Splash some on your face to prime the canvas before massaging cleanser into skin, wash it all away with that warm water (and really make sure you’re getting rid of all of it — leftover cleanser that lingers can dry out skin) and then finish it off with a splash of cold water to close pores and smooth everything out.

Choose your exfoliator wisely.

Your skin is a delicate flower. Don’t subject it to harsh, intense scrubs. No matter how dull you think your face looks or how dry and flakey things get, stay away from the hard stuff. Rather than vigorously rub seeds or pits or, you know, shards of glass over your face, opt for something gentle yet effective like gommage, an enzyme-packed mask, an AHA peel or scrub towel.

Still not sold on why you should be exfoliating? Get wise.

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I always wash my face with cold water, but I guess I’ll be going with warm water now. I always forget! Thanks for the reminder. :)

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

6 years ago

Yes! Faces are sensitive and don’t need harsh scrubs. For years, I struggled with cystic acne and people/doctors would tell me just to wash it more with harsh scrubs and chemicals. Then, I found out I’m allergic to perfumes and went completely fragrance-free. My skin is clear and I barely use products on my face. It’s just a light refresh in the morning and night- no scrubbing

6 years ago

Great post! x

6 years ago

Useful tips. Thanks! Btw, I wash my face once or twice a day. Not sure if I am doing it right.

6 years ago

That’s a huge guideline for Washing Face properly, before i don’t washes my face properly as i can realize after reading this guide.

5 years ago

HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS. I had awful hormonal acne from starting the pill, and even worse when I got off it. Nothing seemed to work, from all natural face washes/moisturizers, topical acne ointments, nothing… UNTIL I TRIED RAW HONEY AS A CLEANSER!! People have said that they’ve broken out after trying it, but it was the complete opposite for me because my existing blemishes diminished over night!! My face looks beautiful, with acne scarring here and there, and I’m so happy I tried this. For those wondering, I use Whole Foods regular raw honey and it works great.