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How To Use Facial Cleanser

Facial cleansers are a key part of any skincare routine but how exactly do you use them so you can get the full effects?

Well, that’s what we’ve answered for you today. You already know why it’s important to wash your face but you may not be doing it correctly or in the most efficient way possible. If youre interested in finding the best facial cleansers, then read our top picks.

Your skin type may also affect the facial cleanser you’ll need to use or how often you apply it to your cleansing routine.

Not all facial cleansers are the same too so it’s worth knowing the different types and how they fit in with your skin type. You can find out more about the types of face cleansers by reading our other article “what is a facial cleanser?

So, whether you have delicate skin, combination skin, oily skin, or dry skin let’s jump in and find out how to use a facial cleanser. As a side note, if you’ve tried cleansers and they dont seem to work for you, have you tried to learn how to make facial cleanser?

Do’s and Don’ts of Cleansing

Here’s our guide to the do’s and don’ts of using a face cleanser

Do- Wet your face first

To get the most from your water based, rinse off cleanser, you need to wet your hands and splash water on your face before applying any cleanser. This will help you work a lather to pick up all the dirt and oil. You can then go ahead and rinse off. Use cold water or lukewarm water, but never hot water when washing your face.

Don’t cleanse with dirty hands

Pretty much the one thing we learned this year- clean hands are a must. If you’re going to be massaging your face or face washing with cleanser, then you must definitely wash your hands first. This way you can prevent dirt and bacteria from getting onto your face.

Do-Gently massage your face

When you cleanse, treat yourself to a little massage session. Using the tips of your fingers, gently massage your face in circular motions going up and out, never down. This is actually a good tip to prevent aging and preserve skin elasticity.

Don’t Rub your face roughly

I don’t care if you missed the bus or you’re in a hurry to finish that Friends episode, rushing your skincare routine and quickly rubbing your face when cleansing is a no go. You need to treat your skin kindly, and be gentle when cleansing. This will help to prevent wirnkles forming and irritating your skin or breaking out.

Do- Choose the right facial cleanser

Depending on your skin type, there are different cleansers out there that will suit you best. Using the right one will instantly up your game and do wonders for your skin. It’s the same as foundation, one shade might work for your friend but be terrible on you.

Know Your Skin Type

Dry Skin

If dryness is a skin concern for you then you’ll need to focus on finding cleansers that help the skin to feel hydrated and not dry or greasy.

Wearing makeup can dry out the skin but be careful when washing your face as washing it too much will also dry out your skin. Apply moisturizer as well as a hydrating double cleansing face wash that doesn’t remove the natural oils in your skin.

Best Cleanser for Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, then the last thing you want to do is dry your skin further by using an aggressive cleanser that strips your skin of moisture. That’s why I’d recommend finding cleansers with hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid to increase your moisture levels, and ceramides to repair the skin’s barrier. Go for a hydrating water based cleanser, such as a foaming cleanser, or for very dry skin opt for a creamy cleansing milk or cleansing balm to moisturize your skin.

Oily Skin

Oilier skin needs a tougher cleanse that leaves skin feeling like there’s no excess oil hanging around on the surface. That said, you run the risk of overdoing it and causing dryness. An excessive cleansing routine will remove oil but you may do a 180 and end up getting drier skin as a result so balance it out and only cleanser twice a day.

When you use products that strip your skin of moisture, it can cause your sebaceous glands to try and compensate, leaving your skin right back where you started – looking and feeling oily.

Best Cleanser for Oily Skin

For oily skin, it’s a must to use an oil free, water based cleanser. I personally love to use ingredients like Salicylic acid or aha’s/bhas to help gently exfoliate the skin and unclog pores. These cleansers help to shed dead skin cells and improve skin texture, making it ideal for acne prone skin too. I would also suggest looking into double cleansing to get even more clean skin.

Combination Skin

Combination skin typically displays the same oiliness as oily skin types, but primarily in T-zone (forehead, chin, and nose). The rest of your face might feel like a normal skin type, or potentially be dry in some cases.

This can be a pain as you may need different things to tackle certain parts of your face. just remember that drier parts will require a gentle cleanser that will remove dirt but not strip your skin of its natural oils. Whereas oilier parts of your skin need to be able to remove makeup and clear any clogged pores so you can avoid breakouts which are all too common with oilier skin.

Best Cleanser for Combination Skin

Go for water based, oil free cleansers. You don’t want to add more oil, but ensure it is not very stripping. You can also choose to follow up with a hydrating milk cleanser on the dry areas of your face to restore some moisture.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin isn’t technically a type but it is a genuine concern and is likely down to your skin’s natural moisture barrier not working as it should.

If you have sensitive skin then your face needs milder formulas and a light touch to feel calmed and comfortable again. You should also gently massage in your chosen cleanser as being too rough will only cause further irritation.

Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

For sensitive skin or delicate skin, you will probably find that a lot of cleansers leave your skin red and irritated. That’s why I’d recommend micellar water to cleanse your face from the day’s impurities and makeup, and gentle cleansing milk or gentle cleanser that won’t strip your skin of moisture. No-rinse cleansers tend to be less harsh, just ensure you find ones that are soap free and alcohol free as well as no essential oils to prevent making your skin dry.


Cleansing Your Face: A Step-By-Step Guide

Here’s a rough guideline on how to properly cleanse your face and ensure that you remove dirt properly to get the healthy skin you want.

  1. Hair Gets In The Way – Make sure you’ve tied back your hair before you start as it makes it easier to cleanse the pores on your hairline, which can become clogged with excess hair product and oil. keeping your hair clean will prevent any pimples on your forehead. As a side note – if you’re a gentleman looking to keep your hair in good condition then check out our guide on the best shampoo for men.
  2. Wash Your Hands – Before you start with your face, get those hands clean too. You’re going to be touching your face so it would be a waste of time to attempt to clean your face with dirty hands.
  3. Lukewarm Water – Splash some lukewarm water to your face before applying your cleanser. This step helps the cleanser go smoothly on your skin and spread evenly across your face as the warm water helps open up your pores. Do not use hot water!
  4. It’s Cleansing Time – Squeeze a dime-size amount of cleanser onto your clean hands and then apply it to your face. Make sure to apply the product evenly being careful not to forget your jawline, neck, and hairline but be careful around your eyes and mouth.
  5. Massage – Apply light pressure and slowly massage the cleanser in a circular motion. You don’t want to rub too hard when applying the cleanser. The cleanser will do its job naturally and remove the dead skin cells to prevent clogged pores.
  6. Rinse – When you’re finished, simply rinse off any leftover cleanser with lukewarm water.
  7. Dry – Use a soft towel to gently pat your face dry. The skin on your face is delicate, so avoid rubbing or pulling your skin as you remove excess moisture.
  8. Complete Your Skin Care Regimen – A facial cleanser isn’t the only way to promote better skin health and it is often just the first step in any skincare routine. For example, the Korean skincare routine utilizes two types of facial cleanser as well as eight other products. You can check out our step-by-step Korean skincare routine for more info.

Extra Tips For Cleansing

Knowing When To Cleanse

Many of us don’t bother with an evening face wash but it’s arguably just as vital as the morning one especially if you wear makeup. Allowing debris and dirt to sit on your pores overnight will lead to blocked pores, blackheads and even acne. You can also go too far though and wash too much. There is very little reason to ever wash your face more than twice a day as it is more likely to dry out your skin than help it.

Rinse It All Off

Once you’ve cleansed and exfoliated your face, you need to make sure that you rinse it properly so that all the dirt and facial cleanser come off your face. Any product that stays on your skin will clog your pores and just lead to further breakouts. Again, use lukewarm water to rinse your face and take extra care to rub those areas where cleanser accumulates such as the sides of your nose or on your hairline, jawline, etc.

The Art Of Exfoliating

Exfoliation is extremely good for your skin when done right, as it gets rid of dead skin and cleans blocked pores leaving your face smooth. For normal skin, you can exfoliate two or three times a week but for sensitive skin, it’s best to limit this to only once a week. The exfoliation step doesn’t have to be complicated either, simply use a facial scrub, an exfoliating skincare brush, or apply an exfoliating mask that contains acids to peel off dead skin.

Pat Dry, Don’t Rub!

For starters, using a clean towel as a dirty one is just going to make your whole cleansing process a waste of time. The net thing you should keep in mind is to pat your face dry instead of rubbing it. Rubbing pulls at your delicate skin and only irritates it, so once you finish cleansing, tone and moisturize your skin to lock in the moisture you introduced to your face during the cleansing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I wash my face?

You should wash your face twice a day and never anymore. Twice a day is enough to hydrate and clean your facial skin while not running the risk of drying it out. Simply apply cleanser once in the morning and again in the evening before bed. this will help with removing makeup and promoting clean skin.

At night, we sweat and produce oil to prevent our face from drying out, which is why we wake up with shiny or congested skin. Using a cleanser when we wake up can help remove excess oil and sebum as well as sweat to give us a fresh start to the day. In the evening it’s even more important to cleanse. Cleansing will help remove makeup and dirt or residue that our skin has picked up from the day. This is going to help your skin renew itself overnight and even prevent breakouts and clogged pores, as well as allowing your skin to breathe overnight.

What’s the best facial cleanser on the market?

If you want to find the best cleanser out there then check out our buyer’s guide on the best facial cleanser for men.

Can I just wash with water?

If your skin is really sensitive, then it might be a good idea to swap your morning cleanser for a water-only rinse. However, make sure you use the evening cleanse as a chance to properly wash. Some people with extremely dry or sensitive skin may find that washing twice a day with a cleanser irritates or overly dries their skin. Water is ok for the morning but it’s still very much advised that you use a gentle cleanser in the evening to wash off the oil, residue, and anything else that has accumulated during the day.

Is soap ok for cleansing?

If you’re lucky enough not to have sensitive skin then you might think a bar of soap will cut it. But these harsh cleansers can strip the natural hydration from your skin, which can leave your face susceptible to irritation and dryness. Instead, use gentle cleansers that respect the delicate balance of your skin.

Should I Use makeup Remover?

You probably know the perils of falling asleep with a full face of makeup as it’s been drilled into us since we first applied it. However, if you’re using a gentle cleanser then it may not be up to the task of removing it all, especially if your products contain mineral SPF ingredients or oil. To help with this we’d recommend using gentle micellar water, or oil-based makeup remover before you wash.

What are the best men’s skincare products?

If you want some suggestions for great skincare products aimed at men then check out our guide to the best skincare products for men.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to use a facial cleanser correctly in a cleansing routine can be different for the skin types. It’s essential to have a cleansing routine, not only if you wear makeup but to get healthy skin. However, even for a normal skin type, some facial cleansers strip the facial skin of natural oils when you wash your face.

So how can fix this?

By making sure you wash your face no more than twice a day, using lukewarm water not hot water, drying with a soft towel and massaging in a circular motion. Buy the right cleanser for your skin concern to improve skin health, for example avoiding an oil based cleanser if you have oily skin. After washing your face you need you can continue applying moisturizer or another skincare product.

When you apply cleanser as part of your skincare regimen, you help unclog pores overnight, improve texture, and remove dirt. Washing your face everyday is a must, even if you don’t wear makeup. Finding the right face wash for your skin type, whether that’s dry or combination skin is going to be a game-changer in your skin care routine.

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