Natural Beauty Care Guide

The Right Way To Wash Your Face

Washing can improve your skin's condition but it can also make it worse. Water—hot versus warm, cold versus cool—is a prime bone of contention. Rinsing with a washcloth or splashing with water a certain number of times is another point of debate. "Wash with hot, rinse with cold" proponents contend this method cleanses more efficiently, opens and closes pores, and stimulates circulation. Other dermatologists declare that hot rinsing arouses the lipids (oil glands) into reestablishing the skin's pH balance. The "warm/cool" and the "keep it tepid" brigade believe that skin should never be shocked with either hot or cold and that pores neither open not close. Among these extremes are some facts: skin around the pores does contract and expand to have the effect of opening and closing pores; warm-to-hot water is comfortable for washing; and a splash of cold water is refreshing as a final rinse. Here's the basic process for properly washing your face:

  1. Choose a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type.
  2. If hair is long, pull back from face with a pony tail holder.
  3. Moisten your face with water. Work up a lather by rubbing the soap between wet palms. Using your fingertips (not the bar of soap), massage the lather into your face and throat.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with a washcloth or with splashes of water. A three-to-one ratio of rinsing time to lathering time is considered adequate; the important thing is that you remove all of the soap so any caustic it contains won't burn your face, and so your face won't be left with the film equivalent of a bathtub ring.
  5. Blot dry with a soft towel; vigorous rubbing with coarse material aggravates and tugs at your skin.
  6. Apply your favorite moisturizer by tapping your fingers over the skin. Do not drag skin while applying.

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