Hey, beautiful souls! We're about to dive into a topic that's as relatable as it gets – face-washing 101. It’s the first step in any skincare routine, and you may think it is the simplest, but actually many of us make these mistakes every day and sadly, these mistakes could actually hurt our skin! Don't worry, because I’ve got your back (and your face 😊 couldn’t help myself!) as we tackle these common 10 face-washing faux pas.
- Using Hot Water To Wash Your Face: This one always depresses me, because I love the feel of hot water on my skin, especially on cold days and nights in Northern Michigan. Unfortunately, hot water strips your skin of its natural oils so it actually dries out your skin rather than keeping the moisture in. Opt for lukewarm water to wash your face, and if you can handle it, use cold water because it can tighten your skin and stimulate blood flow.
- Using the Wrong Cleanser For Your Skin Type: All skin is not created equally, and we all have our own unique skin type, and they can be categorized as either dry, normal, combination or oily. If you are using a cleanser that is better for combination or oily skin when you actually have skin that is dry, you are stripping what little natural oils your skin does produce, making it even drier still. Conversely, the opposite is true. If you are using a cleanser that is made for people with dry skin, you are actually adding more moisture into your skin when you need help drying it a bit. Even those with normal skin, have days where their skin can be more dry or more oily than normal. Thankfully, Elina Organics has created 100% organic, cruelty free, cleansers that help us with the changing conditions (not changing type, as our skin types stay the same throughout our lives for the most part, unless women are going through significant hormonal changes) of our skin due to weather changes, eating habits, alcohol consumption, etc. If you have skin that ranges from normal to dry, try Elina Organic’s Botanical Cleanser and if your skin ranges from normal to oily, try Elina Organics Herbal Cleanser.
- Overzealous Scrubbing: When washing your face, be sure not to “scrub” your face vigorously as that often results in pulling and tugging much harder than we should with our skin. It is best to use your fingertips in a circular motion with your cleanser, than rinse with a clean washcloth, again, being mindful of the direction (always go up and out) you are taking your cleanser off and how much pressure you are applying.
- Washing Your Face with Makeup Wipes: Makeup wipes were never intended to replace cleansers, because they can’t truly “clean” your face, rather they were created to help take off your makeup. Want to know a surprise? They don’t even do that well! Makeup wipes often smear the traces of your makeup across your face, rather than removing all of it. Also, makeup wipes are TERRIBLE for the environment, resulting in one of the biggest contributors in our landfills. Switch to a double-sided microfiber cloth, like the Makeup Eraser, to take off your makeup. It only needs water to work its magic, so you aren’t adding any chemicals to your face, and they work great. Next, as mentioned above, always use a cleanser that is right for your face, and rinse with lukewarm to cold water, using a clean washcloth to take make sure you get all your cleanser off your face. Just be sure to use a clean washcloth because you don’t want to introduce bacteria to your squeaky clean face!
- Not Washing Your Hands Before Washing Your Face: If that seems like overkill, it really isn’t. It’s estimated that over 150 different kinds of bacteria, which equates to more than 3,000 germs, live on your hands at any given time and can live for up to 3 hours. It’s also estimated that the average person touches their face at least 23 times per day, transferring that bacteria to your face. To ensure you are giving your face the best cleanse possible, before you do anything, wash your hands!
- Towel Drying: Many people opt for a towel to dry their face right after cleansing, but often people rub the towel up and down, which is not good for your skin at all. Similar to overzealous scrubbing while washing your face, vigorous towel-drying can cause friction, irritation, and the last thing you want – wrinkles! Gently pat or better yet, air-dry instead.
- Over Exfoliating: Exfoliation is fantastic for a fresh, bright, glowing face, but over-exfoliation can disrupt your skin's balance, leading to sensitivity and even more breakouts. Up to two times a week is typically great for your skin, unless you are using a more gentle kind that can be used more frequently.
- Sleeping in Makeup: We've all been there – too tired to wash our face before bed, but seriously, this one is like nails on a chalkboard for me, likely because my Grandma always warned about how much damage to your skin sleeping in your makeup causes. My Grandma was right because not only can it lead to premature aging, it can also result in clogged pores, breakouts, and a dull complexion. So, no matter how tired you are, take the 5 minutes to wash your face and go to bed with a clean, moisturized face so your skin can repair itself while you sleep.
- Forgetting to Moisturize: After washing and toning your face, don’t forget to add your serums, and especially don’t forget to moisturize. Forgetting to moisturize, just invites dryness and fine lines to your face, and you don’t want them at your party! Moisturize to make sure your skin's hydration game is strong!
- Ghosting Sunscreen: Sooo many people skip this step, but if you are serious about taking care of your skin, you have to add sunscreen into your routine. I prefer to use a tinted moisturizer that has SPF protection in it or a powdered foundation that has zinc oxide in it, so that it saves me time and protects my skin. Elina Organics Sun Shelter is the perfect tinted moisturizer for your skin. It comes in three different shades, goes on easily and has an SPF of 35. Additionally, Elina Organics also has their Crushed Seawater Pearl foundation, which has anti -aging properties, but also protects your skin with zinc oxide. However you choose to take care of your skin, always, always, seal the deal with sun protection.
Who knew that a seemingly harmless face-washing routine could have so many hidden pitfalls? Thankfully, however, if you have made any of these common mistakes in the past, they are easy to correct. Using the right skincare products and ensuring you have the right skincare practices in place, will give you the best chance of having healthy skin for a long time. As the saying goes, skincare is a commitment and an investment, but YOU, my friend, are definitely worth it! Be gentle, be thorough, and most importantly, be kind to your skin. It's the only one you've got, after all!