Make Face Washing a Priority for Clearer, Healthier Skin

Face washing, like brushing your teeth, should be an everyday activity, but many of Americans forgo a face washing routine, causing harm to their skin. A recent survey done in 2017 by the popular skincare company, CeraVe, found that 80 percent of Americans make at least one mistake while washing their face. While it may not seem to make a difference at the moment, a simple habit of properly washing your face can make all the difference in your appearance.

The first mistake that many people make when washing their face is not washing often enough or washing too often. You should be washing your face twice a day, in the morning and at night, right before bed. While your face may not look dirty, throughout the day your skin accumulates a buildup of dead skin cells, debris, oils, and more which can lead to dull skin and increased acne. Washing your face too often, however, can strip your skin of its protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable to your environment. Aim to wash your face in the morning when you first get up and in the evening, before you go to sleep. You’ll also want to wash your face after any heavy sweating to prevent bacteria overgrowth.

Think of your face as a paint canvas. Washing your face acts as a reset, returning your face to a fresh canvas, which will work better for any subsequent products you put on your face, like moisturizer. For some, face washing can help control the severity and frequency of acne breakouts.

“Stick with a gentle skin cleanser,” said Certified Physician Assistant, Alison Grant of TPMG Hampton Roads Center for Dermatology in Newport News and Virginia Beach. Some popular cleansers include Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, CeraVe Gentle Skin Cleanser, and LaRoche Posay Gentle Skin Cleanser. If you have dry or oily skin, they also offer products that will help with your skin’s specific needs. The bottom line is: you need something gentle, without alcohol.

It’s important to understand what cleansing products to avoid for daily face washing. Be careful with exfoliating products. The tiny beads in these products can be very irritating, strip moisture from your skin, and even cause micro-tears in your skin barrier. Exfoliating products can be misleading because they make the skin of your face feel smooth and clean, but they often hurt just as much as they help. Try not to scrub your face too hard while cleansing, as it can lead to over-exfoliation as well. Cleansing products that contain BHA or AHA can be helpful for certain skin types, but they aren’t necessary for everyday use. Overuse of products like these could end up damaging your skin. Lastly, although makeup remover is helpful for your end-of-day skincare routine, makeup remover should not be used in place of a skin cleanser.

After cleansing your face, you need to apply some form of facial moisturizer to return some of the moisture back to your skin that was lost during the washing process. Different types of skin require different moisturizers; however, anyone should look for unscented creams that also include SPF protection. If you have any questions regarding your skin type and which skin products would work best while washing your skin, talk to a board certified TPMG dermatologist.

Alison Grant

About Alison Grant, PA-C

Alison Grant, PA-C, treats a broad spectrum of skin conditions to include acne, eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer, as well as many other hair and nail disorders. Alison sees patients of all ages from children to adults. With a special interest in the prevention of both skin cancer and premature aging, she is a great proponent of using daily SPF protection. TPMG Hampton Roads Center for Dermatology welcomed Alison to the practice in 2021.

TPMG Hampton Roads Center for Dermatology – Virginia Beach
Phone: 757-917-5101

TPMG Hampton Roads Center for Dermatology – Newport News
Phone: 757-232-8856

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