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Washing Your Face: Less is More

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Beauty related image Photo: Getty Images

For most women, washing and cleansing the face is an everyday necessity. In today’s beauty market, it is no surprise that facial cleansing is such a highly-valued routine. Skin care lines produce new facial cleansers, exfoliators and moisturizers regularly while they also run ads on TV and in magazines showing the latest face washing methods. The abundance of products makes it easier to find a successful skin care system, but oftentimes, simplicity works best.

According to womenshealthmag.com, “The average adult uses at least seven skin care products a day- cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliators, and serums included.” It may seem that using various facial products throughout the day wipes away grime, deeply cleanses and diminishes breakouts, but in reality, the final effect is quite the opposite.

It is important to cleanse your face, but sometimes habitual rinsing can lead to over-washing. Everyone is born with natural face oils that protect and take care of the skin on their own. When the face is constantly cleansed and scrubbed with skin care lines, the chemicals in the products strip the skin of its natural and essential oils. Because the basic oils are reduced, the skin reproduces and creates an excess amount of them. The oversupply of oils often cause skin to become greasy which creates breakouts.

Over-washing your face can also leave an opposite effect from oily skin. By roughly scrubbing your face with your hands, a washcloth or another scrubbing tool, skin can become irritated. Intense scrubbing reduces you to raw skin that appears red. Although it is good to lightly cleanse your face of dirt and other impurities, harsh and excessively thorough scrubbing provokes dryness, irritation and flared skin. Because over-washing can cause skin to breakout, many people keep purchasing more cleansing products to try different washing methods. When one method fails, people attempt a different one, creating a repetitive cycle of skin irritation.

Steps to Avoid Over-Washing

1) Find a gentle cleanser. The most effective and helpful types should be oil-free, fragrance free and water-soluble. Successful cleansers usually contain ingredients including glycerin, shea butter, tangerine oil or chamomile.

2) When lathering cleanser on your face, gently use your hands rather than a rough washcloth or scrubber to avoid irritation.

3) Lightly rinse the cleanser off completely with lukewarm water. Hot water can aggravate and dry your skin. Again, your hands work better than scrubbing vigorously with a wash cloth.

4) Softly pat your face dry with a wash cloth rather than rubbing the water off.

5) If your face feels too tight and dry after cleansing, apply a bit of non-greasy moisturizer.

6) Gently cleanse your face twice a day at the most. Sometimes, just one time during morning or night also works fine.



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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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