Washing your face is one of those things we assume everyone does the same way—until we hear someone does it differently. And then we start to wonder: Hot or cold water? Gentle cleanser or a grainy scrub? Use an expensive electronic face brush that we read about on the Internet?
Turns out we had more questions about face washing than we realized. To get some answers, we went to the experts for a step-by-step guide to getting a clean, clear complexion.
First things first: If you wear makeup, take it off with an oil-based makeup remover, says Karen Hammerman, M.D., a dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group. Makeup won’t come off with just gentle cleansing of the skin, and if it stays on too long, it can lead to blocked pores and future zits.
As for a cleanser, we know it’s tempting to grab the one covered in marketing promises, but it’s a better idea to go for one labeled “gentle,” “pH-balanced,” and “fragrance-free,” recommends Yasmine Kirkorian, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at Children’s National Health System. Something basic like Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($9.89; drugstore.com) is a safe bet, although she says the brand isn’t as important as that it’s non-abrasive (sayonara, microbeads).
Need more help navigating the face…