Your face is a delicate part of your body and has the most delicate skin in comparison to the other parts. I got to know this hard truth in my teens, like many others, when my face seemed to have a life of its own and I had breakouts all the time.
Washing your face correctly is necessary to help maintain its sensitive skin in tip top shape. Below are habits that, from my research and personal experience, you could be doing wrong when you wash your face.
Using hot water
For the love of hot showers, I would treat my face in the same manner as the rest of my body, put it under the running water allowing the hot shower water to flow through it. Not only did washing my face with hot water make it flaky, but it also made my face so sensitive that I had to visit a doctor.
Use warm water instead. Ensure you wash your face before bed to get rid of the sweat, dirt and makeup of the day. In the morning, gently pat it with the lukewarm water.
Cleansing with sulphate-based cleansers
With all the variety of skincare products in the market today, it may be hard to know which one is ideal for your skin. To start with, avoid any sulphate-based cleansers. These can be too harsh for sensitive skin and tend to corrode the face rather than soothe it. Opt for an oil-based make-up remover (or use coconut oil) to remove make-up at the end of the day. Remember to apply the cleanser in circular motions and then rinse with warm water before proceeding to the next step.
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Over-exfoliating your face
Here’s where I had got it completely wrong. I would scrub my face so vigorously in the hope that I would be able to heal it of its ailments. I actually still laugh at myself when I think about it. Much as it is okay to exfoliate so as to remove any dead skin cells and refresh your skin, doing it in excess has the worst results. Opt for a gentle face scrub and avoid using brushes as this will only worsen your skin. You can make your own face scrub at home using one teaspoon of granulated sugar, honey and milk.
Rinsing your skin with hot water
Every pro will reiterate these words, ‘Rinse your skin with cool or lukewarm water’. In the same way that you should avoid washing your face with hot water, you shouldn’t rinse it with hot water. This is because hot water dries your face and it also leaves your pores open making it easier for them to get clogged with dirt putting you at risk of getting breakouts. Use cool or lukewarm water for the final rinse.
Rubbing your skin when drying
Many of us are victims of this. You’ve cleansed your skin, rinsed it and then you proceed to rub it with a towel to dry. According to dermatologist Shereene Idriss, drying your face too vigorously with a towel could increase dryness and make your skin even more sensitive. She suggests patting your face dry instead. Remember to use a different towel on your face than you would for the rest of your body. If you have time, let your skin air dry.
Using harsh moisturizers
What are the contents of your moisturizer? Have you cross checked to see if it has any harmful chemicals? Aloe vera promises to soothe sensitive skin. For oily skin, opt for water-based moisturizer.
A good face-care routine can help manage acne and reduce the signs of aging. When choosing products, remember there’s no one-size fits all. Be patient and look for products that work for you.