This probably sounds like a completely ridiculous post. You’ve been washing your face forever. Lather, rinse, it isn’t brain surgery. However, to get the best results from your cleanser, there are some methods that can help make sure your skin is really clean and looking its best.
First, make sure your skin is adequately wet, with luke warm water. If the water is too cool, it won’t open your pores, and if it’s too hot, you’ll burn your skin and shock it.
Dispense a SMALL amount of cleanser into your palm. We don’t need a whole lot of cleanser, usually somewhere between a dime and a quarter. Depending on what your manufacturer’s instructions are, only use that amount of product. Using more does not make your skin cleaner, and will make it harder to rinse off. You do not want soap residue left on your face, so decrease the amount you are using if you have a tendency to overload.
Mix enough water with your cleanser to create large bubbles in your suds. Wet hands do not provide enough water, you must add water in your palms to get the right kind of lather. You shouldn’t feel your lather is too thick, it should be a light, easily spreadable lather. If you don’t adequately lather your cleanser, you are not completely activating the ingredients, nor are you fully allowing the dirt to be pulled away from the skin. Adding enough water also prevents over drying due to too much product. If you think about it, cleansers are meant to be diluted, so if it isn’t diluted enough, it won’t work properly.
Take your time. Spread the suds onto each section of your face including your neck and chest. The neck and chest are often neglected, but also experience breakouts and aging, so including them in your routine is crucial. Thorougly and gently massage the cleanser into your chest, neck and face paying special attention to problem areas. You should spend a couple minutes massaging your cleanser into your skin. Work slowly up your neck and make small upward circles around your jawline (all the way back to your ears), chin, around your mouth and close to the lipline. Work into entire cheek area and gently around the orbital bone with your ring finger. Scrub well all around the nose and into the folds around the nostrils and the tip. Massage gently. You don’t need to apply too much pressure. Once you’ve worked your way up to your temples and done your brows, forehead, and hairline, rinse the cleanser off well. Remember, your skin should not be squeaky clean. If it is, immediately change your cleanser because it is drying the daylights out of your skin.
Finally, repeat the whole process. Yes, washing your face twice ensures properly and thoroughly cleansed skin. The Dermal Institute (the creators of Dermalogica) teaches all of their skin therapists to wash their clients twice, and encourages all of THEM to wash twice at home as well. This ensures that all of your makeup, dirt, and impurities collected by your skin throughout the day are washed away. If you lather correctly, don’t use too much cleanser, and add enough water, this should never dry out your skin. If it does, you are not using the right cleanser for your skin.
Once you blot the moisture off of your skin, follow with your favorite serum, moisturizer, and of course sunscreen (if it’s morning).
Some of this might challenge what you were already doing. I understand. When I first learned this (not that long ago while taking courses at The Dermal Institute) it challenged how I had been washing my face too. However, when I started adopting these methods, my skin improved dramatically. You will be giving your skin that same thorough cleansing that you get when you see your favorite esthetician for a facial. Along with once-weekly exfoliation and proper moisturizing, your skin will be thanking you.
If you need suggestions for great cleansers, I love Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel and Ole Henriksen On The Go Cleanser, and neither one ever dries me out. I used the Dermalogica all through my training there, and I have Ole Henriksen in my shower right now. They’re both fabulous.