Is washing your face twice a day too much or not enough? Should moisturizers and cleansers both be used daily? For such a seemingly simple task, the best way to your face has long been disputed among makeup experts and dermatologists alike. Fortunately, these new skincare tips and products will finally put to rest the age-old question of how to properly cleanse your face.
On the daily
How many times a day should you wash your face in order to keep the blemishes away? While the exact count remains a heated debate among dermatologists, most agree that over-washing can dry out your skin and cause unwanted irritation, especially if you have naturally dry skin.
How often you wash your face depends on your daily routine. If you go to the gym everyday and work up a sweat, a good cleansing following the workout will prevent breakouts. Similarly, if you like to wear a lot of eye makeup, foundation or sunscreen, you don't want that sticking around on your face overnight.
For those with naturally oily skin, washing twice a day - in the morning and at night - will help keep those blemish-inducing oils at bay, while those with dry or overly sensitive skin should stick with scrubbing away just once a day, preferably in the evening.
Removing your makeup every night can be a daunting task when you're tired, tipsy or much too comfortable to get off your couch, but who enjoys waking up in the morning with a pillow smeared with foundation? According to New Jersey-based dermatologist Jeanine Downie, removing your makeup each night before you wash your face will not only save you a ruined pillow case, but will also help clear up your skin.
"Many cleansers can't take off concealer or foundation completely, especially around the eyes and nose," Downie told Marie Claire magazine, adding that an oil-based cream or wipe are the best ways to remove stubborn makeup.
Once your makeup is gone, rinse with lukewarm water and a small amount of cleanser on a damp washcloth to keep your pores fresh.
Skip the fragrances
While they might smell nice, cleansers with fragrances might be harmful to your skin - especially if your skin is very sensitive. Whether the fragrance is natural or synthetic, the scent can inflame your skin. It's best to skip it and instead choose a scent-free cleanser.
Keep it simple
Everyone might have different skin, but when it comes to finding the cleanser right for you there probably won't be much variation. Instead of using a fancy-sounding cleanser, dermatologist Jessica Krant suggests using the gentlest cleanser you can find - you want something that will do the job without irritating your skin.
"Cleansing should take away dirt, germs and excess oil, but not appropriate skin moisture and healthy cells," Krant told the Huffington Post Healthy Living blog.
Emulsion-based cleansers and creams, such as the La Thérapie Émulsion Purifiante Toutes Peaux - Gentle Wash Off, work well with all types of skin without rinsing away vital minerals or oils.
To tone or not to tone?
Many people love using skin toners for an extra cleanse and to reduce the appearance of pores. Toners can be applied to the face in several ways - either with a damp cotton wool towel, a gauze facial mask or sprayed directly onto the face. But how do you know if your toner is right for you?
Dermatologist and "Forget the Facelift" author Doris Day told Marie Claire that alcohol-based toners end up doing more harm than good stripping too many natural oils from the face,
For the best results, you want a an alcohol-free toner that's gentle on your skin and balances out your pH levels, such as the La Thérapie Lotion Tonique Adoucissante Peaux Normales A Gentle, which removes all traces of unwanted residue while also maintaining moisture levels.
Play it cool
If you've had a relaxing, makeup and workout-free day, then don't be afraid to take a day off from washing your face. The rule of thumb, according to Krant, is making sure that you remove all excess oils, sweat and skincare products from your face, but don't go overboard when you don't have to.
"It's best not to let old makeup or sunscreen sit around too long or go to sleep with you," Krant told the news source, adding that anything extra might produce more breakouts.