Common Face Washing Mistakes

Woman cleaning her face with water

Common Face Washing Mistakes

  Most of you know and hear over and over again in magazines, blogs and from your estheticians that you should be washing your face before bed.  Not washing your face at night is the biggest mistake you can make for your skin besides not wearing SPF.  All the skin aging particles from pollution, makeup and built up sebum from the day mix together by nightime into a not so refreshing cocktail in your pores.  Your skin regenerates and heals itself to repair from the damage of the day, so washing at night is so important.

  But did you know that there are also many face washing mistakes that can lead to an impaired barrier or even cause breakouts too?  Lets look further into the top 3...

Mistake #1:  Using makeup wipes as face wash

Guys, makeup wipes do NOT replace washing your face.  They just don't.  While some may have surfectants in them that do cleanse the skin, they are still not being washed off, so all the stuff in your skin stays on the skin.  Plus most wipes have cheap irritating fragrances, alcohols and pore cloggers in them as well. 

woman in the bathroom washing her face

If you feel you must have something extra to take your makeup off, use a micellar water on a cotton pad to wipe off makeup before washing your face with cleanser.  I love the French pharmacy brand Bioderma for micellar waters that are gentle and non pore clogging.

Mistake #2:  Using the wrong face wash for your skin type

I see all kinds of skincare mistakes when clients first see me in the clinic.  But a common thing I see are women in their 40's and 50's using teen acne face washes that they had literally used since they were teenagers.  They figured they still had some breakouts occasionally so were still benefiting from them.  But instead, these harsh drug store washes with salicylic acid and stripping detergents were stripping their skin, causing chronic dehydration, inflammation, MORE breakouts and aging.

Another common issue i see are acne clients who had been using waxy based milky drugstore cleansers recommended by their dermatologists while they were using harsh prescribed retinoids to help clear their skin at the same time.  The name of this cleanser rhymes with "Shmetaphil".  These cleansers, while very gentle, actually contain waxes that clog the pores and disrupt the skin barrier.  While they do gently cleanse and are cheap, they are counterproductive and lead to more sensitized and broken out skin long term.  

Mistake #3: Using straight oil as face wash

Oil cleansing is all the rage, between the fads from Korea and Japan to green beauty trends, I see oil cleansers have reached mass market.  While I do LOVE a good oil cleanser as a first cleansing step before using a regular cleanser, I'm seeing people show up with skin issues who thought they could just use a straight oil not formulated as a cleanser to "oil cleanse" their skin with, like jojoba oil or coconut oil.

common face washing mistakes

The reason oil cleansers work so well is that the oils in them bind to the oil in your skin and then cleanse away when rinsed while leaving the skin feeling dewy.  The reason it works with these cleansers is that they are formulated with surfactant ingredients mixed in.  Even if they don't foam at all, they still have surfactants that help bind water to oil and help everything break down and wash away when rinsed.  

Remember, water and oil do not mix so if you smear on plain oil and then try and wash it off, you're not rinsing much off and your skin is not getting cleansed.  Its just smearing oil around.  This also will cause dehydration as the oil will block water from penetrating into the skin as well.  So it's a big mistake.

So How Do I Know What Type of Facewash would be best for me then?

I always recommend seeking out an expert esthetician's advice on this as estheticians are specifically trained in products and ingredients for skin regimens.  Stick to something gentle that's not "Shmetaphil", and is not made with SLS type detergents like Sodium Laureth Sulphate. 

You can also click below to take my free skin quiz to see which one of my Meta Skincare face washes would be best for you.




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