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From using wet wipes to hot water: Face washing mistakes you need to avoid

Face washing might seem like a no-brainer, but knowingly or unknowingly you might be going wrong. Face washing mistakes can ultimately affect your skin, so avoid them.
ice water face dip
Dipping your face in ice water is a must in your summer skincare routine! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 26 Apr 2023, 10:30 am IST
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Washing your face is something that you do every day and you don’t have to put in much effort. In fact, it’s a great way to wake you up after a good night’s sleep. Seems like an easy task, but if you do it wrong, you will end up damaging your skin. You might have redness, dryness or breakouts if you make face washing mistakes. It’s not just about using the right skin care products, but also about how you wash your face and how frequently you do it. Let’s find out what an expert has to say about face washing mistakes women tend to make.

To know about the common face washing mistakes, Health Shots reached out to Dr Jaishree Sharad, a popular cosmetic dermatologist, author, TEDx speaker and founder of Skinfiniti Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic in Mumbai.

face washing mistakes
Wash your face with care. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Common face washing mistakes

You may be cleansing your face once in the morning and once at night. The expert says that if you are outdoors and exposed to a lot of pollution, you may have to wash a third time to remove all the dirt and grime and sweat. Washing the face more than thrice a day even if you have oily skin will take away the moisture from your skin. It will also compromise the skin barrier layer, making the skin more sensitive. And if you have oily skin, you may have more breakouts.

Apart from over-washing, other mistakes are:

1. Using hot water

Hot water can strip the skin of its natural oils and cause dryness, irritation, and redness. It’s better to use lukewarm or cool water while washing your face.

2. Using wet wipes

Wet wipes often contain chemicals such as preservatives, fragrances, and surfactants, which can be irritating to the skin. You may have skin irritation and discomfort if you use wet wipes to clean the dirt from your face. Also, while wet wipes may provide a temporary feeling of cleanliness, they may not effectively remove all dirt, oil, and debris from the skin. Dr Sharad says that this can result in residual dirt and oil on the skin. Ultimately, your pores can get clogged and potentially lead to breakouts.

3. Using soaps or the wrong cleanser

Using soaps or a cleanser that is too harsh or too drying for your skin type can again cause irritation, dryness, or inflammation. It’s important to choose a face wash that is suitable for your skin type, whether it’s dry, oily, combination, or sensitive.

4. Using dirty hands or towels

Washing your face with dirty hands or using a dirty towel to dry your face can transfer bacteria, dirt, and oils to your skin, leading to breakouts or infections. Always make sure to wash your hands before touching your face and use a clean towel or a fresh tissue to pat your face dry.

face washing mistakes
Don’t wash your face frequently. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Scrubbing too vigorously

Scrubbing your face too aggressively with a scrub or a washcloth can cause micro-tears in the skin, leading to irritation, redness, and sensitivity. It’s better to use gentle, circular motions with your palms or fingertips while washing your face, suggests the expert.

6. Neglecting to rinse the face thoroughly

If you don’t rinse your face thoroughly, you can leave behind residue from your cleanser. It can clog pores and cause irritation and breakouts. Make sure to rinse your face thoroughly with water to remove all traces of your cleanser.

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7. Using harsh exfoliants too frequently

Exfoliating your skin is important for removing dead skin cells and unclogging pores, but using harsh exfoliants too frequently can cause skin irritation and dryness. It’s recommended to exfoliate no more than one or two times a week and choose a gentle exfoliant that suits your skin type.

While washing face, the skin on the neck and décolletage is often overlooked by women. But it’s important to extend your face washing routine to these areas as well to keep them clean and healthy. Use gentle cleansers and moisturisers on your neck and décolletage, and don’t forget to apply sunscreen to protect them from sun damage.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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