by Pablo Prichard, MD
When it comes to having clean skin, Americans tend to make some of the worst mistakes by incorrectly washing their faces or not even at all.
According to a new survey conducted by OnePoll and CeraVe, 55% of people do not cleanse their skin daily, 52% use bar soap on their face and 44% use hand soap. Certain bar soaps have a very high pH that causes skin to become dry and possibly irritated. Beyond skincare habits, 27% confessed going more than two weeks without washing their sheets or pillowcases. This leaves skin vulnerable to breakouts and irritations from sweat, oil and bacteria buildup.
This survey not only sheds light on poor cleansing habits, but also the lack of knowledge people have in regards to overall skincare health and techniques. From foaming cleansers to bar soaps, it can be hard to know what cleansers and ingredients to use.
Here are some essential guidelines to help get radiant, clean and healthy skin.
Ingredients for skin types:
Dry to normal skin
Find a cream-based cleanser that has hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, shea butter, glycerin, lipids and oils, ceramides or honey.
Look for a mild, fragrance-free and sulfate-free cleanser. It is best to avoid foaming cleansers because they can strip the skin’s necessary natural oils.
Gel or foaming cleansers are typically the best bet. Look for a product with non-comedogenic ingredients like aloe vera, green tea or citric acid because they will not clog your pores. If prone to blackheads, pick a cleanser that contains salicylic acid.
Use a non-foaming gel cleanser enriched with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and glycerin to deeply moisturize the skin, which will leave it glowing, clean and soft.
Many people struggle with breakouts and need to find a cleanser that contains exfoliating agents, including salicylic and glycolic acid, as the main components. It’s best to avoid cleansers that have too many lipids or heavy oils like coconut oil or Vitamin E.
1. Use lukewarm water, not boiling hot water, and apply the cleanser with your fingertips.
2. Try not to use a washcloth, mesh sponge or exfoliating scrubs more than once a week because it could irritate the skin.
3. Rinse with lukewarm water and gently pat dry with a soft towel. Avoid rubbing the towel on your skin.
4. Finish with applying a small amount of toner on a cotton ball to blot on the face. This resets the skin’s pH balance, protects against bacteria and helps close pores. Look for alcohol-free toners with ingredients like rosewater for anti-aging properties, chamomile for its calming qualities and salicylic acid or witch hazel to fight acne.
5. Try to limit cleansing to morning and night and as well as after sweating.
6. Most importantly, don’t skip cleansing before bed!