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Since an early age, you’ve known that washing your face is a necessary step in your skin care regimen. And with the number of times you’ve done it during your life, the process has probably become second-nature. But it turns out that washing your face isn’t quite as cut and dry as you may have thought. In fact, you could be making mistakes that are preventing your skin from looking its most beautiful. From using the wrong facial cleanser in your skin care routine to skipping nighttime face-washing, keep reading to find out what some of the most common face-washing mistakes are and what you should do instead.
OK, this probably seems like a no-brainer but it’s worth repeating: You should use a cleanser that’s formulated for your skin type. The good news is, there are plenty of different types of cleansers out there, ranging from gel to cream to foaming. In need of a new cleanser? Here are some of our favorites:
L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Detox & Brighten Cleanser: This clay-to-mousse cleanser is powered by three different clays in their pure form and enhanced with charcoal. The formula removes everyday impurities without over-drying, leaving skin purified of dirt, oil, and pollution and looking more radiant and luminous.
L'Oréal Paris Ideal Clean™ All Skin Types Foaming Gel Cleanser: This foaming gel cleanser lifts dirt and impurities up and away from skin without drying it out.
L'Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser: This scrub cleanser is formulated with gentle micro-pearls and glycolic acid to exfoliate dead skin cells on skin’s surface.
L’Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof - All Skin Types: This micellar water is powered by micelle molecules that cluster together to surround and lift away impurities and makeup—even waterproof mascara—with no harsh rubbing required.
L'Oréal Paris Men Expert™ Hydra Energetic Extreme Cleanser Infused with Charcoal: This cleanser acts a magnet on the skin to capture and get rid of all kinds of dirt—think excess oil and impurities. The coolest part: The black cleanser turns into a rich white foam as you use it.
L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Nourishing Cream Cleanser: This gentle cream cleanser is formulated with precious oils for mature skin.
Yep: There is a right way and a wrong way to apply a cleanser to your face. It’s important to be gentle. So, massage your cleanser lightly onto your skin—don’t aggressively rub—then rinse and follow up with the rest of your skin care routine.
This one is quite gross when you think about it, so pay attention! Before cleansing your face, you should wash your hands to ensure they’re completely clean before you put them on your face. You touch lots of things in your daily life, from door handles to your cell phone, and your hands could have bacteria on them from the various surfaces you come into contact with throughout the day—hence needing a good wash before they go anywhere near your face.
It’s time to turn down the temps! Hot water can strip your skin of natural oils which can lead to dryness. Yikes! Whenever you wash your face, use lukewarm water instead. Trust us, your complexion will thank you!
Exfoliating is the process of sloughing away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin and it's something you don’t want to go overboard with. Everyone’s skin is different—so there’s no hard and fast rule about how many times a week you should exfoliate. Some people may benefit from daily exfoliation, while others may only need to do so once or twice a week. It depends on your individual skin, so pay attention to how your skin responds so you can determine how often it’s appropriate to exfoliate. And remember: Be gentle!
What you do after you wash your face is just as important as how you wash your face. And if you always skip using moisturizer post-cleanse, it’s time to change—and that applies to oily skin types, too! After you’ve rinsed off your cleanser, apply a moisturizer, like the L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Oily Skin, L'Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Normal/Dry Skin, or L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care - Extra Dry Skin to damp skin to help lock in hydration.
Next: Our Best Facial Cleanser for Every Skin Type