How to Wash Your Face – The First Step in Your Skin Care Routine

by Angel

Washing your face is really a simple step in your skin care regimen that you must do at least once a day to maintain beautiful blemish free skin.

There are typically two types of face washers. There are the old fashioned soap and water people then there are the every ingredient under the sun people. Somewhere in the middle is an ideal place to be. Washing your face is a very simple thing to do and should be done at least once per day to remove makeup, dirt, and any impurities that have accumulated over the course of the day. Today's cleansers are gentle and won't strip your skin like many back in the day. They allow moisturizers and anti-aging products to work more effectively too. Follow these rules for a great start to your skin care routine.

What Types of Cleansers Should You Use?

There are so many different types of cleansers available today. It really does not matter which type you use. One is not necessarily better than the other. It is a matter of preference. What type do you like the best? Skin care is so much easier today than it used to be. Pick a type and try it. If you don't like it then try another. This is what I have done to determine that my preference is a creamy cleanser. I will use a cleansing wipe if I am really tired at night but always follow up the next morning with the real deal.


Some Rules of Thumb -

  • Dry skin – use a cleanser with added moisturizers like glycerin or shea butter.
  • Oily skin – a foaming wash that leaves your skin with a fresh clean feeling may be best.
  • Avoid using cleansers with fragrance in them. They can irritate your skin.
  • Avoid using harsh soap – it really dries out your skin.


Types of Cleansers Include -

  • Milks
  • Foaming Mouses
  • Oils
  • Wipes
  • Motorized Brushes
  • Creams


Washing Your Face 101

Washing your face should be a two step process if you wear makeup. If you don't wear makeup then you are down to just one step.


  1. Remove all your makeup before cleansing your face. It is better to use an oil or cream to remove your makeup. It comes off so much easier this way. I would also suggest using an eye makeup remover to take off your mascara. This can be difficult to remove with anything else. Especially if you wear waterproof mascara. This can be quick and easy.

  2. Use a small amount of cleanser and lukewarm water to wash your face. Use your fingertips or a soft washcloth. Rinse and pat dry.

Tips -

  • Avoid extremely hot or cold water as it can irritate rosacea and redness.
  • Mild steam helps to soften hardened oil in pores – it is a good idea to cleanse your face in the shower.


Should You Wash Twice a Day?

It is not necessary to wash your face twice a day unless you have really oily skin. Normal, combination, and dry skin should only be washed once a day. I would suggest it be done at night. Those of you with oily skin should wash in the morning and at night. Over washing your face can cause it to dry out and cause irritation. I always suggest a quick wash after working out to keep from breaking out.   

Should You Exfoliate and Use a Toner?

I would suggest that you exfoliate once per week and do it carefully. There are some great cleansers that have tiny beads within the cleanser that are just enough to exfoliate while you clean your face. This is great as they are not too harsh for your skin and you can do it every day without irritation. Only use a grainy scrub once per week or every other week. These can really irritate your skin if over used. An alternative to grainy scrubs is using salicylic or glycolic acid cleansers. These offer anti-aging benefits as well as prevents breakouts.

Toners are not necessary but sure do feel good after cleansing your skin. Toners can also remove the left over dirt and makeup not removed by cleansing. Make sure to avoid the alcohol based toners. They strip your skin of its natural oils. Gentle toners calm the skin and balance pH levels. If you are one that needs a toner then please use a gentle one.

How Much Should You Spend on a Cleanser?

I am a skin care freak. I have tried every kind of cleanser, toner, and moisturizer known to man. It is my advice to not spend so much on your cleanser. Your cleanser gets washed down the drain. You can find a good cleanser at your local drug store or online at Amazon or Sephora for $30 or less. I would spend more money on a good moisturizer that stays on your skin all night and works its anti-aging magic.    

What Does Katiem2 Have To Say?

Katie McMurray aka Katiem2 is a great resource for beauty and skin care.  She and I both write many similar articles in the Beauty and Fashion category.  She explains to us how we should let our skin breathe from makeup every once in awhile.  Go through your skin care routine and then go natural without the makeup.   It really does make your skin feel so much better!

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Updated: 06/04/2012, Angel
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Do You Wash Your Face at Least Once Per Day?

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Natural_Skin_Care on 10/26/2012

Great primer on washing your skin. The basics really count the most.

Angel on 06/29/2012

Jasmine - aren't those makeup remover wipes great? I love to use them...especially when I am too tired to really wash my face at night.. I can at least wipe the makeup off and then wash really well in the morning. I have never thought about using aloe vera cream for my face.. I have used it on my body after being in the sun. I have to try that! There are so many good things out there to use it is hard to keep up with them all.

Jasmine on 06/29/2012

I rarely put makeup on, but when I do, I use makeup remover wipes. They're great! As for washing my face, I do it in the morning and before going to bed, also in the shower. After that, aloe vera cream. It does miracles to your skin! Great tips!

katiem2 on 06/05/2012

Oh yes I love makeup remover wipes, use tons of them and it amazes me what comes off on those, even on days when I don't wear makeup, more reason to wash our faces every night...

BTW I always wash my face in the morning, it wakes me up then again in the shower...

Angel on 06/05/2012

Katie - I know what you mean about getting lazy about washing the face. I get the same way sometimes. I try really hard to at least get my makeup off with a makeup remover wipe at a minimum. They are so easy to use. I like the Neutrogena wipes. You have done so much to help me on my journey that I want to do what I can to help you too! Thank you for everything Katie!

katiem2 on 06/05/2012

I must say washing my face is one thing I often consider skipping at bedtime. Oh I get so lazy. I hesitated before I read this and thought oh here I go. You have made it simple and clear we must wash our faces and thanks for the helpful tips on the most vital first step to any good skin care routine. Thanks for including me on this page, very honored indeed. Now to add this to mine :) Great information on the best skin care. :) K

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