The Right Way to Cleanse

To most, daily cleansing may consist of nothing more than washing with simple soap and water. But, in reality, cleansing the right way—with the proper products and tools—can make a world of difference in how your skin looks and feels. Proper washing entails more than just splashing water on your face. Follow these steps each and every time you wash to ensure that your skin is cleansed correctly.

1. Remove makeup with a nonstripping makeup remover.

2. Adjust the water to warm. “It’s best to wash with warm water as opposed to cold water since warm water helps to soften the skin, allowing for exfoliation,” says Kate Somerville, founder of Kate Somerville Skin Health Experts. If the water is too hot, it can burn the skin and cause broken capillaries; water that’s too cold can prevent the pores from loosening up and can leave skin feeling tight.

3. Cleanse in circular motions, without scrubbing, for at least 30 seconds. Avoid stretching or pulling the skin, which may break or damage it. Instead, use your fingertips to gently massage the cleanser into the skin and let it sit for one to two minutes.

4. Rinse thoroughly. Use a washcloth or cotton pad saturated in water to get every last bit of cleanser off the skin—cleanser left on the skin can dry it out.

5. Gently pat your face with a dry towel. Don’t rub incessantly, which can potentially cause dry patches, redness and even tears.