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    14 Crucial Tips For Anyone Who Washes Their Face

    Your skin depends on it.

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    1. Makeup wipes do not equal washing your face.

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    "Makeup wipes may be a quick way to remove dirt, oil, and makeup, but they end up leaving a residue on the face that should be ideally removed as well. It's not a substitute for washing the face with a good cleanser," Dr. Julia Tzu, founder and medical director of Wall Street Dermatology, tells BuzzFeed Life.

    2. Never — ever — wash your face with bar soap.

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    "Bar soaps have higher amounts of detergent/surfactant, which can strip away the oils on the skin and alter the pH," says Tzu. Plus, you never know where that bar soap was before it was on your face.

    3. Instead of using some kind of cleansing aid, just use your fingers to clean your face.

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    Washcloths can grow bacteria and mold (gross), and cleansing brushes can be too harsh for daily cleansing. Clean fingers are the best. If you do opt for a cleansing brush, alternate between that and your fingers to avoid irritating your skin.

    4. But your hands are basically filthy all of the time, so wash your mitts before you wash your face.

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    Think of all of the germy surfaces you touch throughout the day. All of that dirt and bacteria is going right onto your skin if you're not washing your hands before washing your face.

    5. And using upward, circular motions are best.

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    "You never want to pull the skin down," says Christina Gabriel, vice president of customer experience and education at Kiehl’s. Pulling your skin down can make it looser (and more wrinkle-prone) over time.

    6. Over-washing your face can actually lead to breakouts.

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    "Washing your face too much — more often than twice a day — can strip the necessary oils off of the skin, causing more irritation and breakouts," says Tzu.

    7. Sad news: Hot showers are actually terrible for your skin.

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    It feels great, but hot water can dry the crap out of your skin. Go for lukewarm to warm water instead.

    8. If your skin's looking extra thirsty, look for products with hylauronic acid.

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    "It helps bind water to the skin," says Dr. Anne Chapas, dermatologic surgeon at Union Square Laser Dermatology. Might as well have a ~bonding sesh~ between water and your dry skin, amiright?

    9. But if your skin's only dry in certain areas, use a heavier ointment like Aquaphor twice a day.

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    "If a dry patch doesn't resolve with this strategy in one to two weeks, it should be checked by your dermatologist for possible eczematous changes or even skin cancer," says Chapas.

    You can get Aquaphor here.

    10. For oily skin, cleansers with salicylic acid get shit done.

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    "Salicylic acid helps remove build-up and dead skin layers," Chapas says. It works especially well on acne-prone skin, too.

    11. And you can target these oily areas with salicylic or glycolic acid instead of using the product all over your face.


    Oily patches are usually confined to the middle third of the face where oil glands are most highly concentrated. Use oil-reducing products only on those areas instead of over your entire face. Otherwise, you could be over-drying other areas.

    12. Try multi-masking if you've got combination skin.

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    Different masks address different skin issues. For each area of your face, use the mask best suited for the issue.

    13. "Exfoliating" doesn't always mean "scrubbing."

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    "Exfoliating is important so that products penetrate more deeply. Two times a week, on nonconsecutive nights, is generally the best routine. And exfoliating doesn't necessarily mean scrubbing. There are other options, like Kiehl's Over-Night Biological Peel, that gently get the job done," says Gabriel.

    14. And finally, use a clean towel to dry your face — not just the hand towel you have in your bathroom.

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    The hand towel's seen some things and those things (read: GERMS) can ruin the clean face you just worked so hard for. Instead, use a clean towel or facial tissue to dry your face.