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Basic steps of facial skin care routine: Cleansing

The purpose of washing/cleansing is to remove dirt, makeup, grime, contaminants and so forth from the surface of the skin. Proper cleansing not only removes impurities but also clears the way for the penetration of active ingredients you may want to apply afterwards. Cleansing may be beneficial or damaging, depending on how you do it.

Most people should cleanse their face twice a day, usually in the morning and before going to bed at night. It is best to use warm (lukewarm) water and a mild cleanser (free of harsh detergents, soaps, alcohol or other irritants). Here is the key steps and recommendations to follow:

  • Gently run cleanser all over your face with your fingertips for about 20-25 seconds
  • Splash running warm water in your face several times to rinse off the cleanser until there is no more residue on your skin. Do not direct the stream of water onto your face.
  • Take a clean towel and gently pat your face. Make sure it remains moist.
  • Apply a moisturizer or an active skin care product of choice onto clean, moist skin. Massage product into your face by gently tapping with your fingers until it is absorbed. No pulling or tugging.

Cleansers vary by the amount and types of detergents, moisturizers, emollients and other ingredients. Selecting the right cleanser depends on your skin type. But whatever your skin type may be, avoid cleansers with harsh detergents (such as sodium lauryl sulfate and its analogs), soap and alcohol (except perhaps for extremely oily skin).

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