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how to wash your face

How To Wash Your Face Properly to Prevent Breakouts


Having been a surgeon for years, I was taught by an old nurse how to wash my hands but it was my wife who taught me how to wash my face. The interesting thing is that they both in different ways stressed being systematic and consistent to get the best results. In the OR we always started with wetting down with warm water, cleaning our nails with a nail pick and the lathering up our hands, forearms, and finally upper arms. We scrubbed with a firm bristled brush and anti-bacterial soap. The other thing is we took our time, in fact we did it by the clock, for at least 3 minutes!

The idea is to hit the whole facial area and don’t forget to do behind your neck and ears. Be systematic always and start at the same place every single time and move over the areas in a step by step manner. I like to start at the center of my forehead, using two hands, and moving down the respective sides, left and right and on down the cheeks and neck and back of the neck.

At the start, you need to wet your face generously with a warm slightly hot water to open up your pores and this allows the whole process to proceed more productively. The rinse is equally important, you’ve got to get all that soapy astringent material off, totally off. A warm, even slightly hot, clear water rinse with the cupped hands is easiest unless you happened to be in the shower and can just place your head and neck under the stream and wait. The water does need a little help with some vigorous hand motion or a few minutes standing under the shower head stream.

What to use, Ivory soap, clear Neutrogena type soaps, non alcohol containing face cream, honey or just plain water? Many women’s magazines have differing opinions and it is a trial and error thing. Try them all and pick what you think feels the cleanest.

Some people use just their hands and finger tips, some a rough wash cloth, cotton balls or an oofla. Again, experiment. It seems apparent that a good scrub is best but even that is not always the best for some with very sensitive skin. Exfoliation isn’t for everyone. It’s got to feel good, while you do it and after, too. You’ll know when it feels clean.

Most people benefit from a non deodorant soap, something plain Jane, Ivory or some other plain soap. Deodorants and fragrances can do nothing but irritate the skin. After all that’s why we’re here to feel and be clean and assist our skin in staying healthy. Some with very sensitive skin can be irritated by the water temperature, additives to the soap or any alcohols in a cleansing lotion.

Don’t forget to dry off, but gently. Pat dry, do not rub and scrub vigorously. It doesn’t really help or hasten the process and only services as a skin irritant.

Some experts tend to think that the use of a moisturizer after cleaning your face can cause problems. They say that men who use moisturizers after washing their face will gradually appear older than they really are. I find that this would be true if you have extremely oily skin or bad acne, but if you have normal or dry skin, a moisturizer does wonders for keeping skin soft and pliable.

No surprise, healthy skin needs a healthy lifestyle, so not smoking, protecting your skin from the sun, eating healthy and reducing stress all help. But don’t forget to treat your skin kindly, not too much hot water which removes critical oils, pat dry, avoid stringent soaps and moisturize!

Why bother, why fuss? First you’ll feel better, not just cleaner but more energetic. It seems natural enough to want to get up and wash your face and teeth and feel fresh. So start every day that way, before your morning coffee or at least, while it’s brewing.

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