Washing your face is as simple as using soap and water, right? Not quite say dermatologists. How you wash your face can make a difference in your appearance.
“It’s important for people to treat the face with care. Never scrub the skin or use harsh products as doing so irritates the skin, which makes skin look worse,” said Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
- Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain harsh alcohol.
- Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your fingertips to apply cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything other than your fingertips can irritate your skin.
- Resist the temptation to scrub your skin as scrubbing irritates the skin.
- Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply moisturizer if your skin is dry or itchy. Be gentle when applying any cream around your eyes so you do not pull too hard on this delicate skin.
- Limit washing to twice a day and after sweating. Wash your face once in the morning and once at night as well as after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin. Wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.
In recognition of November as National Healthy Skin Month, these steps are demonstrated in “Face Washing 101,” a video posted to the Academy website and the Academy’s YouTube channel. This video is part of the Dermatology A to Z: Video Series, which offers relatable videos that demonstrate tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and nails. A new video in the series posts to the Academy website and the YouTube channel each month.
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Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).