Skin Deep

Seven steps for a cleaner face

If you think cleansing your face is a super-simple step that requires no thought, guess again. Beyond selecting the correct cleanser for your skin type (think foaming for oily skin and creamy for dry skin), these dos and don’ts can give your skin a helping hand.

1. Cleansing wipes are wonderful when you’re on the go, but one isn’t enough to get rid of all the makeup, dirt and post-workout sweat. Be sure to use two or three and do multiple passes.

2. Never, ever wash your face with shampoo, shower gel or body wash. The detergents are too harsh for facial skin.

3. Don’t leave your bottle or tube of cleanser open. Exposure to air can reduce the effectiveness of the ingredients and allow bacteria in.

4. If you use a cleanser with glycolic acid, leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing. This acts like a great mini-peel.

5. There’s no need to buy cleansers with antioxidants or other extra ingredients, since cleansers aren’t left on the skin long enough for these ingredients to penetrate. (However, if you have acne or rosacea, your skin may benefit from anti-inflammatory botanicals.)

6. More is not more when it comes to exfoliation. To prevent irritation, choose one of the following: A retinoid, skincare brush (such as the Clarisonic Skin Care Brush), a scrub, glycolic or salicylic acid cleanser, at-home peel kit, at-home microdermabrasion or exfoliating pads (such as Buf-Puf).

7. If you’re planning on getting up close and personal with a man who isn’t freshly shaved, skip the retinoid or glycolic acid cleanser. Stubble actually exfoliates the skin, and can lead to irritation if you’re using an exfoliating product as well.

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