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Here’s the best way to wash your face if you have acne

When you have acne, it can start to feel like you’ve tried a million things to get rid of it. After all, there are a ton of products on the market – some better than others – designed to help treat acne.

But the truth is, a good skincare routine can alleviate a lot of acne related issues, and a good skincare routine starts with knowing the best way to wash your face. That’s why, today, we’ll be looking at some of the most common face washing questions and concerns and sharing some simple face-washing tips.

By following these tips, you can start to create a routine that’s right for you – and finally give acne the boot.

Let’s take a look.

Creating the best cleansing routine for your acne
Is washing with water alone enough?

Every now and then, we run into people who swear they never wash their face. They claim that cleansers dry out their skin and make acne worse, and a splash of water works just as well. But does water get rid of acne? 

It is true that a lot of cleansers on the market are harsh. Typical cleansers tend to have an alkaline pH, which is bad for acne and can irritate the skin. But this shouldn’t deter you from using a cleanser altogether. 

Cleansers are important to wash off excess oil and debris, something that water alone cannot accomplish. Using a gentle cleanser that is slightly acidic and fortified with vitamins will help to clear up acne and soothe skin. 

If your skin is extremely sensitive, rinsing with water in the morning is an OK trade off, but be sure to use a gentle cleanser at night to wash off the residue of the day.

How often should you wash your face?

It’s easy to get a bit obsessive when you have acne. Maybe the more you wash your face, the more dirt you’ll scrub away, and the faster your acne will disappear, right? Unfortunately, this is a common misconception, but it just doesn’t work that way. Over-washing can lead to dry and irritated skin – and, ironically, can even cause your skin to produce more oil. And all of these side effects of over-washing? They can make acne worse.

Experts recommend washing your face twice a day: once in the morning and once at night. 

Washing your face in the morning removes excess oil and the bacteria and saliva that accumulate on your pillow while you are sleeping. It’s best to start fresh and get all of that grime off of your face before you start your day. Washing your face again at night will get rid of any debris that accumulates throughout the day. 

Are you supposed to wash your face with cold, hot, or warm water if you have acne?

This is a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. 

Cold water can be very beneficial if you have acne. See, hot water can strip your skin of needed natural oils and can actually make your acne worse. Washing with cold water will not remove your natural oils, and can also reduce puffiness and inflammation in the skin. So you should use cold water, right?

Well, not exactly. The drawback of cold water is that it does not dissolve debris, and since cold water tightens the pores, dirt can actually become trapped in the skin. 

So, what to do?

Experts recommend washing your face first with lukewarm water to cleanse, and then rinsing with cold water to tighten the pores. This promotes good blood circulation and visibly brightens your skin while also washing away any dirt and debris without stripping the skin of it’s necessary oils. A win-win-win situation!

How exactly should you wash your face?

What’s the best technique for washing your face? Experts agree that you should do it gently and thoroughly while keeping it relatively quick. 

Wet your face with lukewarm water and apply your cleanser with your fingertips. Apply products in a circular motion and be sure to apply to your entire face, including the jawline. Rub until you’ve built up a nice lather, about 20-30 seconds, and then rinse thoroughly. 

Just don’t leave your cleanser on too long – too much time can dry your skin out.

Should you exfoliate if you have acne?

Absolutely! Regular exfoliation is generally good for your skin. It not only smoothes and softens your skin, but also clears away dead skin cells and excess oil. 

Exfoliating can, however, further irritate the skin, so it’s important to not overdo it. Physical exfoliants such as scrubs and cleansing pads can exacerbate acne-prone skin. Instead, think about using a gentle chemical exfoliant. Topical products containing salicylic acid are a good alternative to abrasive scrubs.

So how much is enough? Experts recommend exfoliating this one to three times a week. If your daily cleanser has an exfoliant, it might also be making your acne worse. Switching to a gentler daily cleanser and buying a separate exfoliant might be your best bet for reducing inflammation while keeping your skin smooth and soft.

Should you use moisturizer if you have acne?

Also yes! When your face feels a bit greasy, it may seem counterintuitive to put lotion on it. Shouldn’t you let your skin breathe? But experts will tell you that it’s very important to moisturize, even if you’re in the middle of a breakout. 

When your skin is dry, your acne will be more inflamed and irritated. By moisturizing, you are reducing inflammation and calming your acne. Additionally, when skin gets too dry, it’ll overproduce oil to make up for the dryness. This ultimately causes more acne, and a vicious cycle ensues. 

Experts recommend finding a gentle moisturizer designed for acne-prone skin and applying it right after you wash your face. See, moisturizers work best when applied immediately after washing, when the skin is still slightly damp – this helps keep more moisture in.

Use these tips to upgrade your skincare routine

And there you have it! That’s everything you need to know about the right way to wash your face if you have acne. 

It may take some time to adjust to your new skin care routine, but it will be worth it to see clear skin shining back at you in the mirror.

Oh, and if you’re looking for a little extra glow, think of adding a daily vitamin mix designed to fight acne for skin health that starts from the inside out!


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