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Face Washing Habits That are Aging Your Skin

Signs of aging? We have advice. How you wash your face might be aging your skin

How you wash your face could be making you look older

We all want to take care of our skin. For most of us, that includes washing our faces twice a day. Ever since childhood we’ve been taught to wash the day’s dirt and sweat off our faces at night, and then wash the night’s sweat and dead skin cells off our faces in the morning to get our skin ready to face the day. Washing became even more critical once we were old enough to wear makeup—around the same time we were fighting adolescent acne.

But what if the way you are washing your face is doing more harm than good? Could the way you are washing actually be causing your skin to age faster?

According to dermatologists—yes. A recent study shows that a surprising 80 percent of Americans make one or more common mistakes while they wash their faces. The same study revealed that 60 percent of Americans feel under-informed about proper face washing methods, and nearly half of them use body wash or hand soap to wash their faces, while more than half use only water. And worse, many consumers admitted to often skipping an evening face wash. Many of these face-washing habits could be causing your skin to age faster than it should.

Common Face-Washing Mistakes

Don’t Skip a Face Wash! Not washing your face at the end of the day is one of the worst mistakes you can make, according to dermatologists. If you sleep with a day’s worth of makeup, dirt and grime on your face, you aren’t allowing your pores to breathe. The dirt and bacteria of the day sits on your skin and causes damage to crucial collagen and elastin in the skin cells which are responsible for structural integrity. This can cause fine lines and wrinkles to develop significantly faster than if your skin was free to replenish itself at night.

Squash the Over-Wash! Conversely, over-washing is also a mistake. You want to cleanse your face of makeup and dirt, not wash and scrub it free of natural essential oils. Harsh soaps can strip your pores and cause serious drying, and even the best drugstore face wash options are meant to be used only twice per day. Your face should be washed no more than twice a day, using one of the best department-store or drugstore face wash options available, depending on your budget. If you plan to exercise in the morning, it’s a good idea to skip your morning scrub and wash after your work-out. Scrubbing or exfoliating too hard causes inflammation. According to skincare experts, chronic inflammation is a leading cause of early aging of your skin. Gentle exfoliating should only be performed once per week.

Use A Makeup Remover Before Washing! Another common mistake is not using a makeup remover before washing your face. Even the best drugstore face wash isn’t made to remove makeup, much of which is water-proof. Eye-makeup remover is especially important. Makeup is pore-clogging and traps bacteria into the skin, causing inflammation which damages the collagen building blocks of your skin.

Dial Down the Heat! Always cleanse and rinse with warm—not hot—water, and pat your face dry with a towel. Hot water is very drying for both skin and hair. You’ll find your face won’t have that tight feeling after a shower if you turn down the heat. The best drugstore face washes are formulated to work best with warm water. For this reason, it's not a great idea to wash your face in the hot shower.

Whoa Washcloth! Washcloths are good for exfoliating, but using one every time you wash can over-exfoliate your face, leading to inflammation and early aging. Instead, use your hands, warm water, and a cleanser to gently cleanse your face.

Moisturizer is a Must. Apply moisturizer after washing! Each time you cleanse your face, the warm water opens your pores, making this the perfect time to apply your moisturizer to lock in hydration. The best face wash products will contain ingredients to get your skin ready to receive the hydrating benefits of a moisturizer or a night cream.

Swear off the Alcohol! Always avoid face washes with alcohol, even if you have oily skin. Some face washes sneak alcohol in their ingredients list because the cool clean feeling it leaves on your face makes you feel like you are super-clean. And that’s unfortunately true. Too clean. Alcohol strips your pores, causing your oil glands to react by going into hyper-drive to produce more protective sebum. Alcohol does much more harm than good for your face. The best drugstore face washes will NOT contain alcohol.

So wash your face, but do so in a skin-friendly way. After all—we only get one face.

Resources— Cision, MyThirtySpot, BestLife, Prevention.com, AAD

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