How to use a face cleanser: A step-by-step guide

Washing your face should be a no-brainer. After all, how hard is it to apply and rinse off face cleanser? Yet, so many people get this wrong, and their skin suffers because of it. Reason enough to review your cleansing techniques. Should you need help, check out this step-by-step guide on how to use a face cleanser effectively.


Step 1: Choose your cleanser.

A face cleanser forms the base of any skincare regimen. Good cleansers deep-clean your pores, washing away traces of dirt and debris. As a finishing touch, they leave your skin feeling fresh and hydrated. That’s provided you pick a product that suits your skin type. The wrong formula could dry out your complexion and cause breakouts.

Cleansers with ingredients like milk, aloe vera, or hyaluronic acid are well-suited for dry skin. If your concern is oiliness and acne, look instead for cleansers infused with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Once or twice a week, you could use an exfoliating cleanser to eliminate stubborn dead skin and other residue.

While shopping for cleansers, you will find numerous face washes too. Cleansers and face washes have similar roles but work a little differently. Both will deep-clean your skin, but face washes lack the extra hydration provided by cleansers. If hydration is not an issue for you (because of your skin type or skincare routine), then face washes and cleansers will both get the job done.

There’s just one thing to avoid completely, and that is regular soap. Bath soap messes with the skin’s pH level and strips it of natural oils, leaving it dry and prone to breakouts.

(Troubled by pimples? Find out how to choose the right face wash for acne.)


Step 2: Schedule a time.

Good skincare habits pave the way for a healthy complexion. First on the habit list is a cleansing routine to expel gunk and clarify the pores. Make time for this in your daily schedule to lower the risks of inflammation, irritation, and acne.

Twice-daily cleansing is a great place to start. It should take just a couple of minutes and is best done every morning and night. Washing your face in the a.m. eliminates dirt or bacteria that has transferred to the skin from your hair, saliva, or bed linen while sleeping. Cleansing at night washes off the grime, pollutants, sweat, and oil that may have accumulated through the day. 

How many times can you use face wash or cleanser in a day? Best not to overdo it. Cleansing too often will wash away the natural oils that make skin supple. When this happens, the sebaceous glands go into overdrive, producing excess oil that clogs pores and triggers breakouts. 

One exception here: If you’ve been sweating, wash off the perspiration immediately. Otherwise, the sweat will solidify within the pores and encourage zit formation.

(Don’t let zits get you down. Here’s an easy guide to blemish treatment.)


Step 3: Master the technique.

Using a face cleanser is not rocket science, but there is more to it than meets the eye. To maximise your cleansing routine, get ready to fine-tune your technique. 

Begin by pulling your hair back and washing your hands. When you apply cleanser with dirty fingers, you risk moving impurities and bacteria from the hands onto the face. 

Next, moisten the face and neck with lukewarm water. Avoid very hot water, as this could scald and dehydrate the skin. Cold water, meanwhile, does not loosen up the gunk. Lukewarm water is your best bet since it dissolves the dirt and is kind on the skin.  

Now, take a small amount of cleanser and, using circular motions, spread it across the face and neck for thirty seconds. Such massaging pushes the product into the pores, where it can dislodge any dirt and debris. Finally, rinse off and pat dry with a clean towel. Avoid rubbing too harshly as this may cause microtears, leading to skin irritation. 


Cleansing done. What next?

Once you cleanse thoroughly, swipe on toner to rebalance the skin’s pH level. The skin is now primed to soak up treatments for your specific skin concerns. For instance, if you have acne, applying Clearica Anti-Acne Cream after the toner will combat breakouts, curb infection, and encourage skin cell turnover, revealing the healthy skin beneath. Any serums or ointments should also be applied post toning. Finally, top off with a moisturiser to nourish the skin and protect the outer barrier.

If you are new to skincare, start by cleansing twice a day. When you feel ready, gradually expand your regimen to include toning, repair, and moisturising. These small, incremental steps could bring big dividends for your complexion. Enjoy the compliments as they start pouring in. 




Disclaimer: This page is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a recommendation or for diagnostic purposes. Please consult your dermatologist or doctor before acting on any of the information provided here.