Dos and Don’ts for Washing Your Face

Even something as simple as washing your face requires proper technique; without it, you may be damaging your skin.

Dr. Debra Wattenberg, an associate professor at Mount Sinai University in New York City, recently appeared on’s ‘Today’ show to provide guidance on proper facial cleansing.

Based on her advice, the following are a few dos and don’ts for washing your face both gently and effectively:

Do wash your hands before you begin washing your face. Otherwise, you are just transferring dirt from your hands onto your face.

Don’t turn the water on too hot or too cold. Dr. Wattenberg says, “extreme temperatures can damage your skin as well as create more inflammation and irritation.”

Do remove your makeup first. You don’t need chemically-based makeup removers: a dab of organic coconut oil will remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascaras.

Don’t trust your face to commercial facial cleansers. As we explored in an earlier article , many brands of personal care products contain surfactants (the stuff that causes the cleansers to foam), pesticides, plasticizers, hormone-distrupting chemicals, and even carcinogens.

In the United States, there are over 80,000 different chemicals used in personal care products, only about 500 of which have been tested for their health effects. Not exactly what you want seeping into your skin.

Do, instead, opt for a gentle, organic soap or cleanser. A dollop of pure castile soap does the trick very well. If you miss the scent, simply mix in a drop or two of lavender essential oil to add some relaxing aromatherapy to your cleansing routine.

Don’t scrub your face too hard. As Dr. Wattenberg points out, scrubbing can lead to inflammation, irritation and broken capillaries.

Do pat your skin to dry – never rub – and be sure to use a clean towel or washcloth to avoid re-depositing dirt, oil and bacteria.

face washDon’t use chemical-laden commercial moisturizers. They have just as many additives as commercial facial cleansers. Many natural options exist, and pure, organic coconut oil can work wonders.

Your face is the first thing that people see when you greet them, as well as the first thing that you see when you look in the mirror. It makes sense to treat it with kindness, to keep it looking its best.

-The Alternative Daily


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