How to Wash Your Face Properly: The Correct Technique For Different Skin Types

Updated Date: by Reet Patel

We all know that washing our face is important for skincare. It removes the dirt and oil that accumulates on our faces throughout the day, which can lead to breakouts or clogged pores. Besides, having make-up on our face also needs to be removed.  Failing to do so can cause build-up over time. But how often should you wash? How to wash your face correctly? This article talks about how to choose the best technique based on your skin type!

How to Properly Wash Your Face?

how to properly wash your face

Everyone washes their face but only a few get desirable results.  Along with face wash, the right technique also holds equal importance.  Since washing the face is the first thing in the morning and other skincare products are also dependent, it becomes imperative for you to know the right technique.

1) Wash Your Hands to Remove Dirt or Bacteria from Them Before you Start Washing Your Face

Since you would be using your hands to wash your face, the first thing that needs to be cleaned is your hands.  We hope that’s not new for you since this pandemic has taught all of us to frequently wash our hands.

If we talk about face washing, then washing hands is important because you don’t want the bacteria to settle on your face.

Once done with washing hands, it’s time for your face.

2) Always Start With a Clean Face

Before you do anything else, take a moment to wash your face with a gentle cleanser. It will remove makeup or dirt from your skin and prepare it for the next step.

If you have acne-prone skin, be sure to use a cleanser that is specifically designed for oily skin. Avoid using bar soap as it can be too harsh and can even dry your face.

If you have dry skin, use a creamy or milky cleanser that hydrates your skin.

And if you’re not sure what type of skin you have, just opt for a gentle, non-irritating facial cleanser that won’t dry out your skin.

If you want to make sure all the make-up is removed, massage your face with an oil-free cleanser before rinsing it off. Just apply a small amount of warm water and gently rub in circles until all traces of dirt or grime are gone. Use gentle back and forth motions if you have sensitive skin.

3) Use Circular Motions To Wash Your Skin

Start at your cheeks and work toward the outer parts of your face. Finish by washing your forehead, nose, chin, and neck. Once you’re done with this step, make sure to remove all cleanser residue before moving on!  Don’t apply more than the recommended amount since it is not going to benefit; instead, it might cause more harm than doing good.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, use a specifically designed cleaner. A good option is Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Face Wash, which contains salicylic acid to help clear up acne breakouts.

If you have dry skin, avoid using soap because it can strip away the natural oils from your skin. Instead, use a gentle cleanser that’s free of fragrance. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser is great for types because it contains hyaluronic acid to help lock in moisture, and glycerin which helps draw water into the deeper layers of your skin.

If you have normal skin, there are tonnes of great cleansers to choose from. Try Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser which has oat extract and soy proteins that help calm inflamed or irritated skin. It’s also soap-free so it won’t dry out your face like other facial cleansers.

4) Rinse The Cleanser Off With Warm Water

After you’ve massaged the cleanser into your skin for a minute or two, it’s time to rinse it off. Use warm water (not hot) and splash it all over your face until the suds are gone. You may want to use your hands or a washcloth to help remove the cleanser. Be gentle, especially if you have sensitive skin.

If you’re using a Clarisonic or some other type of electronic facial brush, be sure to read the directions carefully to make sure you’re using it correctly. Some brushes should not be used with hot water, for example. And always rinse off the brush bristles after each use to prevent bacteria from building up.

5) Pat Dry With A Soft Towel To Avoid Excess Moisture On Your Skin

If you have oily skin, it’s important to avoid over-washing since it depletes your skin’s natural oils and causes excess oil production. Washing your face two or three times a day should be enough.  Also, make sure to use a gentle cleanser to avoid drying your skin. Gently pat your face dry and wait a few minutes before applying moisturizer to avoid irritating your skin.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, make sure to use an oil-free cleanser that won’t strip away too much moisture from the surface of your skin. Gently pat your face dry after cleansing, but don’t rub, which can irritate your skin. Apply moisturizer while the surface of your face is still damp to seal in moisture and rehydrate dry areas like cheeks, nose, and forehead.

If you have normal or combination skin that tends more toward oily than dry, follow a basic cleansing skin care regimen.  Use an oil-free cleanser two or three times a day. Pat your skin dry after washing and avoid over-exfoliating, so that it doesn’t strip away natural oils and keep your skin healthy. Finish up with a light moisturizer to control oil production without drying out your skin.

No matter what type of skin you have, it’s important to avoid using harsh cleansers that contain exfoliating ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid. It strips away the healthy oils from your skin and leaves you with dryness, irritation, and other side effects. Follow a basic cleansing regimen to keep your facial skin clean without irritating it too much.

6) Finish Up By Applying Moisturizer In Order To Keep Your Skin Hydrated And Healthy

Choose a moisturizer that is suited for your skin type. If you have oily skin, look for a light moisturizer or one that is labeled as “non-comedogenic,” meaning it won’t cause blackheads.

If you have dry skin, go for a richer moisturizer with ingredients like shea butter or avocado oil.

Apply the moisturizer in an upward motion, using your fingertips to apply it evenly across your face. Don’t forget to moisturize your neck and décolleté too! Give the moisturizer a few minutes to absorb before applying makeup.

Do & Don’ts for Washing Your Face

how often should i cleanse my face
  • Do Apply Cleanser That Is Best For Your Skin

Choosing a cleanser depends upon skin type.  For instance, if you have sensitive or extremely dry skin, you must use nourishing and non-foaming cleansers.  Also, a water-based cleanser is great for sensitive skin guys.  The foaming ones can cause more harm to your skin.

Similarly, if you want to get rid of acne, then we suggest using salicylic acid-infused face cleansers since it removes excess oil from your face.

  • Do Make A Habit Of Removing Makeup

We suggest using a makeup remover before starting a cleansing routine.  If you are facing skin problems like clogged pores, try the double cleansing method – use a natural oil-based cleanser first for removing dead skin cells and then a water-based cleanser to remove makeup.  The method is not useful if you don’t wear makeup or sunscreen.

Besides, you can even dip a cotton ball into micellar water and a makeup remover to remove eye makeup. A cotton pad is the best to work on the delicate skin under the eyes.

  • Do Use A Soft Towel

It is imperative that you use a clean towel and not the one that’s been used by all your family members.  Using the same towel can act as a bridge for the bacteria to transfer to your face. Therefore, it is advisable to keep a separate towel for your face.

  • Do Use Lukewarm Water

It is advisable to use lukewarm water because it gently removes all the pollutants from the skin.  The reason why too hot or too cold water is not allowed is that the former fails to clean the skin and the latter may dry out your skin.

  • Do Wash Your Face Twice A Day

It is advisable to wash your face twice a day if you travel a lot or remain in the sun for a longer time.  Another reason to wash your face twice could be if you are heavily working out.

Exercising causes sweating that needs to be washed away before it gets absorbed back into the skin.  However,  if you are doing white-collar jobs and not exercising, you can wash once a day.  We suggest you wash in the evening so that you can have a clean face and a good night’s sleep.

  • Do Use A Moisturizer

Proper cleansing is essential but hydrating your skin post-cleansing is equally important.  You do not want to leave your skin dry, which is why applying moisturizer is essential.

  • Do Use Micellar Water

Unlike plain water, this one is different and is useful in splitting down the makeup, dirt, and debris.  It doesn’t require rinsing off and can be used to wipe off.

Now that you know what are the best practices, let’s look at some avoidable things before or during a face wash.

  • Don’t Use Body Soap To Wash Your Face

Firstly, ordinary soaps can imbalance your skin’s pH levels since they are not made for delicate skin.

Secondly, they can even deplete the skin’s natural oil, resulting in dryness, redness, and irritation.

Lastly, the surfactants present in the soaps can make your facial skin unhealthy and lose its firmness.

  • Don’t Use A Washcloth First

Since you want to maintain your skin barrier, it is advisable to use fingertips and not a washcloth so that it won’t irritate your skin.  Besides, use cleansers infused with potent ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid.  Massage this ingredients-packed facial cleanser for around 1-2 minutes in a circular motion.  It is sufficient for cleansing the entire face, leading to healthy and glowing skin.

  • Don’t Hesitate To Show Clean Your Neck

Since the article is all about cleansing face, it becomes important to focus entirely on it.  However, your focus should not be limited to the chin; the jawlines and neck are also an imperative part of cleansing.

While using face wash for cleansing your face, gently move your fingers in an upward direction on the neck to stimulate blood circulation.  It will not only tighten skin but also naturally firm skin.

  • Don’t Over-Wash

Although washing is essential, it is still not advisable to overdo it.  Dry skin men must make a note of this since they would be at high risk of irritation and redness.

  • Don’t Go The Wrong Way

We suggest using fingertips and circular motions for gentle and thorough cleansing.  It is always advisable to use your fingers.  If you want extra-cleansing, go for sonic cleansing to remove water from the skin.

  • Don’t Use Toner Or Astringent

Toners and astringent are not much needed since the face wash or cleanser is much more effective.  Therefore, you must apply toner or astringent only when the face wash or cleanser fails to keep your skin clean or remove impurities.

So these are the dos and don’ts on how to wash your face.  Now the question comes up: should you wash your face twice a day or only once?  Well, the answer to this question is in the next section.

When Should You Wash Your Face? How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

Washing your face twice a day is the best way to keep it healthy. Most dermatologists recommend you wash in the morning, before sleeping, and after working out or exercising.

How often you should cleanse depends on how active your lifestyle is but washing daily will help remove dirt, sweat, and oil from your skin—keeping pores clear so acne doesn’t have a chance to form.

If you have dry skin, you may want to wash your face only once a day or every other day. Overwashing can strip the skin of its sebum oils, making it drier and more susceptible to cracking and inflammation. If this is the case for you, use a gentle, non-foaming, alcohol-free cleanser and be sure to moisturize afterward.

If you have oily skin, washing more often is actually better for your complexion. The oil produced by your glands protects the pores from bacteria and other environmental pollutants. Without it, these harmful substances get into the pore lining and cause acne or inflammation.

Another case of how often to wash depends on how active you are?  For instance, if you spend a lot of time outdoors or in a polluted area, you may need to wash your face twice a day. Use a normal cleanser that’s specifically formulated for oily or acne-prone skin and avoid harsh scrubs or astringents which can strip the skin of its sebum oils.


1. How To Wash Your Face Correctly?

There’s no perfect way to wash your face – everyone’s skin is different. But a good rule of thumb is to use lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.

2. How Often Should I Wash My Face?

You should wash your face every day, preferably in the morning before you put on any makeup or sunscreen.

3. What Happens If I Never Wash My Face?

Washing your face with the right technique can help prevent breakouts. Not washing it enough can actually cause acne, because not removing all of your makeup and dead skin cells will clog pores and make them more likely to become infected or inflamed.

4. What To Wash Your Face With?

Along with the best face wash, you will want lukewarm water and not just water. Too hot water can cause dryness while the cold water will fail to make skin clean and clear.

5. Should You Wash Off Night Cream In The Morning?

Yes. It is necessary to remove the night cream in the morning or before putting on the daytime skincare products. A morning cleanse is essential to ensure that your face is clean and ready for daytime products.

6. How Long Should I Wash My Face?

The ideal time to spend cleansing your face is 1-2 minutes. During this time you must apply face wash and massage your face to thoroughly cleanse your skin and get rid of impurities.

7. Should You Wash Your Face In The Morning?

Yes, it helps remove all the dirt and debris accumulated throughout the night. Besides, it is also important to wash away all the nighttime skincare regimen from your face.


Do you want to learn the best technique for keeping your face bright, healthy, and fresh? Washing the face every day is an easy way to give your facial skin a boost, but it’s important to do it correctly so your skin won’t dry out or get inflamed. Whether your skin is acne-prone, dry and delicate, or somewhere in between, learn how to wash your face with the right technique for your skin type.

You can also share tips on how to wash your face in our comment section.  We would love to hear your story on what you think about the face cleansing routine.


Published Date: Jan 6, 2022

Sign up for weekly updates from Tomfw.