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If you want clean and healthy skin, you should make facial cleansing a daily part of your skin care routine. Cleansing removes excess oil and residue from your skin, can help clean your pores and also refreshes your skin complexion. Without regular facial cleansing your skin can become dull, build up blemishes and is more likely to look fatigued. While facial cleansing is essential, not everyone knows how to properly wash their face or how often to do it. Let’s figure out how to wash your face, and what facial cleansers are right for you.

The best practices for working with a facial cleanser depend on the product you choose. For a rinse off cleanser, Garnier consulting dermatologist Dr. Diane Madfes recommends washing with lukewarm water and using fingertips to spread your facial cleanser in a circular motion starting in the center of your face and working outward.

When Should You Wash Your Face

Twice a day is the ideal number of times you should cleanse your skin. During the night our skin accumulates sweat, oil and dirt so it’s important to refresh and cleanse your skin when you wake up. This will help your skin look energized and also create a clean foundation for an SPF moisturizer and makeup. 

During the day dirt, oil and particles called free radicals can attach to our skin which makes it important to clean at night. It will also help you remove foundation, concealer, eye makeup and more from your skin. Not removing makeup can cause your pores to be clogged which results in blemishes such as blackheads or pimples.

To avoid instances of your skin getting aggravated by your cleanser, opt for a gentle facial cleanser. “Gentle facial cleansers are capable of cleansing our skin from dirt and pollutants while maintaining an intact epidermis,” says Dr. Madfes. “The top layer of our skin doesn’t get stripped. They trap dirt and dead skin cells without drying.”

Types of Facial Cleansers

1. Micellar Water

Micellar water is a gentle and effective way to cleanse your skin. It can be used on all skin types and is easy to use on the go as it doesn’t require any water. Micellar water is made up of micelles which are oil particles suspended in water. They attract makeup, dirt and sweat like a magnet and lift any impurities from your face. To use, simply saturate a cotton pad with micellar water and gently wipe your face to remove makeup and any impurities. The waterproof version can lift even the toughest mascaras easily from your lashes and skin. Micellar water is great on all skin types, even sensitive.

2. Gentle Facial Cleanser

Facial cleansers can be drying, but with the right ingredients you can wash your face without irritating it. They gently foam to remove oil, impurities and makeup for soft, healthy-looking skin and is gentle enough to use both morning and night. Formulated with no sulfates, no alcohol, no dyes, no fragrance and no parabens, it’s powerful cleansing that’s gentle to even sensitive skin. Rich in glycerin, the foaming lotion softens as it cleanses so it leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean, never tight or dry. 

3. Rinse-off Facial Cleansers

If you like to actually wash your face with water, there are a plethora of rinse-off facial cleansers that exist in the market today. Look for a product that suits your oily, combination, normal, sensitive or dry skin type and then go from there. If you have oily skin, look for a refreshing and pore-purifying facial cleanser. The daily gel facial cleanser dissolves oil, dirt and makeup and helps to make your skin feel deeply clean and shine-free. Over time your skin will become clearer and large pores will become minimized. 

4. Facial Cleansing Wipes

Cleansing wipes are perfect for travel, the gym or whenever you need a quick cleanse, like at the end of the work day when you want to touch up your makeup on clean skin. There are a variety of facial cleansing wipes formulated for every skin type so no matter whether your skin is oily, dry or normal, there’s a makeup remover wipe out there for you. 

5. Exfoliating Face Wash

Many face washes and facial cleansing products contain ingredients that can help exfoliate your skin. These often come in the form of gel beads, finely ground nut shells, sugar and other exfoliating ingredients. Exfoliation is a great way to ensure that you remove dead skin cells and purify pores on a regular basis. It can help refine the look of your skin by making it look more youthful and also by making it feel softer to the touch. As we get older our skin also becomes duller so exfoliating skin can help it look more energized and luminous. It can also make fine lines less visible as it promotes surface skin cell turnover.