The Art Of Face Washing

By Minji

  • There’s a right and wrong way to wash your face
  • Morning and night time wash should be different
  • Wash gently and avoid unnecessary rubbing or tugging motions

All of us know by now how important it is to wash our face.  What many of us neglect to think about is how to do it right.  Washing your face is one of those tasks you’ve probably been doing since your earliest memories.  Similar to tasks like tying your shoes or brushing your hair, you don’t really think about the “how” anymore - the steps, the techniques, the tricky parts to be careful about. 

I think of face washing as an art to be carefully mastered.  I know this sounds grand, but considering how properly washing your face is core to having clean skin, I’m going to stick by this and explain.

How often do you wash your face?  If it’s more than twice on a regular day, that could be a problem.  It’s never good to over wash and strip your face of its natural oils, moisture and protective barriers.  So hopefully, unless you’re participating in a mud run or someone smashed a pie in your face, the answer is twice – once in the morning and once before bed.  The bed time wash is the serious one.  The morning time wash should differ by your skin type. 

If you have relatively dry problem-free skin like me, it might make sense to even skip a formal wash in the mornings.  I shower in the mornings so instead of washing my face separately, I wash my face in the shower.  I just let the water flow over my face (never too hot so it doesn’t dry out my skin).  Less oily skin doesn’t need harsh daily soaping in the mornings. 

Once I’m done with my shower, I take care to gently pat my face a few times with a towel.  I never rub my face, tug at it, make wrinkles or dry it entirely.  I want water drops and some hint of moisture on my face before I start my morning steps.  There is not one second where my face is totally dry. 

Night time face washing is a very different story.  Have you heard of the Korean double cleansing technique?  I’ve been doing this so long as I’ve been using makeup.  The first step is to properly remove all makeup with an oil-based cleanser.  Then you follow up with a foam cleanser.  Put some in your hand, make sure your face and hands are wet and lather, wash starting from the bottom of your neck moving up, in small circular motions. 

These motions should be lifting up towards your forehead and out towards your ears.  Again, never harsh rubbing or scrubbing and more like the gentlest massage.  The way to wash off soap is to splash lukewarm water (never hot) on your face instead of rubbing the soap off.  Scoop water into your hands and literally throw it at your face to get the soap off.  Once the soap is mostly off, you can use the same circular motion all over your face and neck to confirm that no soap remains.  Do this with ice cold water to close your pores and firm up your skin.  Similar to how you should complete a shower with an ice-cold finish

Toweling off is the same way.  Gently pat a few times and make sure your face still has some wetness as you move onto your night time skincare ritual.  Washing your face like this might result in some extra splash around you sink (since you’re throwing water at yourself) so keep a hand towel nearby to dry off the excess water.

The point of the artful face wash is to treat your skin as gently as possible and avoid causing trauma or stress with unnecessary rubbing, scrubbing, pulling, or tugging motions.  Also, we need to be wary of over washing and drying out our skin.  Master the art of the face wash and your skin will thank you for years to come.