Chances are you probably are not. Check out these top 3 myths.
Hot water will open my pores and give me a deeper cleanse. Growing up I was taught to use hot water to “open my pores” followed by cold water to “close my pores”. There are two major flaws in this advice. First, pores don’t “open” and “close” like a mechanical door. Second, hot water while thought to be able to break up dirt and oil more effectively can actually strip your skin of its’ natural oils, leaving your skin dry. Dry skin is anti-aging’s worse nightmare. A high quality cleanser along with using circular motions can generate adequate agitation to break up dirt and oil.
Scrubbing my face will get rid of oil and dirt. This was especially popular advice given to me when I was in the midst of adolescent acne. The theory was if I kept my face clean, the bacteria that cause acne wouldn’t stand a chance. Oh, if only that were true, I would’ve have the most beautiful acne-free skin ever. Now, I am hearing this advice when it comes to wrinkle prevention. The theory is that scrubbing your face frequently will remove the dead skin cells to reveal younger looking skin. While there is some truth to this however, people tend to take “scrubbing” to the extreme. Gentle exfoliation with a face scrub that has pumice granules like MicroDerm Exfoliating Scrub is a great way to gently and effectively exfoliate the top layer of your skin which will leave your skin feeling smooth and looking vibrant. But you only need to use once or twice per week at the most. Excessive stimulation will actually cause your skin to overproduce oil as a defense mechanism and while there’s no such thing as “opening” and “closing” of pores, “clogging” pores is definitely a real phenomenon.
A “good” cleanser must leave my skin feeling tight. I have fallen victim to this one countless times. It went something like this: My face feels oily and grimy so I want a “strong” cleanser. I use said cleanser and my skin felt tight so I must have gotten a deep cleansing. Then I began to notice my face felt oily again later on in the day so I would cleanse again. Cleanse. Excess oil. Cleanse again. Repeat. And don’t forget I was also using hot water to “break up” the dirt and oil. What I didn’t realize is I had created a never ending cycle. I was stripping my skin of its’s natural oils (plus the hot water was further drying out my skin out even more) and in response, my skin starting producing excess oil as a defense mechanism.
Try these tips the next time you cleanse your face:
- First, wet your face with lukewarm water
- Rub your cleanser in your hands before applying to your face
- Using your fingers, gently work cleanser into a lather using circular motions
- Remove with lukewarm water. If using a washcloth, apply gentle pressure. Do not scrub
- Pat dry. Do not rub
- If applying moisturizer as your next step, leave your face slightly damp. This will allow your skin to absorb the most moisture