How Can I Wash My Face When It Is Oily?
Washing your face is the best way to reduce the surface oils that build up on your skin. At worst, excess oil forms plugs in your hair follicles that lead to whiteheads, blackheads, pimples and other acne lesions; at best, your face has an unbecoming greasy glow. To successfully wash an oily complexion use the right cleanser and cleansing technique.
About Your Cleanser
Look for a cleanser that's gentle and water-soluble. Skincare expert Paula Begoun points out that cleansers for oily and acne-prone skin often contain harsh ingredients–specifically peppermint, camphor, menthol, citrus and eucalyptus. Read labels carefully to make sure that your cleanser contains none of these ingredients, because they can irritate your skin.
Avoid bar cleansers, bar soaps and any cleanser with emollient (moisturizing) properties, Begoun advises. She cautions that these contain ingredients that clog your pores and don't wash off completely. Bar soaps can increase the pH level in your skin, encouraging bacterial growth.
Be wary of cleansers that are medicated. Begoun states that many cleansers for oily and acne-prone skin contain topical disinfectants, benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid–the same ingredients found in leave-on topical treatments. Begoun says that because these ingredients come into contact with your skin so briefly, they're unlikely to be of any benefit. Additionally, they can irritate your eyes and mucous membranes.
Take the "tingle" test. If your cleanser tingles, burns or feels cool when you put it on your skin, it's not gentle enough for you to use on your skin, Begoun says.
Limit face washing to twice a day and any time you sweat profusely, advises the American Academy of Dermatology. If you're dealing with pimples, don't buy into the myth that they're caused by dirt or poor hygiene. Although washing your face is important, doing so frequently makes your skin produce more oil.
Use only your fingertips when you cleanse your face. Be gentle. The AAD notes that scrubbing your face only makes your oil glands produce more oil–the same goes for washcloths, mesh sponges, harsh facial puffs and anything that can irritate. The only time you may want to use a washcloth is when you're removing heavy makeup, Begoun says.
Use warm water when you lather up and rinse, advises the AAD. Never use hot water.
Pat dry gently with a soft, clean towel. Don't rub your face dry.
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