Skincare Washing Advice…If You Want To Look Younger Longer

Young man spraying water on his face after shaving, splashing water on his face

Aging, it’s kind of a dirty little six-letter word. But it’s biology and pray as we may, there’s no curious cure of the Benjamin Button that we know of…yet. So until there is, why not follow the anti-aging advice from Dr. Manish Shah, a plastic surgeon and anti-aging expert based in Denver, Colorado.

Does it really matter how frequently you wash your face?
This is a yes and no answer. Yes because, well, good hygiene, but no in general. That said, how you cleanse your skin can have a whole lot to do with how youthful it looks day after day. “Your basic skincare goes a long way toward preventing premature aging,” affirms Dr. Shah, so keep reading to find out more.

Do you really need to use toner?
Yes. Over use though can dry out your skin and even lead to an increase in your epidermis’ oil production. So skip the toner in the mornings and aim to apply it after you’ve washed your face at night. “If you find your skin feeling tight or irritated after applying toner, you may be using too much, especially if you have sensitive or combination skin,” adds Dr. Shah. “Many toners also have alcohol-based ingredients, such as denatured alcohol in them. Avoid toners with these ingredients at all costs, as they will dry the skin completely and remove natural oils needed to keep the skin moist and healthy.”

How hard should you rub on your facial scrub?
Not hard. At all. Try gently applying your scrub in small circular motions around your entire face. You can apply a little more pressure in the crevices along the sides of your nose and along your beard line, but less is more.“Your hands should not be doing all the work,” says Dr. Shah. “Scrubbing the skin too harshly or with materials that add exfoliation can cause micro-tears in the skin as well as excessive elimination of essential oils which can leave the skin dry.”

Will washing with hot water make my skin cleaner?
Nope. It can actually dehydrate it and strip it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and flaky. Hot water can also cause acne and skin irritation. “Rinse your face with lukewarm or cool water, not cold, to help constrict blood vessels,” says Dr. Shah. “Hot water can enlarge your pores and this can affect the oil production of the skin as well as the texture of it.” Note: over washing your skin can also have similar effects to washing with hot water, so restrict your cleansing time to twice a day.

A bar of soap is just as good as any skin cleanser, right?
Wrong. But know you’re not alone on this one. Many people use bar soap on their face because they like the squeaky clean after feel. And yet, that usually means you’re sudsing away your natural oils. “You could be damaging your skin and aging yourself by washing your face with any available hand soap,” explains Dr. Shah. “Soaps with fragrances can be especially irritating to the skin. Overall, these soaps are not made for the face and while this may be a minimalist approach, it borders on detrimental as hand soaps are dehydrating and lack many of the ingredients that optimize your skin’s complexion.”

If you have combination or oily skin you never need to use a moisturizer…
Think again. Regardless of your skin type, everyone’s epidermis benefits from a moisturizer. Gel-based formulations are ideal for oily to combination skin, lotions work great on combination to normal skin and creams are essential for dry skin. “Moisturizers also come with a combination of vitamins and lipids that can help the skin heal irritations, strengthen its protective functions and look smoother and healthier,” adds Dr. Shah. “The best time to apply moisturizer is after the shower or after applying toner. This will help prevent excessive dryness and it will help to skin retain moisture.”

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