Cleansing your face daily is one of the most important skin care steps you can do for yourself. Whether you’re prepping your face for a smooth makeup application in the morning or rinsing away buildup in the evening (or both), it’s important to strike the right balance between a gentle touch so you don’t irritate the skin and firm pressure so your face gets the cleanse it needs. So, how exactly do you do this? Do you cleanse before exfoliating, or the other way around? What about using hot water vs. cold water? Ahead, we break down the essential steps to properly washing your face, from the products you should be using to the order you should be applying them to the appropriate water temperature when rinsing. Here are five steps for a cleaner and glowing face.
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1. Start with a cleanser
The first step to a cleaner face, and perhaps the most important one, is to remove any trace of makeup with a nonfoaming cleanser or micellar water, which is simple yet effective. If you’re using micellar water, pour the cleanser onto a cotton ball or pad and apply to the face in small circular motions, making sure to be extra gentle around the eyes. Then, rinse off with lukewarm water. This will clear your skin of product and oil buildup and provide a nice, clean canvas for the next step.
2. Next, lightly exfoliate
While cleansers are great for removing makeup, oil, and grime, it’s good to follow up with a gentle exfoliator to clean and smooth your skin. Look for a scrub like St. Ives’s Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Scrub that has 100 percent natural exfoliants (plastic microbeads are bad for the environment).
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Rub a pea-sized amount between your hands and apply to the face in small circular motions for two minutes. Concentrate on areas that are flaky and uneven, such as the base of your nose, while also making sure not to overlook other areas like your hairline and lips. We recommend exfoliating three to four times a week.Apply a scrub with natural exfoliants using circular motions to smooth, soften, and reset your skin.
3. Then, rinse with warm water
Although it may seem like a minor detail, the temperature of your water is crucial for getting a proper cleanse. Avoid using water that’s too hot or too cold — hot water can be extremely drying and can strip the skin of its essential oils, and extreme temperatures in either direction can rupture capillaries or blood vessels. Instead, use lukewarm water to rinse and revive your skin.
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4. And pat dry
Rubbing your face with a towel to dry off can pull and stretch your skin. Be sure to pat dry gently. For an added benefit, try starting at the center of your face outward toward your jaw and hairline to increase circulation and boost your complexion.
5. Finish by applying moisturizer
Finally, apply moisturizer to hydrate the skin. Start by gently dabbing the cream under the eyes and sweeping up along the nose and out across the brows, and then from the nose out across the cheeks. Finishing off with moisturizer directly after cleansing the face will help to prevent dullness and lock in moisture for a softer, smoother complexion.
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6. More from St. Ives
Reveal your skin’s natural radiance with America’s #1 scrub brand*! Each of St. Ives’s scrubs is made with 100 percent natural exfoliants, and the range offers a variety of exfoliation levels so you can find the scrub that’s right for you.
- Shop our favorites below and buy now without clicking out!
- Apricot Fresh Skin Facial Scrub
- Oatmeal Facial Scrub
- Green Tea Facial Scrub
- Pink Lemon & Mandarin Orange Facial Scrub
- Apricot Blemish Control Facial Scrub