Face-washing tips for healthier-looking skin

November 14, 2012, American Academy of Dermatology

Washing your face is as simple as using soap and water, right? Not quite say dermatologists. How you wash your face can make a difference in your appearance.

"It's important for people to treat the face with care. Never scrub the skin or use harsh products as doing so irritates the skin, which makes skin look worse," said Thomas E. Rohrer, MD, FAAD, a board-certified in private practice in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

For healthier-looking skin, Dr. Rohrer recommends people follow these tips to keep their face looking healthy:

1. Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol.

2. Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your to apply cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything other than your fingertips can irritate your skin.

3. Resist the temptation to scrub your skin as scrubbing irritates the skin.

4. Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.

5. Apply moisturizer if your skin is dry or itchy. Be gentle when applying any

cream around your eyes so you do not pull too hard on this delicate skin.

6. Limit washing to twice a day and after sweating. Wash your face once in the morning and once at night as well as after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin. Wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating. "A board-certified dermatologist can answer your questions about how to care for your skin, hair and nails," said Dr. Rohrer.

In recognition of November as National Healthy Skin Month, these steps are demonstrated in "Face Washing 101," this video posted to the Academy website and the Academy's YouTube channel. This video is part of the A to Z: , which offers relatable videos that demonstrate tips people can use to properly care for their skin, hair and . A new video in the series posts to the Academy website and the YouTube channel each month.

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