How to Wash Your Face

While the method to wash your face may seem obvious, there really is a correct way to cleanse.  Everyone should understand the importance of cleansers and how to best use them.  Following these simple steps will give you the most optimal results!


Step 1: Apply a sulfate free gel cleanser to damp skin.  Always make sure your skin is damp because gel, even if non-drying, is too concentrated for the skin.  Water activates the cleansing agent, so in addition to your face, keep your fingertips damp for dispersion.  See our collection of gentle, sulfate-free gel cleansers.

Step 2: Use a portion the size of a nickel and massage in circular motions for 30 seconds. Rinse well.  It is important you leave no residue.  Within 60 seconds, follow with alcohol-free toner and lotion. See our collection of alcohol-free toners and moisturizers.

Read why it’s important to not leave your skin bare for longer than 60 seconds.

Step 3: If you prefer, you can give skin a final wipe with Renée Rouleau Facial Sponges, washcloths or, for sensitive skin, baby wash cloths.

For red, sensitive skin:  It is never advised to use hot water, as this can weaken capillaries.  Always use lukewarm/cool water.  If you wash your face in the shower, make sure you change the temperature when washing your face…


Step 1: Apply a cleansing lotion to dry skin using a portion the size of a quarter. Cleansing lotions work to dissolve makeup and the oil, dirt and debris that have built up during the day.  In this instance, the key is applying to dry skin first so that the cleansing lotion doesn’t get diluted.  See our collection of lightweight cleansing lotions. (Be sure to remove eye makeup first. Read how to properly remove eye makeup)

Step 2: Massage in circular motions for 45 seconds over dry skin. Then wet fingertips; work through again for 15 seconds. This breaks down the makeup thoroughly.  Rinse well.

Step 3: A washcloth or Facial Sponges are mandatory for evening cleansing.  In the morning, facial sponges or a washcloth is optional, but by evening, broken down makeup physically needs to be removed off the skin. You’ll notice that once you wipe over the skin with a washcloth or facial sponge, the makeup will then appear on the cloth. (For stubborn foundation makeup, you may want to cleanse a second time and give an additional wipe with a washcloth or sponge.)

Note: Avoid the use of cleansing creams that are tissued off.  This type leaves a residue of oil and creates a barrier that doesn’t allow for absorption of active ingredients to follow.  It is also often made of Petrolatum or Mineral Oil which are not healthy for the skin. Please bear in mind that a cleansing lotion won’t give you that super “clean” feeling like gel cleansers do because it is a gentler form of cleansing.  Trust me, if you use a cleansing lotion that way I have suggested, your skin will be clean and free of makeup.

Read: Is the Clarisonic brush harmful or helpful to the skin?

Read: Five reasons to wash your skin before bedtime

Read: How to Manually Extract Blackheads and Clogged Pores from Your Skin

Got a busy life? The simplest skin care routine—ever!

Which products are right for your skin? See our nine skin types and get products recommended.

For more expert skin advice, check out Skin Source–the A-Z guide on all things skin. Also sign up for our skin tip e-newsletter, follow Renée Rouleau on Twitter and join the discussion on our Facebook page. You’ll be your own skin care expert in no time!

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