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Top 5 Face Washing Mistakes to Avoid for Healthy Skin

Face washing regularly and using healthy facial cleansers play an incredibly powerful role in anti-aging skincare and achieving healthy skin complexion and texture. It is particularly important to walk away from cleansers that strip natural oils and make your skin feel tight. A tight and dry feeling after you wash your face does not necessarily mean clean skin, especially for those with oily skin and combination skin with oily T-zones.  We get it, removing excess oil is necessary, but stripping natural oils from your skin causes production of more oil to compensate for the dryness. Here are the top 5 common face washing mistakes to avoid: 

Mistake 1:  Washing Your Face in the Shower

Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot! We tend to use water that is hotter in the shower and if you have a habit of washing your face at this time you can strip your skin of natural oils, which may lead to dryness.  Get into the habit of washing your face after your showers, using lukewarm water and finishing up with cold water.

Get into the habit of washing your face after your showers, using lukewarm water and finishing up with cold water.

Solution: Here’s a Korean cleansing secret that will help change your skincare game. When cleansing, we recommend you to stick to a warm water temperature of about 32C, but if you have dry skin, 28 – 30C suits better to prevent stripping away necessary natural skin moisture. Finish up by rinsing your face with cold water.  

Mistake 2: Using the Wrong Facial Cleanser

Using the wrong cleanser can change your skin’s pH balance beyond a healthy range.  Every substance that touches your face influences your skin’s surface and even washing your face with tap water will change the pH level of your skin a little.  An increase in your skin pH irritates the physiological protective “acid mantle”. These changes affect the composition of the cutaneous bacterial flora and the activity of enzymes in the outer layers of skin, which have a naturally acidic nature.

It is important to use a gentle pH balanced cleanser, especially for people who have combination, dry and sensitive skin types.

In other words, “acid mantle” is a suitable metaphor to illustrate the protective quality of the “acid” in your skin.  Here’s what can happen when you disrupt the acid mantle:

  • Your skin moisture evaporates, drying out your skin.
  • Your skin becomes more sensitive and is unable to protect itself from the environment and every day pollutants.
  • Bacteria multiply, causing blemishes, acne and breakouts.

Solution: It is important to use a gentle pH balanced cleanser, especially for people who have combination, dry and sensitive skin types. Try Soul Story’s gentle yet effective pH balanced Purifying Cleansing Foam

Mistake 3: Washing Your Face with Fragrances

If you have dry to sensitive skin, fragrances in your cleanser is another culprit that can dry your skin surface, irritate the cells, and cause acne breakouts. There are more than 5,000 different fragrances currently used in various cosmetic products. In fact, in one product alone, combinations of 200 or more chemicals may be added to attain that so-called perfect scent.  Source: Fragrance Allergies Webmd.com

Whether you have sensitive skin or not, the natural reaction to fragrance almost always causes a sensitizing reaction on skin. If what you’re using hasn’t caused an adverse reaction, then you’re likely in the clear (at least for now).

Solution: Use a gentle facial cleanser that does not contain fragrance.  Look for products labeled ‘fragrance-free’ or ‘synthetic fragrance-free’.  If you see ‘unscented’, it will most likely still contain fragrances used to mask the smell of other ingredients in the product formulation.

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Not washing your hands before touching your face is a common mistake, especially while washing your face, leading to skin irritation, blemishes and to acne breakouts.

Mistake 4: Washing Your Face with Dirty Hands

Avoiding germs that threaten your health and skin health can be washed away by washing your hands and under your fingernails with soap before washing your face.  It will lower your risk from spreading bacteria on to your face.

Not washing your hands before touching your face is a common mistake, especially while washing your face, leading to skin irritation, blemishes and to acne breakouts.  Think of all your daily activities that require you to touch random surfaces, such as public doors, cell phones and elevator buttons, that are full of bacteria.

Solution: Washing your hands and nails with soap before washing your face is important and how long we wash our face and neck with a gentle cleanser is equally important.  Stick to using a gentle cleanser and try a cleansing time of about 5 minutes in order to effectively wash away all the impurities on your face and neck.

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Mistake #5: Not Moisturizing Right Away

Even if you have oily skin, skipping the moisturizing step in your skincare routine is a mistake since the skin feels dry.  As mentioned earlier, your skin will begin to over produce oil to counteract the dryness.

Solution: Moisturize right after you wash your face as proper hydration keeps your skin healthy.  Moisturizers lock in moisture which prevents water loss from wind and circulated air from air conditioners and heaters.  Moisturizing properly will help you achieve smoother, softer, and radiant skin. It is important to find a light-weight moisturizer that is not oil based to provide the required moisture for all skin types, especially for oily and sensitive skin.

“Your face is the cleanest it’ll be, and you’re locking in the hydration from the water,” Dr. Gohara, M.D. 

Washing your face is an essential step, especially before bedtime. Clean skin will allow your skin cells to rejuvenate while you’re sleeping.  Your complexion will thank you by avoiding the facial cleanser mistakes listed above. And as always, be gentle on yourself and your skin by using a healthy and gentle cleanser that is pH balanced, fragrance-free and without the common harsh chemicals including sodium lauryl sulfate/sulphate (SLS) and alcohol. 

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Vivian Story

Soul Story is a bespoke Korean skincare brand founded by Korean-Canadian entrepreneur, Vivian Ke Story. She splits her time in Ho Chi Minh, Bangkok, and Seoul where she works with Korean dermatologists and skincare specialists to formulate and select ingredients. Each product is formulated to help with sensitive skin, eliminate dullness, dryness, clogged pores and poor skin texture.

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