Masterclass: The Correct Way to Wash Your Face

Even if you wash your face religiously, you may still suffer from frustrating breakouts, redness, dryness, and other skin dilemmas. Wonder why? “It's equally important to know how to properly cleanse your face,” says Dr. David Bank, President of the New York State Society for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. Make sure there's a method to your madness—follow these seven rules-of-thumb (courtesy of Dr. Bank) for skin that's clearer, brighter, and of course, cleaner.

1.First Things First
Since your hands will be your primary tool for applying your cleanser, you want to make sure that you start with a clean slate and keep bacteria and dirt at bay.

2. Erase Your Face
Using either makeup remover or a cotton pad soaked with olive oil, removing all traces of makeup first makes for a more thorough cleaning.

3. Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold
Warm water helps loosen dirt and open pores—just make sure it's not too hot, otherwise you might face broken capillaries. (And that's a huge problem in itself.)

4. Activate The Product
Before applying your cleanser to your face, emulsify it between your palms to form a lather.

5. Wax On, Wax Off
In a circular motion, work your cleanser-clad fingers over your face and neck. By massaging in a circular motion, you'll stimulate blood and oxygen flow to your face.

6. Rinse Carefully
Splash lukewarm water on your face without rubbing—it will remove the cleanser without causing irritation.

7. Pat, Pat, Pat
Using a clean cotton towel, pat the excess water from your skin. Try to wash the towel after each use to prevent bacteria buildup that could transfer to your skin the next time.