You do it daily (hopefully), but are you doing it right? Here, six common face washing mistakes to break before the new year. 

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Additional reporting by Jenny Jin.


face washing one

Applying cleanser on wet skin
It's OK if you're using a foaming formula, but creamy or oil-based cleansers should go on dry. This allows them to better remove the surface oils and makeup on the surface.

Using the wrong type of cleanser
On that note, it's important to find a cleanser that works for your skin type or concern. In general, oilier skin fares better with gel or foam cleansers, while dry or sensitive skin needs something less stripping like a cream or balm.

Washing with hot water
Hot water is drying and can aggravate existing conditions like rosacea. Instead, stick to a lukewarm temperature and spend extra time massaging the cleanser into your skin.

face washing two

Scrubbing with a washcloth
Not only are they breeding grounds for bacteria (gross), the abrasive quality is too harsh for your skin. Always wash with your fingertips, then rinse thoroughly.

Relying on cleansing wipes alone
They're easy and convenient, but many wipes contain skin-irritating preservatives. Keep them on hand for emergencies only (i.e., when you’re at your most tired) and always rinse with water afterwards.

Patting your skin completely dry 
While you don't want to be dripping water from your face, you still want to keep a little moisture on your skin before applying any lotions or creams to lock in extra hydration. (And now a moment of science: Products with hyaluronic acid work by drawing in moisture from your environment, which is why they actually need the excess water to do their job properly.)

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