Cleansing your face is an important step – arguably the most important step – in anyone’s daily skincare routine. It’s crucial for not only the removal of dirt, unwanted oils and dead skin cells, but it paves the way for better absorption of topical treatments, like acne medication or moisturizers. But the seemingly simple step can become shrouded in mystery. Once you’ve selected your perfect cleanser, an onslaught of decisions can follow. What other products do I need to round out my routine? Should I buy one of those crazy, spinning face brushes? And how often should I be washing my face?

Most of us have been taught the “twice a day” rule. Wash your face once when you wake up and once before you go to bed, just like you’re brushing your teeth. But sticking to cleansing twice a day isn’t always the best option. Follow these guidelines and, just like you found your perfect facial cleanser, you can work out an optimal routine for cleansing.

Personalize Your Routine

Every person is different and, just like we all have unique personalities, we all have individual skincare needs. A cleansing routine that works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. That’s why it’s so important to know yourself, know your face and work with what you’ve got.

In Family Practice, an Oxford journal, researchers published a study examining the myths and misconceptions around treating acne. What they found was that much of the so-called common knowledge regarding the treatment of acne including diet, hygiene, sun exposure and, of course, facial cleansing, didn’t have a whole lot of scientific evidence to back it up. The research concluded that acne treatment plans should be individualized by dermatologists. No one treatment plan works for everyone.

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Pay attention to how your skin reacts to your cleansing routine. If washing twice a day dries your skin out, try cutting back to just cleansing in the morning or the evening. If you turn into a bonafide oil slick, kick it back up a notch and wash your face twice daily. With a little patience and some observation, you can find a routine that best suits your own skin.

Get Rid Of Makeup First


Makeup can be a bit of a catch 22. You wear it to make your skin look flawless, but in doing so, oftentimes you can make matters worse. The best way to make sure your beauty routine doesn’t throw your skincare routine out of alignment is to remove all of your makeup before you cleanse your skin. Your foundation, concealer and often eye makeup like eyeliner and mascara are all formulated to last, which means that sometimes they can resist your facial cleanser. The wide range and complexity of makeup products can make them difficult to remove with just a cleanser designed to clean your skin.

Take an extra moment to rid your face of makeup so nothing can get in the way of the efficacy of your chosen cleanser. Remove your makeup with an oil, balm or towelette and you should be good to go. Fulom’s Moisturizing Cleanser is extremely effective at makeup removal. It’s gentle enough to cleanse without excessive force and leaves the skin fresh and clean, without irritation or leaving a residue. 

You Don’t Need Power Tools

The skincare market has been flooded with new ways to make skincare sexy lately. Just washing with your plain old fingertips seems out of vogue. But fancy spinning brushes don’t necessarily equate to cleaner skin. Oftentimes skincare tools like this can aggravate skin leading to redness or dryness. Your fingertips are the most gentle tool you can use to apply and work in your cleanser. Instructions on skincare in the Wall Street Journal suggest forgoing the extravagant facial cleansing brushes and applying cleanser to your face with your fingertips in a circular motion, massaging it into your skin for about one minute and rinsing it away thoroughly with lukewarm water.

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Wipe That Sweat Away

It feels good to work up a good sweat. But after your workout session, it will feel even better to get rid of that layer of perspiration and wash your face. Even if you’ve found your perfect balance of washing once or twice a day, it’s important to get that sweat off of your skin as soon as you can after a workout, even if it means adding an extra cleanse into your routine.

Sweat can kick up all kinds of bacteria that can lead to breakouts on your face and elsewhere on your body. Take a minute after your sweat session with a gentle cleanser your skin and wash away your workout.

Once you’ve nailed your perfect number of daily washes, stick with it. But don’t be afraid to reevaluate after a few months. Fluctuations in the environment, like temperature and humidity, can create changes in the skin. So listen to your skin. The twice a day model might not be for you right now, but as your skin changes, so should how often you wash.