Mirror/Mirror Episodes

Face Washing 101

Washing your face seems simple. Soap and water? Wrong!

Dermatologist Dr. Sherri Ingraham says it's important that you wash and wash correctly. She says, "People forget that throughout the day you interact with the environment. You're covered with pollutants, dirt, pore clogging bacteria, and if you don't remove those at day's end they can contribute to inflammation in the skin and the development of acne."

Dr. Ingraham's advice is to use moisturizing and neutral pH cleansers to save skin's protective barrier. Bar soaps are basic and overwashing can strip the skin resulting in a dull, lackluster complexion. Use your hands to scrub, then rinse several times and pat dry with a washcloth. Do not scrub with a washcloth!

Use cool or lukewarm water. Too hot water can over-dry the skin. Hotter is not better when it comes to washing your face and cold water does not "close pores". In fact, pores do not open and close with water temperature but rather appear open when they are clogged with skin cells and debris.

Cleansers containing alpha-hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid have anti-aging benefits as they both cleanse the skin surface and offer controlled exfoliation. Salicylic acid cleansers are ideal for acne-prone skin or oily skin because they penetrate the facial follicles helping to unclog pores and remove acne causing debris.

Wash before bed? Absolutely: it is best to remove makeup, sweat and environmental pollutants we are exposed to every day from facial skin before heading to bed. It is also important to cleanse the face before applying any night time anti-aging or skin care products so they may properly penetrate into the skin.

Here are some of Dr. Ingraham's favorite products:

Gentle Facial Cleaners:

  • Elta MD Facial Cleanser - Good for all skin types. (about $14)
  • Cerave Cleanser - A dermatologist favorite... gentle, soap free cleanser can be used with or without water to remove makeup. Great for dry skin types. (about $10)

Anti-aging Cleansers:

  • Revale Cleanser - gentle cleanser enriched with the antioxidant Coffeeberry (about $18)
  • IS Clinical Cleansing Complex - combines glycolic acid and salicylic acid to gently exfoliate. Also contains green tea and chamomile to soothe inflammation and redness. (about $36)

Acne Prone:

  • Skinceuticals Clarifying Cleanser - Salicylic acid based exfoliating wash removes pore-clogging debris.
  • Prescription Cleansers may be prescribed by your dermatologist to combat acne.

Cleansing Wipes, Pads, and Brushes:

  • Dove Gentle Daily Cleansing Facial Pillows (about $9.99)
  • Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads (about $8)
  • Clarisonic PLUS System (about $225)

For more information, contact:

Dr. Sherri Ingraham
Advanced Dermatology
www.advanceddermatologymd.com

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