How to Clean Your Face: 15 Steps

Daniela Andarcia · 15 March, 2021
In general, it's recommended to cleanse your face twice a day. We show you what you will need to do it and how to clean your face correctly.

Regardless of whether you wear makeup or not, it’s imperative to clean your face daily. In fact, twice a day is recommended, once at night and once in the morning. With this routine, you’ll rid your skin of impurities, oil, dust, and makeup that may be clogging the pores of the face.

Clean skin is the necessary “canvas” to apply specific treatments to improve the appearance of your face, such as serums, moisturizers, tonics, and dermatological medications. In addition to this, a clean face will make your makeup look neat.

But do you know how to clean your face correctly? Washing your face goes far beyond being a simple soap and water routine. Discover the way to correctly sanitize your face, in order to obtain clean, radiant skin.

Get a cleansing kit for your face

Before starting to cleanse your face, there are a number of products that you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Mild soap formulated for your skin type, be it oily, dry, or sensitive. The use of liquid soaps is recommended for hygienic reasons, as bar soaps are more likely to harbor bacteria.
  • Oil cleaner – this is necessary to do a double-cleansing. Plus, it has been shown to cause less skin irritation and dryness than regular cleansers. It’s also recommended to use coconut oil, castor oil, or another of natural origin.
  • Micellar water – this is effective at removing makeup due to its content of micelles molecules, and even if you don’t use makeup, this product will help you get rid of dust or any other external agent.
  • Cotton balls, swabs, paper towels, or, failing that, a soft fiber cloth to dry your face.
  • Blackhead remover – to be used if necessary. This type of tool must be meticulously sanitized, as it tends to accumulate bacteria, which can be counterproductive.
  • Sonic facial brush, there is scientific evidence that certifies that its use, especially if you have oily skin, can improve conditions such as acne and skin damage caused by overexposure to light and pollution.
  • Facial steamer – you can use this with chamomile water and it has been shown to increase the permeability of the face, because it’s able to absorb topical products better.
  • Masks that meet the specific needs of your skin.
  • Moisturizing cream, exfoliator, toner, or facial serum. One study suggested that the latter may improve skin dryness better than a moisturizer would.
  • A mirror – a makeup mirror is ideal as it’s magnified.
To wash the face correctly it is necessary to use several substances.
Micellar water is a fundamental part of a proper facial wash.

15 steps to cleanse your face the right way

How you clean your face is as relevant as the number of times you must perform this procedure. Together, they make the difference between a healthy complexion and one with acne. Find out how to do an effective skin cleansing.

Night routine

Double cleansing is recommended at night, since during the day your face is exposed to different environmental factors. You may want to put on makeup to go to work or to class, so you need to be extra sure that your skin is flawless.

In the same way, try to extract the blackheads at night, to avoid going out with some areas of the face inflamed or irritated.

  1. Remove make-up from your face with a cotton ball and micellar water. You can also use coconut oil, which is very good at melting waterproof or normal mascara. Just add the oil, using clean fingers on your eyelashes, and gently rub for about 2 minutes.
  2. Now, clean the face, including the eyes, with the cotton pad, generously moistened with the micellar water. Repeat the procedure if you consider it necessary, and then subject it to double cleaning.
  3. First cleaning: Pour oil cleanser on your clean hands, mixing it with a splash of water, and applying it on your face by rubbing in circles for 2 minutes. This type of cleanser is recommended to get rid of any makeup residue that may have remained.
  4. Don’t forget the neck area, and the contour of the face. Oil and makeup have a tendency to accumulate in that area. Remove the soap with warm water. This is ideal for removing dirt, but keep in mind that it should be warm and not hot, since the latter tends to dry out the skin.
  5. Use the mirror, inspect your face for any blackheads or pimples that you can extract with the remover. You could use the facial steamer with chamomile water, in order to soften the area and make the blackheads come out easily. For its part, chamomile is a known anti-inflammatory.
  6. Second cleaning: At this point, you should use a mild cleanser, applying it on your hands or on a sonic facial brush, and then massaging your face with circular movements. Rinse your face with enough water to remove all the soap. Proceed to dry with small touches, just to remove excess water.
  7. This step is optional, but it’s highly recommended and it involves the application of a mask that you can buy or prepare at home. You have many options, such as hydrating or relaxing. You just need to look for one that fits your need.
  8. When removing the mask, apply a facial toner or serum, and let it dry on your skin. You can use rose water, micellar water, a serum of hyaluronic acid, or vitamin C, for example.
  9. Finally, hydrate your face and the contour of your eyes. This is definitely a case of last but not least – it’s a really important step! Don’t skip it! Choose the hydrating product of your choice.

The skin around the eyes is more delicate than the rest of the face. For this reason, we recommend that you use a special cream to hydrate that area and apply it with soft touches.

To wash the face properly it is necessary to fulfill a series of steps.
Over time, washing your face twice a day becomes an easy habit to follow.

Day routine

Some people take for granted that the night routine for cleaning the face must be the same as the day one. However, this isn’t entirely true. When cleaning your face in the morning you should skip some of the steps, and add others, such as applying sunscreen.

  1. With a cotton ball impregnated with micellar water, start to remove any impurities that your body has naturally generated during the night.
  2. Then, start to wash it with mild soap and plenty of warm or lukewarm water. Remember to massage your face in circular motions.
  3. You can apply a little exfoliating cream, focusing your movements on the T zone, chin, and cheeks. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t exfoliate your skin more than three times a week, and try not to do it on consecutive days. Remove it with plenty of water.
  4. Start to pat it dry, leaving a little moisture on the skin.
  5. At this point, you may choose to apply a mask. However, due to the typical morning rush, some people leave this step for the evening.
  6. Apply the toner or serum of your choice, and allow it to dry on your face.
  7. Now, use the moisturizer to moisturize your face and the skin around your eyes. Keep in mind the recommendations given.
  8. Distribute the sunscreen evenly over your face, including the neck. We suggest that you use a teaspoon to measure it. This step is imperative, even if you’re going to stay at home, since cell phone light, bulbs, TV, and tablets tend to stain the skin.

What to remember about how to clean your face the right way?

  • Choose the right products to cleanse your face, depending on whether your skin is oily, combination, sensitive, or dry.
  • The double night facial cleansing will help your skin to be free of impurities, and in this way, it can oxygenate and regenerate during the night. In addition, in this way, your skin will take advantage of the properties of the products that you’re going to apply.
  • If you go to a cosmetician for a facial, you shouldn’t carry out your daily facial cleansing routine at home.
  • Remember to properly sanitize the squeegee, the facial steamer, and the sonic facial brush, to avoid the possible incubation of germs.
  • You can use a fine cloth or cotton towels to dry your face, but for hygienic reasons, it’s recommended to use unscented disposable paper towels.
  • Remember to pat your skin dry, avoiding rubbing it, as this can irritate the skin. You shouldn’t let it dry on its own, as this can cause dryness.
  • Chen, W., He, M., Xie, L., & Li, L. (2020). The optimal cleansing method for the removal of sunscreen:Water, cleanser or cleansing oil?. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 19(1), 180–184. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12995
  • Walters, R. M., Mao, G., Gunn, E. T., & Hornby, S. (2012). Cleansing formulations that respect skin barrier integrity. Dermatology research and practice, 2012, 495917. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/495917
  • Gold, M., Ablon, G., Andriessen, A., Goldberg, D., Hooper, D., & Mandy, S. (2019). Facial cleansing with a sonic brush-A review of the literature and current recommendations. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 18(3), 686–691. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.12906
  • Lee, J. W., Gadiraju, P., Park, J. H., Allen, M. G., & Prausnitz, M. R. (2011). Microsecond thermal ablation of skin for transdermal drug delivery. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society, 154(1), 58–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2011.05.003
  • Werschler, W. P., Trookman, N. S., Rizer, R. L., Ho, E. T., & Mehta, R. (2011). Enhanced efficacy of a facial hydrating serum in subjects with normal or self-perceived dry skin. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, 4(2), 51–55.
  • Bhaskaran, N., Shukla, S., Srivastava, J. K., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: an anti-inflammatory agent inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase expression by blocking RelA/p65 activity. International journal of molecular medicine, 26(6), 935–940. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijmm_00000545