How To Wash Your Face Properly – 6 Simple Steps

by Pratima Ati

What is the big deal about washing your face? We have been doing it forever now, and it’s not rocket science. But that also means that 2 out of 4 of us don’t know the right way to do it. It is a reflexive and straightforward task, which is a no-brainer, but it ends up being the cause of most skin problems.

Washing your face is more than just the act itself – what you do before it, the products you use while at it, and how you dry before the follow-up procedure. To fix it all, we now have fancy AM and PM beauty routines that all start with cleansing your face. Let’s go through this article and understand it better. Read on!

How To Wash Your Face – Step By Step Procedure

Step #1: Wash Your Hands


It might seem trivial, but if your hands are not clean, all the dust and bacteria will be rubbed back into your skin. A quick rinse before you move ahead is a good idea. So, start by washing your hands first.

Step #2: Wet Your Face

It is important that you clean your face with clear tap water before you start the process. You can do this with a fresh hot or cold towel or splash it a few times. Always prefer cold water over hot because hot water dehydrates your skin and makes it look parched.

Step #3: Use The Cleanser And Gently Exfoliate

Take a coin-sized portion of the cleanser of your choice. Lather it a little and start spreading it all over your face. Be gentle when rubbing it all over and make sure you don’t exert too much pressure or be harsh. Clean it in a circular motion, and avoid contact with your eyes. This will also exfoliate your face gently and remove dead skin cells and dust particles from the skin’s surface.

Step #4: Rinse And Dry


Clean your face with cold water. Be gentle throughout the process. Pat it dry with a soft towel without applying pressure on the eyes. Don’t be harsh while drying your face.

Step #5: Tone

I’m sure you are aware of the CTM routine by now. When you cleanse your face, your pores open up, making it easy for dust to enter your skin’s surface. A good toner collects any remaining dead skin cells and white or blackheads that accumulate on the top layer of your skin. Use the toner every time you wash your face, at least twice a day to give your cleansing process full closure.

Step #6: Moisturize

A lot of us tend to forget to moisturize our skin and move on to the next steps. Remember, washing or cleansing your face means that your skin invariably dries up. It can get flaky and dry if left like that. Moisturize it with a day or night cream depending on the time of the day. If it is morning, you can now follow up with your other serums, foundations, etc. If it is night, apply a night cream and let your skin breathe.

Now that you know how to wash your face, here are a few tips that will help you.

Essential Tips On How To Wash Your Face The Right Way

  • Use a gentle and non-abrasive face wash or cleanser, preferably one that is cream-based.
  • Use lukewarm or cold water first to clean your skin.
  • Try and use a wet sponge or soft cloth to clean up afterward.
  • Just like not cleaning, overdoing it can cause your skin to lose its moisture balance. Limit washing to once or twice a day.

You also need to be aware of the mistakes you might make while washing your face. Scroll down to find out.

What Are The Biggest Mistakes We Make While Washing Our Face?

  1. Not Removing Makeup: A lot of us mess up here. We assume that our makeup will be automatically removed with a cleanser. Makeup needs to be taken off with a makeup remover or oil first.
  1. Using Makeup Wipes: Do not assume that your makeup wipes are sufficient for cleaning your face. This is a big cleansing gaffe most women make. You can use the wipes as a temporary measure but make sure you      cleanse your face properly once you get back home.
  1. Scrubbing Too Much: Do not clean profusely or confuse cleansing with scrubbing. Make gentle circular motions to cover the entire face.
  1. Using Soaps: Soaps do more damage than good. We usually reach out for soap in the shower to cleanse our face. Never do that as it will end up damaging the delicate skin on your face.
  1. Using The Wrong Cleanser: Use a cleanser that is soft, lathers just enough, and maintains the pH balance of your skin without drying it out. Also, understand your skin type and invest in a good face wash.
  1. Not Washing Your Face After Makeup Removal: Some people use regular makeup remover to clean makeup but use wet wipes to finish the cleaning process and not a face wash. Always make sure you clean your    face with water at least.
  1. Using Harsh Towels: Keep a separate towel for your face. Do not use your regular shower towels for the face. This is one of the biggest mistakes most of us do. But changing this can make a big difference to your          overall skin health.
  1. Too Much Lather: Too much lather does not mean anything at all. It is a placebo effect. Cream-based and gentle cleansers don’t lather as much but do the job for you. So, too much lather is too bad.
  1. Missing Toning And Moisturizing: Tone and moisturize your face diligently, and you will see the difference.
  1. Overwashing: Overwashing your face or using the wrong product is a big no-no. Limit cleansing to twice a day and be consistent – unless your dermatologist does not recommend it.

It all comes down to the fact that you need to get your basics right – whether it is solving a math equation or washing your face. Have you given the face washing routine a careful thought? Do you have a routine in place? What do you think? Let us know by dropping in a message in the comments section below.


  • How often should you wash your face?
  • Wash your face as soon as you wake up in the morning and once at the end of the day after you are back home. Remove your makeup with a remover and then wash your face. Continue your bedtime or night time routine or apply a night cream before you sleep.
  • How long should you wash your face?
    Not more than 1-2 minutes. Cleanse your face gently in circular motions, starting at the forehead and going down. Overwashing or scrubbing for too long causes damage to your skin in the long run.
  • How to use a washcloth to wash face?
    Dip a washcloth or run it under cold water. Wring the excess water and wipe the washcloth all over the face to get rid of the cleanser. Repeat until your face is fully clean, and there’s no more residue.

Recommended Articles:

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Pratima Ati

After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, Pratima Ati jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing. She’s now a full-time Fashion & Lifestyle writer and has never looked back ever since. She sleeps early, reads often, and when she can't, she finally gives a closure to all the characters living in her drafts. Sometimes, they pass off as poetry too! That, and her training in Indian classical music and playing (learning) the veena keep her sane, civil, and bearable.