One of the most important things that we can do for our skin, especially our face, is to wash it regularly. Normally, the facial skin produces sebum (oil) and sweat throughout the day, which can form an oily layer on your skin. Skin also accumulates pollutants (dirt particles) and dead skin cells, which combine with oil and sweat; this provides a substrate for bacterial proliferation, ultimately leading to the obstruction of pores. Ideally, the face should be washed twice daily; if you work out or engage in vigorous physical activity, you should wash your face after the said activity.
When to Wash Your Face
Most people wash their face when they take a bath or a shower, which is generally once a day. Under optimal circumstances, one should wash his face once in the morning (after waking up) and once in the evening (before going to bed).
I usually take a shower in the evening, so I wash my face while I shower, using a different cleanser for my face. In the morning, I wash my face after I brush my teeth, which has kind of developed into a routine over the years.
Most men wash their face prior to shaving, as recommended, but they may not shave every day, so it is a good idea to wash your face even though you may not shave every day.
How to Wash Your Face
Whether you’re washing your face in the shower or over the sink, there are a few general guidelines that should be held consistent:
- Use lukewarm water to wet your face prior to applying facial cleanser; facial cleansers can penetrate more deeply into wet skin (wet skin can be up to 10 times more permeable than dry skin).
- Apply enough facial cleanser to clean your entire face, making sure to cover all areas.
- Massage the cleanser onto your face using your fingertips.
- Rinse with lukewarm or cool water. Cooler water may help to constrict or tighten the pores, but avoid extremely hot or cold water, which may irritate your skin.
What’s the Best Face Cleanser?
There are so many types of facial cleansers out there, it’s impossible for anyone to say which is the BEST. For me, the best face cleanser for a guy is the one that he will use regularly, regardless of the actual type of cleanser.
Most traditional bar soaps tend to dry the skin excessively with repeated use. There are some guidelines as to what type of cleanser to use; use a cleanser that doesn’t contain alcohol, which can strip the skin of oils and cause excessive drying.
One should choose a type of cleanser that is made for his specific skin type:
- Normal (clear skin)
- Dry (flaky or rough skin)
- Oily (shiny or greasy skin)
- Sensitive (irritated skin)
- Combination (skin that is dry in certain places but oily in others)
What About Beards?
Well, I’ve never been a personal advocate of the beard, but my brother is at the other extreme. So, how do you go about washing the beard, I mean it’s on your face, so there’s no getting around it… Is it like shampooing your hair, or is it like washing your face? Well, I think it’s a little of both.
First of all, there are products specifically designed to wash your beard. They are similar to face cleansers, but they have milder detergents (soaps) so that the beard doesn’t become overly dry and stripped of natural conditioning oils.
You should not wash your beard daily unless you participate in vigorous physical activity that results in the accumulation of sweat and oils. You should wash your beard no more than every other day using warm water to get it wet.
Next, use just enough beard wash so that you can lather through the entire beard; you should let the cleanser penetrate the beard hair for a few minutes before you rinse it out so that it can be properly conditioned. After you have allowed the cleanser to sit for a few minutes, you should rinse it with warm water until it is completely free of cleanser.
Some guys prefer to wash their beard as they shower; this is perfectly fine as long as you follow the proper guidelines.
5 Best Beard Washes
- Billy Jealousy Beard Wash
- Seven Potions Premium Beard Shampoo
- Bluebeard’s Original Beard Wash
- Medicine Man’s Anti-Itch Beard Wash
- Professor Fuzzworthy’s Beard Gloss Shampoo
Acne Skin Cleanser
Face cleansers designed for acne are specifically formulated for acne-prone skin; non-prescription brands usually contain either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid as their active ingredient.
Benzoyl peroxide is designed to kill acne-causing bacteria, and it also removes sebum from pores. Salicylic acid loosens desmosomes (attachments between cells in the outer skin layers) and is lipophillic, so it is able to penetrate oily skin for deep cleaning.
Facial cleansers for acne should not contain hidden irritants, such as fragrances, which may cause irritation. Some acne facial cleansers may also irritate the skin by causing excessive dryness.
Facial Scrubs and Peeling Gels
Facial scrubs are cleansers that contain microparticles or beads that help to remove dead skin cells. Most facial scrub-type cleansers should generally be used 1-3 times per week depending on the type of skin you have; excessive use of these types of cleansers may lead to skin irritation.
Peeling gels are gels that physically remove the top layers of dead skin cells; they usually use certain types of mild acids as their active ingredients. Any type of exfoliation should be done just after washing your face.
Keep it Simple
Okay, so what does this all really mean? Essentially, you should wash your face in the morning and at night. Use lukewarm water and a small amount of facial cleanser to wash, and then rinse with cool water.
Use a facial cleanser specific to your skin type. If you have a beard, there are slightly different steps to washing it than washing your face; many cleansers designed specifically for beards are currently on the market.
If you are prone to acne, then you should consider a cleanser specifically designed for it; if your acne doesn’t improve after 6-8 weeks, you may consider consulting a dermatologist.
Facial scrubs and peeling gels may be used one to a few times per week for exfoliation of dead skin cells, depending on how they affect your skin.
The most important theme here is that you actually do wash your face twice a day. If you start to experience skin irritation, then you probably should think about trying another type of cleanser for sensitive skin. These are typically free of dyes, fragrances, sulfates, and other common skin irritants.
Best Facial Cleansers for Men
- SkinCeuticles Simply Clean Gel
- Anthony Algae Facial Cleanser
- Lab Series Multi-Action Cleanser
- Clarins Men 2-in-1 Facial Cleanser
- Brickell Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
- Anthony Glycolic Facial Cleanser
- Billy Jealousy White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser
- Minamul Clean Organic Men’s Facewash
- Lather & Wood Charcoal Detoxifying Face Wash
- Estee Lauder Nutritious Micro-Algae Pore Purifying Cleansing Jelly
- SkinCeuticles Simply Clean Gel
- La Mer The Cleansing Gel
- La Prairie Supreme Balm Cleanser
- SkinCeuticles LHA Cleansing Gel
- La Mer The Cleansing Lotion
- Estee Lauder Re-Nutriv Softening Lotion
Fase Wash Values
- Biore Anti-Blemish In Shower Flash Treatment
- CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser
- Zihr Mild Face Wash
- Marlowe Facial Cleanser No. 121
- La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser