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6 Common Face Washing Mistakes

While washing your face is a non-negotiable MUST-DO, if you’re not doing it right it could be the reason you’re breaking out. The mistakes listed below are so common that I would be willing to bet we're all guilty of a few!

1. Not washing your hands first

Before you even THINK about touching your face with cleanser, suds up those hands! This will decrease your exposure to potentially acne-causing bacteria. I think we can all get on board with that, eh?

2. Over-exfoliating

Over exfoliation can cause irritation, broken capillaries and discoloration. The amount you should be exfoliating per week depends on your skin type. While your skincare professional will know your skin's needs best there are some general guidelines to follow. In general everyone should be exfoliating at least once a week. Oily skin usually does best with more. If your skin is on the more sensitive side, consider choosing a chemical exfoliant over physical exfoliant (gritty or granular) which will be much less abrasive on the skin.

3. Not applying the cleanser in the right direction

Here’s a tip from the facial room- when moving your cleanser around on your face, focus on long upward sweeping motions. The reason for this is that your skin is *kind of* like reptile scales with your pores all laying in the same direction. When sweeping upward you’re effectively pushing the product up and into your pores, leaving you squeaky clean.

4. Reusing the same towel

Every time you wash or dry your face you should be using a different towel. When water comes in contact with a towel and it is left out to be used again it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. No bueno.

*Bonus tip! When drying your face try not to wipe your face dry but to gently pat, being sure not to drag the skin.

5. Using hot water

Warm water can soften the skin and relax pores making it the perfect temperature to wash your face. The consequences from washing with too hot of water can be obvious (ouch!) but also can cause broken capillaries and dry out your skin! Rinsing with cool water can be a good idea for tightening pores and lessening any redness.

6. Not doing a double cleanse

A double cleanse is just what it sounds like, cleansing twice! And it's SUPER important for everyone to be doing. The trick here is being sure that your first cleanse is with an oil cleanser like the Stone Crop Cleansing Oil. An oil cleanser will best remove makeup, sunscreen, sebum and dirt. Your second cleanser should be specific for your skin type whether that be a gel or foamy wash for normal-oily or cream base for normal-dry. 

If you have any questions just leave a comment below. Thanks for reading! 


Beauty Poet is a Clean Beauty Retailer and Holistic Spa in San Luis Obispo, CA.

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  • Great tips! You posted a “double cleanse” post about a year ago… I use your advice & get major compliments on my skin!

    Mary Afuso
  • Very informative. I do all the things you say not to do. I’ll change my ways and even though my skin is old maybe it will help. Thanks.

    Judi Dixon (Bill)

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