Do you wash your face correctly? Here’s what a local dermatologist says to do

NEWPORT NEWS, Va - How often do you wash your face? Can you say you do it correctly?

The first week of August is National Cleanse Your Skin Week. Who knew?

News 3 spoke with Dr. Valerie Harvey, a board-certified dermatologist with TPMG in Newport News, about the right way to cleanse.

"The skin is actually the largest organ in the human body and it's the first point of protection against infection and harmful substances so it's very important that you protect," she said. "It's important you wash your skin on a regular basis because it clears dead skin cells, debris and any of the toxins in the environment that may come into contact with your skin."

When it comes to washing your face, Dr. Harvey says to do it in the morning and evening:

  • Wet your face with lukewarm water
  • Rub a gentle cleanser onto your hands and, using your fingertips, gently rub it onto your face in a circular motion
  • Rinse thoroughly because any lingering soap can irritate the skin
  • Apply a moisturizer

So, what kind of products should someone have on their counter?

“A gentle cleanser is what I usually say. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive, but something that is bland and not too irritating on the skin. Sometimes people like to use washcloths or scrubbing pads to wash their face and we try to recommend against that because it can be irritating or too abrasive," said Dr. Harvey.

For people with dry or oily skin, she suggests finding a cleanser specifically for those issues. For lingering problems, including acne, visit a physician or a board-certified dermatologist to find the best treatment.

Dr. Harvey also suggests wearing sunscreen if you're going outside and remember to wash sweat off your face as soon as possible after hitting the gym or working outside. Sweat can irritate skin and make conditions like acne or eczema worse.

A recent study from CeraVe and others found more than half of people surveyed didn't cleanse daily and nearly half admitted to using shampoo, conditioner or hand soap on their face.

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