We’ve all been told to wash our face growing up, but it’s likely we didn’t understand the importance of facial cleansing until we grew up. The truth is that washing your face adequately is essential to your skin’s overall health.

While it may seem like a simple practice, many of us tend to wash our faces incorrectly. We create bad habits, and our skin suffers in return. Learning what to do and what not to do can significantly benefit your skin and help create better overall skincare habits in the future.

Let’s take a closer look at the do’s and don’ts of facial cleansing.

Do: Wash Your Face Twice Per Day

When it comes to washing your face, it’s important not to overwash as that will strip your skin of essential moisture. A morning and evening cleansing is generally all that your skin requires — with exceptions for sweaty workouts or any yard work where your skin is exposed to dirt and pollutants. If your day is free of any strenuous activities, your skin only requires a gentle evening cleanse before bed.

Don’t: Use Too Much Pressure

Even if your brain is signalling that you should be scrubbing your face like you would dirty dishes in the sink, it’s actually essential to take a much gentler approach. When we overwash and use too much pressure on our face, we risk removing our skin’s lipids which work as a barrier to lock in moisture and protect our skin from exterior elements such as air pollutants. When our skin is stripped of moisture, it tends to overcompensate, which can lead to oily and acne-prone skin.

Instead, gently exfoliate your skin and avoid pushing too hard in sensitive areas, including your nose and upper cheeks. Using a gentle cleanser will help both cleanse and moisturize your skin.

Do: Find the Right Products

The products you choose can significantly impact the overall health and elasticity of your skin. The first step to identifying the right skincare is to identify your skin type — oily, dry, combination, sensitive, or acne-prone. Once you have a clear idea of your skin type, you can tailor your routine with products that are designed for your condition. Trips to SkinCeuticals retailers in Toronto are much easier when you know the ingredients and products you’re looking for.

Don’t: Switch Skincare Products Often

This step is important because your skin needs time to adjust to the products you’re using. It’s recommended that you allow at least four weeks for your skin to settle. In that time, you should be able to identify whether or not the products you’ve chosen are appropriate for your skin.

If you’re simply unsure where to begin, you may wish to consult a dermatologist for their professional opinion— but if you’re patient, research popular products for your skin type, read their reviews, and allow time for your skin to get used to the new cleansers, serums, and creams you’ve chosen.