Myth or Fact? You Must Cleanse Before Bed
You've heard it since you were a kid, but is it true that you need to wash your face before getting a good night's sleep?
By the end of the day, most of us have a buildup of microscopic oils
and bacteria on the surface of our skin—plus the remains of makeup that
could block pores. And once you hit the sack, the weight of your face
on the pillow further pushes all of this into your skin. "If you don't
cleanse before bed, you have much more of a chance of blocking the
pores, so you're more likely to have breakouts," says David E. Bank,
M.D., director of the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser
Surgery in Mount Kisco, N.Y. "Depending on what else you've got on your
skin it may be irritating or even cause allergic reactions and the skin
could get red, dry, flaky or itchy."
So what other steps should you follow for a fresh and clean face? Get the scoop below on cleansing dos and don'ts:
Do cleanse twice a day. Washing your face once in the morning and once at night will get you
one step closer to a healthy glow. If you get especially sweaty or
dirty during a workout, a third time's the charm—but don't overdo it.
"The misconception is that you can cure acne just by washing.
Sometimes, ironically, you end up irritating the skin, and that
inflammation can further block the pores and make you more broken out,"
Do establish a routine. Whether you wash your face with clean, bare hands and warm water, or
one of the new high-tech tools, be gentle, rinse off with cupped hands,
then pat dry.
Don't use a washcloth. This may be too abrasive on sensitive skin. And unless you use a fresh,
clean washcloth each time, it may become a breeding ground for
bacteria. "You're driving bacteria into your skin, which is more likely
to cause anything from breakouts to irritation to even infection," Bank
Do weigh your options. Cleanser is only in
contact with your skin for about 30 seconds at a time. You could
splurge on a cleanser, but you are better off applying your beauty
bucks to a cream that stays on your skin for up to 12 hours a day, Bank
For a clean start, try one of our favorite old standbys.
Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser: Beloved by dermatologists and anyone with sensitive or acne-prone skin, it feels light as air while removing icky oils.
Murad Essential-C Cleanser: A hydrating treatment with a delicious mandarin orange, basil and grapefruit scent.
Or treat yourself to something a little more luxe:
Kinerase Gentle Daily Cleanser:
A rich wash that's great for all skin types, and infused with soothing
green tea extract. This one's worth the investment a little goes a long
Exuviance Age Reverse Bioactiv Wash:
This soap-free formula not only cleanses, it also exfoliates,
stimulates cell renewal and resurfaces skin texture as part of an