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January 30, 2019

Upgrade Your Skincare Game With These K-Beauty Pro Tips on Washing Your Face

Are you shortchanging your skincare routine? Because you may have the best, most expensive, most effective products on your vanity, but none of it matters if you’re not REALLY washing your face first. See if you’re doing it right with these pro cleansing tips.


In the skincare world, a lot of the focus tends to be on those game-changing products: you know, the chemical exfoliants, the serums, the moisturizers that make us glow. But really, none of that stuff matters if you aren’t doing THE most important step in your skincare routine.


And what is that, you may ask? Well. It’s washing your face.


Yes, washing your face. Listen, if your face isn’t clean, then just throw the whole rest of the skincare routine away. It’s that serious. Why do instructions on all of our products say apply to a CLEAN face? There’s a reason for that. You gotta get your face clean, clean, girl.


washing your face


There was a dark time in my youth where I’d frequently not wash my face at night … even if I wore makeup. And of course, my skin was a hot ass mess. It was the first and only time that I had forehead acne. Like, my skin was crying out for help and I wasn’t listening. So now, I am here to share with you my tips for washing your face like a pro.


The 60 second rule


My number one face washing tip is that you MUST WASH YOUR FACE FOR A MINIMUM 60 SECONDS. I can literally hear you as I’m typing this, shouting, “But Sheryll, that’s entirely too long!” and I’m here to tell you it’s actually not long enough.


Think about it this way. When you wash your hair, do you just throw some shampoo on it, massage it in for 15 seconds, and rinse? No. We all know there’s no way your hair is clean in 15 seconds. We take our time — we all massage the shampoo into our scalps, working up the suds, singing songs, making soap mohawks, whatever. So why is it when we wash our faces, we just slap on the cleanser and rinse? NAW GIRL. You gotta get in there!


It does take some getting used to, so I recommend setting a timer for yourself each time you’re washing your face. After a while, you’ll have a feel for just how long it is and you can just time it yourself.


washing your face


When I wash my face, I like to take about 15-20 seconds on each section of my face, starting with my nose and cheeks. I then move on to my chin and jawline, and finally my forehead and hairline. People often forget to really get into their hairline, so make sure to really work the cleanser up there to avoid those little clogged follicles around your forehead.


You can use this time to really center yourself during your skincare routine. Since I use the 60 second rule for both my cleansing oil and foaming cleanser, I have a lot of time to reflect on my day. If you’ve had a particularly stressful day, you can use this time to breathe deeply and connect with yourself. Sometimes I just breathe, sometimes I sing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air song, and sometimes I dance around while I massage my face. This is why skincare is so much more than just the products we put on our faces — it’s also a wonderful way to introduce a bit more mindfulness to your life.


Become BFFs with an oil or balm cleanser


This is a step that should never, ever be neglected, even if you don’t wear makeup. Using an oil cleanser dissolves all of that pollution and sunscreen and yucky sh—t that get on our faces daily. It’s imperative that you remove all of this stuff from your skin first so when you go in with the “real” cleanser, it’s getting rid of all the makeup and pollution and dead skin cells instead of just smashing them back into your face. When I first got into K-beauty all of those many moons ago, this was one of the steps that completely changed my skin.


cleansing balms moisturizers washing your face


When you use an oil cleanser, you have to emulsify it, meaning mix it with a little water so it turns a little milky. You want to make sure the oil AND the debris rinse off clean, so this step is essential for making sure you don’t just leave the oil on your face. (I may or may not have realized you’re supposed to do this the first few months after I started oil cleansing WHOOPS).


So when you’re oil cleansing you want to:


1. Pump the oil into your dry palms

2. Massage the oil into your face — 60 SECONDS DO NOT FORGET

3. Then wet your hands

4. Massage your wet hands onto your skin

5. RINSE! And boom, you’re ready for your foaming cleanser


I LOVE the Sulwhasoo Oil Cleanser — it’s like one of my holy grails, along with the Su:m37 Melting Cleansing Balm. For a more affordable option, I also like the Koelcia Lime Coke cleansing oil!


You only need to oil cleanse at night. Sometimes, I oil cleanse in the AM and skip my foaming cleanser, mostly on days when my skin is really dry and I don’t want to strip it. This winter weather has made my skin extra dry, so I’m all about using oil cleansers in the morning for a li’l moisture boost.


washing your face


Once I got into skincare for real, I was committed to washing my face. Every. Single. Night. And. Morning. Without. Fail. Too tired? Doesn’t matter. Too much to drink? NOPE, wash your face. It’s a mantra.


Take the time to connect with yourself and your body and practice some gratitude, or just take in the satisfaction of knowing you’re really taking care of yourself in one of the best ways possible. Plus, all of your skincare will just work so much better on clean skin. It’s a win-win combo for everyone!


So how are you washing your face? Let me know in the comments!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




Verified experts are beauty professionals who receive free products for independent reviews without receiving payment.

Whenever I wear makeup I make sure to oil or balm cleanse first. I have noticed a serious difference with how clean my skin is after cleansing. My face thanked me once I started double cleansing


I did not think about using oil cleansers at night! I should give this a try! My foam cleanser has been really drying on my skin... Thank you for the tips!


The weather has been so wild that I’ve been doing ONLY my balm cleanser some nights because everything and everyone is just...SO DRY.


I've been trying to be more consistent about oil cleansing every night and it does seem to be helping. I like to massage the oil for several minutes, but I have to do my skincare early enough in the evening that I don't get too tired and lazy, because then I tend to skip right to 2nd cleanser!

I might need to try oil cleansing in the morning, because this winter weather is too harsh for my skin! My face feels dry after using foaming/gel cleanser, even the really gentle ones. I used to assume that you HAD to follow oil... Read more


Orrrr ... you can try Coco Park\'s method and just use the SanDaWha Liposome skin softener with a cotton pad in the morning. She has dry skin and she says it\'s been great when cleanser in the am is too much.


Yes, I should try that! I just opened a new bottle of that product -- one of my favorites!


I started timing how long I was massaging on my oil cleanser, and I think it was aboutttttt 60 seconds, maybe a little shorter. So now I count it out. I do like having that time to just focus on my skin as I massage, see how it feels and looks. And 60 seconds is not that long at all. It goes by quite fast.


right! In the grand scheme of things it's no time at all!