How To Wash Your Face: 7 Steps To A Fresh-Faced Glow

Cleanse your skin properly with my tips and tricks on how to wash your face for a spa-fresh skin revival.

Darlings, knowing how to wash your face properly is the secret to effectively cleansing your skin to reveal a fresh-faced, glowing complexion. Our skin needs to be cleansed twice a day to remove impurities and melt away makeup; while washing your face sounds simple, you’d be surprised just how many mistakes you could be making!

Don’t worry, darlings… I’m here to help! Discover my expert tips and tricks on how to wash your face using NEW! Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser and learn my secrets to performing a thorough, complexion-boosting cleanse!

How To Wash Your Face cleanser model shot

7 Easy Steps on How To Wash Your Face

How To Wash Your Face step by step

1. Wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial hand soap

Before you wash your face, wash and sanitise your hands with hand soap. Applying cleanser requires you to touch your face, so it’s important to ensure your hands are clean to prevent exposing your skin to germs and bacteria. Bacteria on your hands can contribute towards breakouts, so always remember to reach for a hand soap with antibacterial ingredients to help kill off harmful bacteria to prevent contamination when washing your face.

2. Wet your face with lukewarm water

Cleansers are designed to react with water, so it’s best to wet your face before applying. With your hands or a damp towel, splash your face with water; this will help your cleanser to lather up on your skin and will also help your skincare to absorb more effectively. The skin on your face is sensitive, so it’s best to use lukewarm water when washing your face to avoid irritating your skin or making it feel tight.

3. Choose a gentle face cleanser that won’t feel stripping on your skin

When choosing a cleanser, select a gentle formula that’s rich with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid and smoothing-effect peptides. When creating NEW! Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser, I wanted to create a formula that cleanses, hydrates, and primes skin to deliver an immediate skin revival with a glowing skin finish. My NEW! skin innovation deeply cleanses without stripping or drying – it’s the perfect tool for cleansing and revitalising your complexion!

Discover how to choose the best cleanser for your skin

4. Warm up your cleanser in your palms to create a foamy lather

Apply a small amount of cleanser to the palm of your hand – I recommend about the size of a hazelnut to cover your entire face – then massage your hands together to warm up the product. When using a foaming cleanser like Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser, rubbing your hands together will activate the formula and cause it to transform in texture from cream to foam to milk that effortlessly stretches to coat your complexion.

Discover how much skincare product to apply

Learn more about foaming cleanser

5. Apply to your face with smooth, angel wing motions, avoiding dragging or scrubbing your skin

When washing your face, use soft-but-firm circles to apply your cleanser. Start in the centre of your face, then glide along your jawline, up along your cheekbones and onto your forehead. Once your face is evenly lathered, use my famous ‘Tilbury Tap’ to massage your cleanser into your skin. Be mindful not to scrub your face as this can harm and irritate your skin, and use upward, lifting motions to stimulate your skin and give your face a lift effect.

Discover more about my Tilbury Tap massage technique

6. Rinse away your cleanser with a damp muslin cloth

Unlike toners, serums, and moisturisers, cleanser should be washed off after application. Washing off your cleanser helps to remove stubborn makeup and impurities; once you have evenly coated your complexion with cleanser, use lukewarm water to rinse your face. I recommend using a clean, damp muslin cloth to dab away cleanser suds until you are left bare faced.

7. Pat your face dry with a soft towel

After washing your face, use a soft towel to gently pat your face dry. It’s best to use light, dabbing motions to dry off a drenched complexion as this will avoid any scraping or dragging. Always use a clean and smooth towel to prevent any abrasion while drying your face.

Tilbury Tip: Try applying Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist after washing your face. It’s a hydration-boosting pick-me-up for your skin and preps it perfectly for the rest of your skincare products.

Shop Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist

How To Wash Your Face: More Magic Tips

How To Wash Your Face model shot

1. How often should I wash my face?

Everyone should wash their face twice a day: once in the morning to refresh and revive their complexion, and once in the evening to wash away the day for a fresh-faced feeling before bed. Washing your face twice daily is plenty, however, if you are exercising or have been exposed to dusty or pollutant climates, it’s a good idea to cleanse your skin again when needed to freshen up your complexion and remedy your skin from environmental stressors.

2. Is it better to wash your face with hot or cold water?

The skin on our faces is extremely delicate and can be very sensitive to changes in temperature both hot and cold. When washing your face, it’s best to use lukewarm water – not too hot, not too cold – that feels gentle and soothing on skin. Hot and cold water can feel stripping on skin and can disturb the balance of its natural oils, so always run the tap to a lukewarm temperature before washing your face.

3. Can you just wash your face with water?

Washing your face with water alone is far less effective than washing your face with a cleanser. Cleansers are formulated with supercharged skincare ingredients that provide skincare benefits while actively helping to melt makeup and remove impurities. While water can wash away makeup in part, it is nowhere near as thorough as applying a face cleanser.

4. Choose a cleanser that suits your skin type

Darlings, as with every skincare product in your routine, your cleanser should work for your skin type. Whether you have dry, dehydrated, normal, combination, or oily skin, choose a cleanser that feels gentle on your skin and effectively cleanses your complexion. Dry skin types may prefer a cleanser that’s infused with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and oily skin types may opt for a cleanser with oil-balancing properties to help keep excess oils at bay.

My NEW! Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser is designed to give every skin type a nourishing cleanse and unlocks a magic skin glow for everyone, everywhere!

Shop Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser

5. Makeup wearers should pair their cleanser with a makeup remover

Makeup wipes are not a substitute for cleanser, darlings. On days where you’ve been wearing makeup – whether that’s full glam or a light, minimal makeup look – first use a makeup remover like Take It All Off to break down makeup including longwearing lipstick and stubborn mascara, then cleanse with Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser to cleanse and revive the look of skin following the steps above.

6. Wash your face towel regularly

If you are using face towels or a muslin cloth to wash your face, it’s important to wash them regularly. Washing and drying your face with used towels can facilitate bacteria and can go on to cause breakouts; this can be avoided by washing your towels at a high temperature after every use and avoiding sharing them with other people.

7. Complete your skincare routine

After washing your face with cleanser, be sure to complete your skincare routine. Whether you have a simple 3-step skincare routine that’s quick and easy or an in-depth, supercharged skincare routine, cleanser is just the beginning. I recommend using a face mist like Charlotte’s Magic Hydrator Mist to prep your skin, then applying supercharged skincare products like toner, serum, moisturiser, and sunscreen to hydrate and protect your skin.

Discover the correct order of skincare products

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Author Details

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Charlotte Tilbury Beauty

With over 30 years experience, Charlotte Tilbury MBE is the world's number 1 makeup artist and British beauty entrepreneur. Charlotte established Charlotte Tilbury Beauty in 2013, which is now a record-breaking beauty brand that has won over 400 awards.

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