Mild Cleansing Tips

By: Sarah Siddons

Mild Cleansing Methods

A good cleaning regimen should remove dirt, pollutants and dead skin cells without stripping your skin of important oils. Choosing a mild cleanser is a good first step in that process, but you won't get as much benefit from it unless you also use "mild" techniques for cleansing your skin.

The first step before you wash your face is to wash your hands. Your hands are probably much dirtier and carrying more bacteria than your face, and you don't want to transfer that to your delicate facial skin. Once your hands are clean, use a gentle eye makeup remover to get rid of mascara, eyeliner and any other eye makeup you might be wearing.


After this, wet the rest of your face. You don't want to use water that is too cold or too hot; just use water that is lukewarm or slightly warm. Squeeze a small amount of cleanser (either liquid cleanser or cleansing lotion) onto your fingers and gently rub it onto your face using soft, circular motions. Do this for about a minute.

The key thing to remember: Don't scrub your skin to death. You could counteract all the care you took selecting a mild cleanser, and you could further aggravate any skin irritation that may exist, such as acne or eczema. In fact, for problem or oily skin, your technique can be as important as the product you use.

Then, thoroughly rinse your face. Again, use lukewarm water. Make sure you get all of the cleanser off, or it might leave a residue and irritate your skin.

The final instruction on your skin-care tag would tell you to "pat dry with clean towel." Resist the temptation to rub the towel over your skin, which could cause irritation. When your face is dry, apply a gentle moisturizer to provide a surface layer of protection on your skin.

If you care for your skin as well as you do your delicates - using mild cleansers and a light touch - then it just might repay you by looking great for years to come. Read on to the next page to discover even more about washing your face.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Bouchez, Colette. "Oily Skin: Solutions That Work -- No Matter What Your Age." WebMD. Oct. 19, 2007. (Accessed 9/1/09)
  • Draelos, Zoe Diana, M.D. "Skin and Hair Cleansers." eMedicine. May 14, 2009. (Accessed 9/16/09)
  • Kunin, Audrey, M.D. "Oily Skin: The Good, the Bad & the Oily." DermaDoctor. (Accessed 9/1/09)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Hand Washing: An Easy Way to Prevent Infection." (Accessed 8/23/09)
  • Mayo Clinic. "Acne: Prevention." April 30, 2008. Accessed 8/21/09
  • Oakley, Amanda. "Soaps and Cleansers." New Zealand Dermatological Society. June 15, 2009. (Accessed 8/23/09)
  • P&G Beauty & Grooming. "Skin Cleansing." (Accessed 9/1/09)
  • Skin Care Guide. "The Disadvantages of Soap." (Accessed 9/1/09)
  • Skin Care Guide. "Liquid Soap." (Accessed 9/1/09)
  • Skin Care Guide. "The Right Way to Clean Your Skin -- Tips for Taking Care of Your Skin." (Accessed 9/1/09)
  • Skin Care Guide. "Mild Cleanser Basics: Why Cleanse?" (Accessed 9/1/09)