Believe it or not, one of the MOST common questions we get at Warthan Dermatology Center is …

“How should I be washing my face?”

Many of us have stuck with the same skin care routine we have had since we were teenagers, even though our skin has changed and evolved.

And, often times, those habits we formed weren’t all that great to begin with! ( The smell of SeaBreeze astringent still takes me all the way back to 6th grade, bad home perms and acid washed jeans!)

Let’s start with the basics.

How many times do I REALLY have to wash my face?

Short answer:  TWICE.  Morning and Night.

Think about it this way…You need to cleanse before bed because you have sunscreen, makeup, sweat, dirt and pollution from your busy day accumulated on your skin and in your pores. You don’t want to sleep in that, do you?

So, does that mean you can skip your morning cleanse? NOPE.

When you sleep, your skin performs a little “self cleaning” ritual, pushing waste and debris out through your pores and sweat glands. You should cleanse in the AM to prevent reabsorption.

You MUST cleanse twice per day. Make peace with this.

What type of cleanser should I use and for how long?

Generally speaking, if you are more normal to dry-you can use a more creamy or sensitive type cleanser.

If you are more normal to oily, try a foaming or gel cleanser.


Apply your cleanser to your skin and massage for about 30 seconds to break down surface oils. THEN, add water and massage in gentle circular motions for another 30 seconds.

Rinse with tepid or warm water, NOT HOT water. Have you noticed small little red vessels more visible on your nose, cheeks and chin? Well, heat and friction are two big culprits for those.

Which leads us to the next BIG question.

Can I use a washcloth to scrub my face and get that “squeaky clean” feeling?

I know it sounds counterintuitive, especially if you are oily or acne prone, but DO NOT OVEREXFOLIATE!

Once a day-a nice gentle scrub with fingertips or using a Clarisonic brush is all the exfoliation you need. The second cleanse of the day should be done with fingertips and a cleanser appropriate for your skin type.  Don’t overstimulate your skin or strip away the protective mantle your skin needs.

Finally, Do I REALLY need a toner?

That nice tepid water you use to cleanse and rinse your skin is about 100x more alkaline than the pH of your skin.

Why does that matter? Great question! That means that water ITSELF can be drying to your skin! The acid pH of your skin protects your skin from bacteria and yeast. When you leave your skin too alkaline, you leave your skin vulnerable irritation and breakouts! (And of course, usually, that big zit shows up right on your nose or cheek or forehead just before that all important job interview or event! Right?!)

Your toner should not burn or sting (remember my SeaBreeze story earlier?) Avoid alcohol or acetone based toners, but TONE!

You can schedule a FREE skin care consultation with any of our 3 expert aestheticians: Ann Marie, Michelle or Nancy who can point you in the right direction for all your skin care needs.

Here are some of OUR FAVES!

*Obagi Foaming gel cleanser

*Obagi 360 Exfoliating Cleanser

*Neocutis Exfoliating Cleanser


*SkinMedica Facial Cleanser

Purchase any of these cleansers now and receive 10% OFF

In the meantime, here’s a peek inside my bathroom with my “must have” products!

my products


Michelle Palcic

me post MLP

Cosmetic Concierge

Clinical Aesthetician and Certified Laser Practitioner

Warthan Dermatology Center