A Dermatologist's Advice For Washing Your Face

by Sienna Fantozzi

You know that you're supposed to wash your face every day, and while that seems simplistic enough (you just rinse, cleanse, and rinse again, right?), you may actually be harming your skin in the process. Bustle spoke to Dove's head dermatologist to find out the one thing every dermatologist wishes you knew about washing your face, and it turns out — washing your face is not fool-proof.

There are so many different cleansers out there — milk cleansers, foam cleansers, acne cleansers, plain old bar soap — and it might seem like all of them will get the job done, but it's not that simple. Bustle's West Coast Fashion & Beauty Editor, Sara Tan, chatted with Dr. Mona Gohara at Create & Cultivate's LA conference on Saturday, and the one thing Dr. Gohara wishes people knew about washing their faces is that you could be using the wrong cleanser. Oops!

If you've been washing with bar soap, you may actually be hurting your skin. "Our skin lives at a 5.5 pH, which is kind of acidic, but more close to neutral. Soaps have a high pH, so when you use a soap that has a pH of 13, it strips your skin of natural oils and lipids, and so it makes you look a lot older, it makes your skin more irritated," Gohara says. And that is something I think we all want to avoid.

So what's the solution? According to Gohara, it's important to avoid soap cleansers. "It’s really important to go back to a product, like the Dove beauty bar, that’s a non-soap cleanser. Those products add moisture to the skin and add lipids to the skin, so it’s helping to fortify the barrier and make you look more radiant, as opposed to working against you," she says.

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Dove White Beauty Bar (12 PK), $16, Amazon

If you aren't sure what to look for when shopping for a cleanser, Gohara recommends looking for the words beauty bar, pH neutral, non-soap cleanser.

Images: Isla Murray/Bustle, Target, Dr. Mona Gohara