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I was blessed with picture-perfect skin throughout my entire adolesence, but once I hit my twenties and started wearing makeup regularly (essentially seven days a week—every day to the office, out to party on Saturdays and to brunch on Sundays), I ran out of luck and my skin started to go a bit haywire. I'm talking unsightly patches of pimples, a few errant whiteheads, and one or two blackheads... it was one hell of a shock to my system, to put it mildly. As fate would have it, I stumbled into a career that gave me direct access to the world's best dermatologists and top skin care experts. I was able to consult with a number of them, and they were able to help me get my beautiful mess back under control.
Part of my problem was the way I was washing my face; since I had a whole new beauty regimen that included a face full of slap, I could no longer just give it the quick once-over I'd grown accustomed to. I needed to formulate an entire new deep cleansing technique, which turned the state of my skin around in just a few weeks flat. And now I'm sharing it with you! Here's precisely what I've learned about mastering the art of cleaning your face over the years:
SKIP THE WASH CLOTH. Unless you're using a fresh one each and every time you wash your face, steer clear. Used cloths harbor pimple-causing bacteria; not exactly what you'd like to transfer back onto your skin when you're trying to clean it. (Completely counterproductive, right?) Instead, use your bare hands or an electric sonic brush, like the Clarisonic Aria Sonic Skin Cleansing Brush ($199, Clarisonic.com).
Both methods are far more hygenic (provided you wash your hands first, or rinse your sonic brush head after each use.)
WASH FOR AT LEAST TWO MINUTES. Whether you wash in the morning and at night (or prefer doing just one over the other), make sure you're at it for at least 120 seconds. That's how long it takes to deep cleanse every inch of your face and thoroughly degunk your pores of residual dirt, oil, and makeup; you know, all the things that can cause acne in the first place.
PAT YOUR FACE DRY. Once you're done, dab your skin dry with a clean cloth towel or a plain paper towel square. Or, simply let it air dry! As long as you don't use a dirty towel, i.e. the one you use to dry your body after a shower, you're all good!