Skin care: All washed up ... the right way

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When it comes to washing your face, did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to do it? Getting all washed up the right way can help keep your skin healthy.

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After talking with several skin experts, I learned some industry tricks that use less of your beauty products, but give your face more benefits at the same time. Plus I discovered that certain tips can also save you money when it comes to knowing how much to use and how to apply. Using the products correctly can stretch your beauty budget. And although I regularly research and write beauty articles, I was surprised to learn that I was doing several things wrong with my own daily cleansing routine.

Skin Care: Washing your Face

How often do you wash your face? I thought I was right on task with my nightly facial routine, but it turns out that I need to add a morning cleansing as well. To do my research, I visited the experts at Just For You Salon & Spa in Tempe. With over 15 facial treatments available to women, men and teens, this salon has done their homework and have very knowledgeable and gentle aestheticians. I went in for a European facial and discovered the best way to cleanse my face for youthful and healthy skin. I highly recommend treating yourself to a facial or least once or twice a year to get a personal analysis of what skin type you sport. Knowing how oily or dry you are will help you decide what kind of products to use.

Here is what I learned....

1. Wash face every night and every morning. Several things happen to your face as you sleep. Your skin may sweat in the night and pillow cases pick up of dust and other environmental particles that can settle on your face as you sleep. Plus, your body is very busy while you slumber and your cells are rejuvenating themselves during this period. So, when you wake, dead skin cells need to be removed with your morning facial cleansing. Also, interesting, the experts told me that blackheads can form on your nose as dead skin cells fall from your face and land on that big thing that sticks out and helps us to breathe! That is why so many of us get blackheads on our nose. So, instead of waking up to a makeup application, do what Mom always said and wash your face first.

2. Be like the Three Bears and make your water temperature just right. Hot water will strip your skin's natural oils resulting in a potential dry and flaky face. Cold water can cause broken capillaries. Warm water is best because it loosens dirt and clogged pores. So, although we love steamy hot showers in the winter, you are not doing your face any favors with water that is too hot.

3. Save money and use only a dime-sized amount of cleanser. Paying attention to how much you pour will make your products last longer. Every little bit adds up to savings.

4. Save your skin by knowing how to apply your favorite product. Gently pat your cleanser on and apply under your eyes from the outside in. This will stimulate circulation to the cells without the tugging motions that can further emphasize those dreaded under-eye bags and lines through time. The aesthetician I spoke with told me that seeing teenage girls pull the skin under their eye to apply eyeliner makes her cringe because they are starting a bad habit that is sure to show up in their later years. So, Moms teach your daughters now how to properly massage face to not only cleanse, but to also help with the elasticity of skin. She will thank you years later! One last tip from the expert that did my facial that seems obvious, but I sure wasn't thinking of, it to use the pads of your fingers when washing your face. Don't let your fingertips do the cleansing because even clean nails may have bacteria underneath that would love to face off on your face. Simple, but excellent advice!

5. Take the time to exfoliate. Our show makeup artist Karen Hall surprised me one day when she noticed that maybe I had not been exfoliating. She was right and I couldn't believe that she could tell because I had only skipped this step for a couple of weeks because I just got too busy! Well, Karen and the aestheticians I spoke with all agree that exfoliation is crucial for healthy skin because this suggested bi-weekly step will remove the dead skin cells that dull the complexion. Karen has a great money-saving scrub - simply mix baking soda with a little jojoba oil, apply and rinse off. For those of you that have seen Karen on the show, you might remember that she is in her late 50's, but looks like she is in her late-30's. Her advice is from both personal and professional experience! Don't overdo it, either. More then twice a week could be too rough on your delicate skin. One thing is for sure - you will see a noticeable difference if you add the art of exfoliation to your weekly routine. It is the step that most women skip!

6. Save your skin and possibly your life with a moisturizer that protects. Arizona is the #2 place in the world right behind Australia for skin cancer so make sun protection an everyday part of washing your face. This is crucial. Plus, apply moisturizer on damp skin so that the moisture is locked in giving you a little extra coverage in our very dry climate.