Taking better care of your skin begins with knowing how to properly wash your face. For many men, this step seems self-explanatory—all you need is water and soap, right?

There is much more to it than that. We regularly see guys wash their face in ways that can damage their skin and cause breakouts. To keep your skin vibrant and healthy, be sure to avoid these common face-washing mistakes:

Using Bar Soap to Wash Your Face

Like most guys, you’re probably no stranger to bar soap. While it might be suitable to use on your body, it certainly isn’t ideal for your face.

Bar soaps contain harsh ingredients which can be extremely drying on your face. If you’re struggling with acne in your 20s and 30s, the culprit could be dry skin caused by your bar soap.

Bar soaps are also known to throw the skin’s pH balance out of whack. While this might not seem like a big deal, your skin’s protective barrier can break down when its pH levels are too high or low.

By sticking with a men’s facial cleanser that’s designed for a man’s skin, you can maintain your skin’s natural pH and avoid irritating your face with drying ingredients.

man washing face in shower

Washing Your Face in the Shower

Yes, we know how convenient it is to wash your face in the shower. But guys, this isn’t doing your skin any favors.

Putting your face directly in front of your shower head can strip it of its natural oils. If you enjoy your showers piping hot, this is extremely hard on your skin.

Another potential problem with face washing in the shower is your shampoo. Shampoo can drip from the hairline onto your face, causing irritation for those with sensitive skin. This is especially true with shampoos containing potentially harmful ingredients such as sulfates.

It might be an extra step to your routine, but it’s worth taking the time to wash your face at the sink either before or after you shower. Keep your water at lukewarm temperature to avoid shocking your skin with temperatures that are either too hot or too cold.

Scrubbing Too Hard

Removing all the excess oil, dirt and grime from your face is key to clearer skin. However, be careful not to scrub too hard.

Your skin is extremely resilient, but it isn’t immune to damage from abrasive scrubbing. Rubbing too hard can cause inflammation and worsen acne by drying out your skin.

If you’re using a men’s exfoliating scrub as part of your skin care routine, be sure to rub it in gently and to limit your exfoliation to two times per week. This will slough off dead skin cells without damaging the skin.

Washing Too Much

For men who have oily skin, it seems practical to wash their face multiple times per day. What many guys don’t realize is that this is likely doing the opposite of what they want.

Over-washing the face can strip the skin of its natural oils, causing your oil production to ramp up its efforts. The excess oil can result in breakouts from clogged pores.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, your oily skin needs to be properly hydrated to keep it healthy and vibrant. Stick to washing your face once in the morning and once at night to avoid over-drying your skin.

man placing moisturizer on face

Not Following Up with a Men’s Moisturizer

After washing your face, the work isn’t over. If you aren’t following up your face washing with a men’s moisturizer, you are leaving out a critical step in your skin care regimen.

After washing away the dirt and grime, you need to seal the deal by locking in moisture. With a men’s moisturizer, you can keep your skin hydrated and vibrant without making it feel greasy.

Look for a men’s moisturizer with SPF. This will remove the hassle of applying sunscreen each day and protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

So, how many of these face-washing mistakes were you making? If you were making at least a few, then rest assured that you aren’t alone. By getting on a simple skin care regimen for men, you can avoid the many skin care blunders that keep men from achieving amazing skin.