Whether you’re at work, the gym or the grocery store, your face is likely the first thing people notice about you. It’s probably the first thing you notice about yourself. Every morning when you look into the mirror, there it is, staring back. And our skin doesn’t hide much. If we’re not taking good care of ourselves, it shows, right smack dab on our faces.

While there is no substitute for healthy eating and active living when it comes to getting great skin, an amazing face wash can also go a long way to improving the health of your visage. Of course, knowing that you should use a cleanser is only half the battle. Now, you’ve got to find the best one for your skin type, and this is considerably more difficult.

But not impossible. And, thanks to this article, not really even that difficult, actually. Read on and find out what cleanser you should use for healthier, more radiant skin.

Step 1: ID your Skin Type

We all have a type of skin, and while we may at times in our lives experience more oily skin or dryer skin or patchy skin, there’s a general theme that can tell us our basic skin type.

Do you have larger pores all over your face, but especially in your T-zone (forehead, nose and chin)? Do you look a little swarthy by mid-day, even if you scrubbed your face and powdered like a pro in the morning? Are you more prone to acne? Then you have oily skin.

Do you have an oily T-zone, but have dry and flaky skin on your jawbone, under your eyes, and cheeks? Then you have combination skin.

Do you have super small pores all over your face, and dry, dull skin? Is your skin thinner? Then you likely have dry skin.

Do you have smaller pores in your T-zone, and near invisible pores on the rest of your face? Is your skin fairly even, with minimal acne breakouts and shine? Then you have what is called normal skin, though rest assured, there is nothing strictly ‘normal’ about it. It is actually less common to have this kind of skin than any other.

What type of skin you have will depend on your lifestyle, sex and age, but mostly, genetics. There’s not much you can do about the skin you’re dealt, but you can do a lot about how you treat it.

That’s what we’re going to talk about next.

Step 2: Finding Your Face Wash

Thankfully, once you know your skin type, the skincare industry makes it pretty easy. Just look for products that state they are specifically made for your skin type. What you need to be aware of when you select a product is whether you have sensitive skin or other skin conditions like eczema or rosacea that could require additional care. In this case, speak to a dermatologist for recommendations. Natural products tend to be more gentle for skin that’s easily irritated but it’s always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to your precious face.

Step 3: Washing Technique

We all get a little sloppy when it comes to washing our faces. In less than 30 seconds, we’ve washed, dried and moisturised. News flash: lathering alone should take 30 seconds. It’s a small price to pay for more radiant skin.

Here’s how you’re going to start washing your face for cleaner, healthier skin:

  1. Wash your hands so you aren’t sullying your face with bacteria on dirty digits.
  2. Use lukewarm water. Hot water can be super harsh and drying on skin, and cold water can cause pores to close up, preventing you from getting a deep clean.
  3. Lather for up to a minute, rubbing in circular motions and paying particular attention to your T-zone.
  4. Rinse. Again, use lukewarm water.
  5. Pat dry. Never rub! Be gentle to the delicate, thinner skin on your face.

Step 4: Do it Every Day

OK, this is more of a guideline than a rule. How often you should wash your face depends on your skin, and some experts say once a day is enough. What all experts agree on is that over-washing isn’t necessary, and can in fact strip your skin of its natural pH balance and barrier. Your body is pretty adept at taking care of itself, and your skin will self-regulate and renew, but follow these tips, and you can gently and lovingly nudge it into radiance.

Happy washing!