Tyra Banks is known for her flawless skin (among so many other things), and now she's sharing her secrets with the rest of us. In addition to launching her new skincare line, Tyra Beauty Skincare, the model and entrepreneur has revealed one important tip to keeping your skin blemish-free: Don't wash your face with dirty hands.
Note: Get some more face-washing tips and tricks from a Teen Vogue editors in the video above!
"I can hear my mom's voice now, 'Tyra, you better stop washing your face with just your dirty little hands!'" Banks says in a YouTube video announcing the launch of her new skincare line. "'Don't you know all you're doing is spreading that dirt all over your face?'"
That's why Banks says she included a built-in brush cleanser in her line. "Why are there machines for dish-cleaning and drive-thru washes for cars, but I still have to cleanse my face without any help?" she asks. "Isn't that just rubbing the dirt around?"
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She's right-ish, New York City dermatologist Doris Day, M.D., author of Forget the Facelift, tells SELF. "She's not wrong in the idea that you don't want filthy hands touching your face," Day says.
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But whether or not using your hands to wash your face is bad for you depends, to a certain degree, on when you wash your face. "If the first thing you do when you come home is wash your face, wash your hands first," Day says. Why? When you're out and about, your hands can get covered in germs, bacteria, and dirt that aren't great for your skin—and can make you sick.
If you only wash your face before bed and you're home for a while first, you probably don't need to wash your hands first since you've likely already washed them at some point before then, Day says.
Ted Lain, M.D., a dermatologist practicing in the Austin, Texas, area, agrees. "In the perfect world, yes, it is better to wash hands prior to washing your face," he tells SELF. However, he says, the soap used for your face will clean your hands, too, as you wash and rinse. If you know that your hands are dirty, though, he still recommends sudsing up first.
Gary Goldenberg, M.D., medical director of the dermatology faculty practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF that he also recommends washing your hands before you touch your face, but points out that just by getting your hands wet to wash your face, you're rinsing away some dirt and bacteria.
While nearly every face wash commercial out there shows someone soaping up her face with her hands and splashing it clean with water, Day says using a wash cloth or cleansing brush is a much better way to go. "You cover more area and cover it more effectively," she says. However, Goldenberg cautions against using anything too abrasive, especially if you have sensitive skin, acne, or rosacea—a rough cloth or brush can make those conditions worse. You should also clean your brush or cloth regularly (gentle soap and warm water will do the trick), and store it in a dry place to avoid bacteria buildup.
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