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An esthetician on social media reminded me I was skipping a crucial, simple step in my skincare routine

Rebecca Harrington   

An esthetician on social media reminded me I was skipping a crucial, simple step in my skincare routine
  • Esthetician Elexis Willingham reminded TikTok viewers: Wash your hands before washing your face.
  • It's a simple, but crucial, step in a skincare routine that I wasn't always doing thoroughly.

Most of us became experts in hand-washing during the pandemic, but these days, we probably don't clean our hands quite as intensely as we did when the virus was raging.

Of course, I still thoroughly wash my hands when cooking, after using the bathroom, and any other time they feel unclean.

But scrolling through TikTok, I realized I was neglecting to wash my hands vigorously every single time I was going to wash my face.

In a video with more than 4.2 million views, licensed esthetician Elexis Willingham shared her nighttime skincare routine.

Step one: "We should always be washing our hands first. So that's what I'm going to do, with antibacterial soap, for at least 30 seconds."

@shaielexis

Replying to @Xara I switch up skincare products alot (which I don’t recommend btw) because I’m constantly testing out new stuff for you guys! But this has been my nighttime skincare routine as of late! @Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare @Vivier Skin Care @numbuzin Official @theinkeylist @Skinfix @Grande Cosmetics @Obagi #acnejourney #acneroutineskincare

♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono - moshimo sound design

As she scrubs her hands with foamy soap, Willingham reminds viewers to "really get under the nails" and "in between the fingers."

It's a step that seems obvious, but I wasn't paying close attention to hand-washing before seeing the video.

When researchers analyzed 51 adults' hands for a study in 2008, they found a typical hand had more than 150 different types of bacteria on it. Of course, not all bacteria are harmful — research has also found that some kinds of bacteria on the skin can protect us from harmful microbes.

But if your goal is to clean the gunk from the pores in your face, dermatologists recommend starting with clean hands.

"Everything should be sanitized before it touches your face," Willingham says in the video.

Now, before I wash my face, I make sure to wash my hands first — and my skin looks and feels cleaner.


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