Help!! Washing face with hot water ruined my facial skin

Reader's Query
Chitra asks:
I have an oily skin prone to occasional pimples. On the advice of a friend (or should I call her my foe), I started washing my face with hot water and followed this with a massage every morning. 

The result was that I developed wrinkles and open pores. Later on, in the hope of improving my damaged skin, I started using Vitamin-E oil and buttermilk, but this has caused pimples. 

Please suggest home-remedies and DIY beauty aids to heal my skin.
washing face with hot water
Hot water is never used on the face as it has drying effect on the skin - as you have already noticed. Even for the rest of the body, the water should always be lukewarm, otherwise the result will be shrivelled skin and open pores.

Also you have said that you followed it up with a massage. Possibly you did not do it properly. Pulling and stretching your delicate facial skin (already parched with the use of hot water) with incorrect strokes and without proper lubrication probably messed up everything.

Since you cannot undo whatever has happened, be more cautious in future and don't follow the advice of all and sundry.  Do your own research or consult a dermatologist if you have the slightest doubt about anything.

Now facial massage isn't exactly a bad thing, if done the correct way. You should know the right techniques - one should always massage the facial skin gently with outward and upward movements. (See this anti-aging facial massage videos  part 1 & part 2 on YouTube) and it shouldn't be done everyday - once in a week is okay.

If done wrongly, massage can do more harm than good and can even result in sagging skin. But in the present condition, I highly advise you not to go for  any type of facial massage or facials.

As of now, stop using vitamin -E oil, buttermilk or milk on your face. At this point of time, it is highly imperative that you should avoid all greasy and oily preparations on your face as these will only encourage blackheads and pimples by blocking the tiny skin pores.

Clean your face with Besan (chickpea flour) and  cold water. No soaps,  no cleansers and certainly no scrubs.

Apply pure aloevera gel (buy from here) on your face thrice a day. This will provide the much needed moisture to your damaged skin and help it heal quickly. Application of pure organic honey (buy from here) will also help and also heal existing pimples and acne.

Application of sandalwood paste will work beautifully in your case. Sandalwood (Chandan)  (buy from here) is very cooling and it's just the perfect thing to soothe your skin.

Prepare fresh  sandalwood paste by rubbing a piece of sandalwood with pure water on a round stone slab and apply this paste on your facial skin for around 10-15 minutes but not more than that.

Then wash it off with cold water. However do not prepare a paste by mixing sandalwood powder with water as sandalwood powder might prove to be slightly abrasive for your already botched up skin.

If you can procure red sandalwood (Raktachandan) (buy from Amazon), use its paste in a similar way. Red sandalwood is also used in sunscreens; additionally it is also used to treat sunburns, pimples, blemishes and rashes - so it will provide relief to your skin.

Aloevera, honey, sandalwood and red sandalwood - all these four ingredients can work magic on your skin. Now this doesn't mean you should slather all the 4 ingredients on your face one after the other.

I suggest you use aloevera (twice or thrice) one day,  followed by sandalwood paste application an hour before you go to bed.

The second day apply organic honey instead of aloevera and instead of sandalwood paste use red sandalwood.

Skip using aloevera and honey one day and apply only sandalwood or red sandalwood paste twice a day.

Try different combinations and see which one works best for you.

Other than the above mentioned DIY treatment, do not use any kind of face pack /mask, oils or creams. But if you still insist, you can try this excellent sandalwood mask as mentioned in the sandalwood beauty post.

Just add 1/4 tsp of turmeric (buy from here) and 1 tsp of honey to freshly prepared sandalwood or red sandalwood paste and let it stay for around 15 minutes. Wash off with cold water and gently press an ice cube wrapped in a hanky all over your face.

Now this should certainly refresh your skin. Do this only once in a week. Be patient and don't worry too much. Just give it some time and your skin will heal completely.

Now one thing is certain, henceforth you will never use hot water on your face all your life. But even if you use cold water, remember one thing - do not overwash your face. Experts say that you shouldn't wash your face more than 2-3 times a day irrespective of your skin type - oily, normal, dry or combination.

In case of oily skin, overwashing dries up the skin and overstimulates the oil glands; this in turn increases the sebum production and the result is clogged pores, pimples and blackheads. Instead, use good quality blotting paper such as this & this or facial wipes such as this & this to remove the excessive greasiness and shine from your face or simply to cleanse your face.

Let the skin recover fully before you apply or use anything further. Drink fresh lemon juice mixed with honey everyday. Eat more of  fruits, particularly citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits etc and drink several glasses of water everyday.

Now it's highly debatable whether drinking water helps to keep the skin moist, but nevertheless drinking water moderately (6-8 glasses) has other health benefits - so  at least to cleanse your system of toxins and for other gains drink adequate water.

Eat healthy food and avoid all kinds of junk food,  fried foods and foods high on glycemic index.

Furthermore do not venture out the hot sun, especially avoid the sun in the peak hours from 9.30 am to 4 pm. Too much exposure to the sun will not only fry your skin but also exacerbate your acne. If you must go, then don't forget to use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or more.

Also use umbrellas, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to protect yourself.  Though sunscreens protect your skin from the harsh rays, on the flip-side, physical barrier sunscreens make the skin oily and can clog the pores and that's bad for acne-prone oily skin - so be aware.

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  1. Bhagya11:03 AM

    but not hot, more like Luke-warm, to relax and expand the pores and cleanse.
    rinse off cleanser with cold water to make those pores small again.and use moisturizer.

  2. Champa11:03 AM

    lukewarm only. Hot water can cause broken capillaries

  3. it is right to wash face with warm water then cool water

  4. Anjali11:09 AM

    I have heard that extremes in temperature is not good for your skin. Use lukewarm water only.

  5. Using extremely hot water is not a good idea at all. Lukewarm water will do its job well. Once your skin recovers, try using fragrance free cleansers. I use Cetaphil. Rinse with warm water then cool water if you like. Don't forget to follow up with a light moisturizer. If you're not moisturizing your skin, your skin will generate more oil to moisturize itself. Again, pick something fragrance free and light.

  6. nirupama11:24 AM

    Cold water is best to splash on at the end, its a cheap alternative to toner because it closes pores. Closed pores are not going to be easy to wash dirt and oil from so wash with warm to open them and finish with cold to shut

  7. Anjali11:25 AM

    Anything that encourages or stimulates your circulation is good for you.But don't use too hot

  8. Thank you so much. These tips are really helpful. Fortunately I don't have any of such problems mentioned in the reader's query but i do follow some of the tips mentioned by you. like I follow my regular CTM with Aroma magic under eye cream and apply aloevera gel all over my face. after about 20 minutes I use either of Lotus herbals white glow micro emulsion or vicco turmeric or lactocalamine and follow it up with Fabindia sunscreen SPF 30 that to after 10- 15 minutes. Good to read your sugesion. Thanks.

  9. Smitha8:49 AM

    @Jami & others: Thanks for your suggestions
    @Madhujyotsna: Thanks for sharing your beauty routine and also the products that you are using. Many other readers will find that useful. Keep dropping by and leave your suggestions.

  10. Kavita11:19 AM

    use warm water and rinse with mildly cold water to close the pores.

  11. Not very good idea,after some time you will make your skin become dry,sensitive ,hot water can cause red capillaries visible,large pores,if you do it once a week before you exfoliate,have a musk,etc,but always,always ,always finish off with cold water.This hot-cold contrast can do wonders for your skin!You can try steaming your face,then go over with an ice cube,but don't forget about moisturizer.

  12. Poornima11:28 AM

    Using Hot water you damage your skin. i would stick with warm water instead :) and lotion for dry skin.

  13. Yes, It is like cooking your skin. Washing constantly will strip natural oils away from your skin, this isn't to say that you shouldn't bathe, My advice is that you should moisturize and turn down the water, it makes no difference for the temperature of water for cleaning your skin. Also warm water is better for your skin since it opens your oil glands up, hot water constrains it. Look after your skin, it's an organ after all.

  14. Kareena11:30 AM

    Washing with hot water makes the skin rough, scaly and itchy which leads to dry skin. Also, hot water has the tendency to take away the moisture from the skin and leads to wrinkles

  15. Ananaya11:31 AM

    Obviously you can burn yourself >_>
    But warm water is good to open your skin pores I think.


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