Whether it’s dry spots, pesky pimples or oil overload, we all have complaints about our skin. Despite what you may have heard, having a flawless face isn’t impossible or limited to those with killer genetics/celeb lifestyles. The secret to achieving radiant skin might be as simple as changing the way you wash your face. We know, because we’ve literally tried almost every product and every crazy fad (bee venom facial, anyone?) and have been surprised to find that sometimes the easiest, wallet-friendly tricks are genuine gold. Here are 10 basic tips for washing your face like a beauty pro. Give ’em a try… your face may thank you with the healthy, gorgeous glow you’ve always wanted.

1. Wash With Lukewarm Water: We all know the rule: Wash your face with hot water to open pores, then rinse with cold water to close them. Turns out, it’s a myth. Exposing the skin to different extremes can actually cause irritation, excess dryness and blood vessel ruptures. Yikes! In order to keep the skin happy, wash and rinse with lukewarm water only. (via Redbook Mag)

2. Remove Makeup Before You Wash: Although most cleansers advertise that they are powerful enough to remove makeup and dirt from your face in one fell swoop, that usually isn’t the case. The staying power of concealer and foundation is amazing, guys. To make sure your face is totally clean and clear, remove your makeup first, then wash your face with your cleanser. (via Marie Claire)

3. Cleanse Before and After Workouts: Obvi you should wash your face after your workout, but what clear skin seekers don’t know is you should also wash your face before working out to remove makeup or any built-up dirt. Sounds weird, huh? We thought so, too, until we found out that sweating opens the pores, which creates the perfect-storm opportunity for everything that’s on your face to get trapped in the skin and cause future breakouts. (via Huffington Post)

4. Don’t Over Wash or Over Exfoliate: When your face is in rebellion, it’s natural to want to attack it with everything you’ve got – acne creams, cleansers, exfoliates. But, you can over do it, which will lead to the exact opposite results you want. Read — more breakouts. Over washing and over exfoliating leads to dryness, irritation, inflammation and even infection, all of which destroy your skin’s ability to fight off pimple-causing bacteria. (via Teen Vogue)

5. Add a Charcoal Mask to Your Routine: We aren’t asking you to rub charcoal from your backyard grill all over your face. We’re talking about the latest buzz in the beauty world — activated charcoal (aka carbon that’s been scientifically improved with oxygen… science, folks). It’s miraculously able to absorb several times its weight in impurities. Used as a mask, this heaven-sent product works magic on clearing out your pores, removing dead skin cells and giving your face a soft, supple feel. We recommend trying Origins Clear Improvement Mask ($25). (via Free People Blog)

6. Dry Your Face by Patting: Rubbing your face with a towel feels pretty darn good. But your skin really — and we mean really — doesn’t like it. Rubbing rather than patting can seriously damage the skin’s elasticity, which can cause major sagging in the future. I can also cause irritation. So don’t just grab any old towel; use a fresh cloth each and every time you dry your face to prevent the spread of bacteria. (via Women’s Health)

7. Embrace a Little Oil: For those prone to acne, oil has always been thought to be skin’s worst enemy. Nothing could be further from the truth. As lots of A-listers, like Emma Stone (she uses grape seed oil to get her oh-so-perfectly skin), have recently shared, oil actually dissolves other oils and helps reduce blemish-making bacterias. Incorporating oils into your routine is easy. Simply choose an oil that works for you — coconut, grapeseed and olive are common favorites — gently massage onto skin and wipe away with a soft washcloth soaked in warm water. (via Women’s Health)

8. Don’t Rush Through the Wash: In the same way that a quick hop in the shower doesn’t truly get you squeaky clean, rushing through your daily face washing just doesn’t cut it when it comes to removing dirt and oil. To get skin that’s in tip-top shape, spend at least two full minutes cleansing and rinsing that gaw-geous face of yours! (via XO Jane)

9. Be Gentle When Applying Products: To get your face clean, you’ve got to put a little elbow-grease into it and really scrub, right? Wrong. No matter what skin type you have, it’s important to treat your face delicately when applying cleanser, masks, exfoliants, etc. Harsh rubbing really ticks off your skin and ultimately leads to harmful micro-tears and stretching. For best results, apply products in a soft, circular pattern starting from your neck and slowly moving upward. (via PopSugar)

10. Always Moisturize: Hydrating your skin is an important step in maintaining the overall health of your face regardless of your skin type. Yeah, it’s scarily counterintuitive that adding moisturizer to your face actually helps keep oil level in check, while drying out your face creates more oil. If you’ve got oily skin, go with a gel or lotion-based moisturizer. If you’re got dry skin, use creams. If you’re in-between, use light, acid-free lotions. (via Glamour)

What are your tried-and-true face washing secrets? Share below!