Skin Care 101
Skin care is one of those things that I find people are really into or they know nothing about. When women tell me that they sleep in their makeup at night or even *gasp* uses bar soap to wash their face, I shudder. I’m not even kidding, it gives me nightmares.
I think one thing that scares people the most about skin care is the price. Yes there are drug store brands and while they do an ok job, is your skin really worth just ok? This is the basis of YOU. When people look at you, your skin is the first thing they see. Being that it covers your entire body, it’s a little hard to miss. So why not treat it with TLC?
Other than the price, the next major obstacle for people is that they understand the difference between all the different products out there. AHAs, BHAs, Retinols, and what the heck is Hyaluronic Acid? What exactly is in your cleanser? Are you using the right one for your skin type? What is your skin type?
I promise that it’s not rocket science or scary, but I think the place to start is where one starts with anything... the basics.
How To Finding Your Skin Type
Here is a simple quiz I've created to find out!
The size of your pores are...
A) Barely Noticeable
C) Moderately noticeable in the T-Zone
D) Large and Noticeable
Does your skin breakout?
A) Hardly Ever
B) On Average Monthly
C) Usually in the T-Zone
After washing your face, it feels...
C) Tight or Greasy in some areas but not in others
By midday your skin often feels...
A) Tight, dry or flakey
B) Balance, neither dry nor oily
C) Oily in T-Zone or Cheeks Dry and Flakey
Have you ever been diagnosed with Rosacea, Psoriasis, Eczema or Asthma?
B) I don't think so
C) I have no idea what those are
D) I think I have it but I haven't seen a dermatologist
E) Yes, my dermatologist diagnosed me
If you chose mostly A's - You have Dry Skin
If your skin feels tight, has rough or dry spots, and you have very few pores or even none at all... you have dry skin.
Dry skin is caused by lack of natural oil due to your sebaceous glands producing less sebum than average. What oil your skin does make is precious and factors like sun, extreme cold and dry air, and hot water strips that oil away.
One of the first steps to treating your dry skin is to control your environment. What does this mean? Don't overheat or overcool your home and a humidifier will help add some added moisture to the air.
In addition to controlling environmental factors, you need to treat your skin to some TLC with a skincare regimen tailored to dry skin. Make sure they are free of harsh chemicals or ingredients. You will need a Cleanser, Toner, Daytime and Nighttime Moisturizer. You also should exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to remove rough, dead patches of skin to reveal soft, new skin.
If you chose mostly B's - You have Normal Skin
If your skin is pretty balanced and your pores are fine on your nose and cheeks... Congratulations! You have normal skin.
Now just because you have normal skin, don't take your complexion for granted. Normal skin is actually extremely rare and is the result of genetic luck (go call your mom and thank her).
With proper care you can keep your gorgeous skin looking that way for years to come. Most importantly, you need to wear sunscreen to help prevent signs of aging. Use a gentle cleanser twice daily followed up by an alcohol-free toner and moisturizer.
If you get an occasional breakout or dry patch here and there, because we all do, a spot treatment or mild exfoliator once a week will help.
If you chose mostly C's - You have Combination Skin
If your skin feels like it can't make up it's mind, you have Combination Skin. Believe it or not, there are actually two types of combination skin, Combination Dry and Combination Oily
Combination skin is the most common skin type, so you're not alone! If you have Combination Dry, your cheeks don't produce enough sebum while your T-Zone produces the average amount. If you have Combination Oily, your cheeks produce the average amount of sebum while your T-Zone produces an excess of sebum
Sadly, combination skin can be difficult to treat effectively because you are essentially treating two different types of skin. If you don't want to invest in products for both types, then use lightweight products that are formulated for combination skin or for all skin types. These contain balanced ingredients that won't dry out your skin or are too heavy and will clog pores.
If you chose mostly E's - You have Oily Skin
If your skin is shiny and greasy and your pores are enlarged and highly visible across your face... you have oily skin.
Oily skin is caused by your sebaceous glands in the dermis producing too much sebum. Usually oily skin is due to genetics or hormones so there's not much you can do to prevent the oil, but you can treat it.
You may be tempted to washing your face several times a day but DON'T!! This will strip your skin of the natural oil and your glands will kick into hyperdrive and will produce even more sebum.
Instead wash your face twice a day using a skincare regimen that help to balance oil production and helps prevent and manage the breakouts your get from clogged pores.
Most people with oily skin think that they don't need moisturizers and this is not true, you just need one formulated to your skin. A great skincare regimen consists of Cleanser, Daytime Moisturizer, NightTime Moisturizer, Spot Treatment and an exfoliator to use once or twice a week.
If you chose E - You have Sensitive Skin
If your skin is dry, sore, becomes flushed or you've been diagnosed with rosacea, eczema, asthma or allergies... you more than likely have sensitive skin.
Many people say they have sensitive skin but few actually do. Instead they have sensitized skin caused from environmental factors. Sensitized skin can be treated and repaired where sensitive skin can only be treated.
The first step to treating your sensitive skin is by visiting a dermatologist to determine what ingredients and/or environmental factors are irritants.
Many people believe that hypoallergenic products are ideal for sensitive skin, however most regions don't have regulations in place to control which products can be marked as "hypoallergenic". Please be careful when using these products and test a small area of skin first.
Because everyone with sensitive skin is different, it is hard to pinpoint one type of skin care regimen for you. A Skin Care Consultant (like me) can help develop a skin care routine to fit you.
No matter what type your skin is, it can become dehydrated. Climate has a significant impact on your skin. Cold, windy and/or low humidity weather strips the skin of moisture which can lead to your skin becoming dry and flakey. Even if you have oily skin you can develop dehydrated skin. By using the wrong skin care products on your face that are too harsh or that doesn't contain enough moisture can also dehydrate your skin. Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to care for your skin. The exact amount of water our bodies require varies from person to person, but by drinking several glasses of water, not tea, coffee, or sodas... actual water, per day will help you maintain a youthful complexion.
The climate and pollution in the air can also lead to sensitized skin, which is where your skin mimics the symptoms of sensitive skin by becoming irritated and uncomfortable. If you are a swimmer and spend a lot of time in the chlorinated water, you will notice that your skin is very dry and even a little painful. This is because the chlorine has sensitized your skin. Unlike sensitive skin, sensitized skin can be cured. By regularly cleansing and moisturizing your skin with the right formula of skin care can reverse the sensitivity of the skin over time. By ignoring the symptoms and not treating sensitized skin, it will damage the skin over time by damaging the skin's natural barrier and increasing signs of aging.
Now that you know what your skin type is, what products do you use? I've compiled a list of my favorite basics to use that you can purchase HERE. This is where I would start if you haven't been a dedicated skin care user in the past. Once you get the basics down, you can start adding it specialized treatments but that's another subject for another post. Of course if you have any questions, please feel free to comment below or contact me directly.