Your skin is your largest living organ. It is our first line of defense against infection & disease.It is continuously turning over new cells. However as we age this process slows down.
The outer most layer, the epidermis, is equal to the thickness of 7 sheets of paper, the eye & mouth area being equal to one. It consists of a protective layer of skin cells that continually shed and give way to new cells. Under the epidermis are the dermis & hypodermis, layers that will produce the elastin, oil and collagen, necessary to give your skin strength, elasticity, and vitality.
Taking care of your skin is very important to many of us, so before you go throwing good money out the door trying all kinds of skin care products, it is important to know your skin type & what conditions you have so that you can care for & maintain your skin properly.
Most skin problems stem from wrong product choice so knowing your skin type is essential. Keeping things simple, we have four types: Normal, Oily, Dry & lastly Sensitive(Excessive Dryness, Acne, Allergies can all make the skin “sensitive”) Combination, is not a type but a compilation of conditions & we can have all of these at one time or another in our lives.
Keeping it straight:
* Normal Skin: Some mistake normal skin & Combination skin, but combination is not a type. If your skin is only oily in the T zone and dry, even flaky skin on the cheeks, and changes from season to season (dryer in cooler months, oilier in warmer months) you are a normal skin type. Normal skins can also range from normal to oily/normal to dry. Cleansing with a balancing cleanser will help you maintain your normal/normal-to skin type. Use an alcohol free, hydrating toner to finish the cleansing process & Ph balance the skin.
* Oily Skin: Oily skin presents with large pores over the entire face(not just the T-Zone area) excessive oil shortly after morning cleansing & will be rougher or courser in texture. It can be prone to papules, pustules, open & closed comedones & even cystic acne if not treated properly with the correct products.This skin will need more care because the excess oil will attract more dirt than other skin types, so cleansing this skin using a gentle purifying cleanser & tepid water. Rinse & pat dry. Use a alcohol-free, purifying toner to finish the cleansing process & Ph balance the skin. For the very oily, blotting can help quite a bit & just takes a few seconds.
* Dry Skin: This skin type will show signs of superficial or deep dehydration, be lacking in oil, have few blemishes/breakouts if any, feel tight or have flaking. In extreme cases of compromised barrier integrity this skin is sensitive to the sun, wind, & cold temperatures due to loss of elastin & collagen. Caring for this type of skin requires use of a creamy milk cleanser & tepid water. Rinse & pat dry. Use toner/skin conditioner to help adjust the Ph balance of the skin, alleviating that tightness of dehydration. Avoid ANY & ALL products containing alcohol as these product can further dehydrate & even hyperpigment skin.
* Sensitive Skin: As I said above, you may be a sensitive skin as well as normal, oily, or dry. Does your skin have allergic reactions to skincare products &/or do you have usual sensitivity to the sun, wind, and cold weather, If so,your skin is sensitive. Sensitivity can show up as acne, cuperose(broken capillaries), a rash, redness, or inflammation. Look for skincare products as well as makeup that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Cleanse, tone and moisturize using soothing gentle products daily. Knowing your product ingredients helps you to choose products with soothing properties. Some ingredients to look for are: German & Roman chamomile, bergamont, calendula, allantoin, lavender, neroli, calamine, horse chestnut, thyme, aloe vera, just to name a few.
* Addressing Combination Skin: Combination skin is characterized by two skin types on the same face. This condition occurs due to improper product choice, hormonal changes, allergic reactions etc. To illustrate this best, you can be extremely acneic on chin cheeks & nose but extremely dry on the outer sides of the face & forehead. Let me be clear a here, a blemish here or there is not acne. So say you have a breakout just on your chin or cheeks it could be hormonal so you don’t want to begin treating with acne products. Just a spot product & mask for the blemish is sufficient. Continue with the normal routine for all other areas. To properly care for Combination skins, treat each area appropriately, using a balancing line of products.
Some tips & tricks to help you along the way ~
* Drink lots of WATER! EVERYDAY! 1/2 you body weight in ounces ie 100lbs=50ozs of water daily!
* Apply moisturizer to all skin types even oily. Be sure to use the appropriate type moisturizer for your skin type. Dry skin will need more moisture. oily skin less 🙂
* Sunscreen is YOUR FRIEND. You must apply a sunblock with minimum SPF 30 protection daily. Remember even if you are just going from your car to the office, you still need to protect yourself all year long,even in Winter!
* Taking probiotics or even just washing your face with plain yogurt nightly makes most skin disturbances vanish within a few days.
* Exfoliate 1 time weekly ~ use an exfoliant with rounded beads over shells as these can micro lacerate your skin causing redness & irritation
* Be gentle in the eye & lip area this skin is very delicate & can be damaged very easily. These areas show age first so be kind & hydrate.
* Remember, Nature is our pantry ! Try your hand @ making homemade masks & treatments to care for your skin. This is easy & you will be amazed with the results! Try blending a mixture of aspirin, lemon and baking soda for blemished skin and honey helps the healing of cold sores, ulcers and even burns. Mango Papaya & pineapple are all wonderful enzymatic treatments that will exfoliate naturally leaving you glowing & youthful
* Head to toe exfoliation is key! Try blending sugar lemon & olive oil to gently cleanse & lighten skin as well as get rid of that scaly texture with this easy inexpensive at home treatment
* ALWAYS wash off your makeup when you come! Do this first!
* Wash makeup brushes & sponges weekly. Makeup can be cross contaminated so a disposable applicator is always the best option(especially for acneic skin) in this scenario.
* Change your pillow case daily to maintain a sanitized area for your skin at night.
* Over cleansing can cause the skin to be wicked of its necessary oil causing sensitivity & possibly even acne.
* Never pick at a pimples or blackheads. Picking results in more breakouts, as well as scarring, infection, or permanently dilated pore.
* Always have an aesthetician to do your extractions
* Never be aggressive with your skin (ie scratching rubbing) This will cause sensitivity & compromised barrier integrity.
* Wipe your house phone, cellphone and any other device that may come in contact with your skin with alcohol daily.
* Taking a good women’s multi vitamin will give the added minerals & vitamins to keep your skin looking great.
* Never use alcohol or an alcohol based toner! This will damage & dry out your skin. Never Sea Breeze EEEEEWWWW!
* Exercise caution when using alpha hydroxy acids acne & lightening creams/gels.These products cause photosensitivity & can cause adverse reactions to the skin like redness swelling & hyperpigmentation
**If you have any skin concerns that you feel unsure of, DO NOT hesitate to consult a Licensed Dermatologist or Licensed Aesthetician. You must put your best face forward & being responsible for its care is of the utmost importance!**
Have questions? ASK me, The Aestheticchic!!