The first step in caring for you skin is to identify your skin type—this dictates washing and cleansing routines. You then need to choose cleansers, exfoliants, toners and moisturizers made for your skin type. For optimum results, products should be applied daily or as directed.
Types of Skin
Recognizing the kind of skin you have is the first and most important aspect of taking care of your skin properly to maintain that youthful appearance. You may have one or a combination of the four general skin types:
Dry Skin—is caused by inactive oil glands responsible for producing your skin’s natural lubricants; signs might include facial dullness, itchiness or sensitivity to non-extreme conditions.
Oily Skin—is the opposite of dry, overactive oil glands produce too much lubrication; many people with oily skin are more prone to acne, especially when younger; oily skin stays supple and youthful longer than any other skin type.
Sensitive Skin—is hyper-reactive to environmental conditions, skin burns easily from sun exposure and becomes very dry in winter; sensitive skin types need to read the ingredients of skincare products before use, as your skin is likely to react to synthetic oils and alcohol.
Normal Skin—produces a healthy amount of lubrication; copes well with all but the most extreme weather conditions; normal skin still requires care, as does any other skin type.
Most people have a combination of skin types; different parts of the face – cheeks, forehead and nose – are key indicators of the skincare essentials you need to follow.
Changes to Your Skin Type
Skin type may change throughout your life, affecting certain areas of your body, arms, face and hands. Changes may be brought on by:
- Stress levels
- Lack of sleep
- Where you live
- Sun exposure
Caring For Your Skin
Once you determine your skin type, invest in the correct skincare essentials to keep your skin looking plump, wrinkle-free and youthful. Maintaining healthy skin requires a combination of four products:
Cleansers remove dirt and make-up down to the foundation layer without removing the natural lubrication from your skin. Commonly available in the form of wet wipes, they also come in a liquid form applied with cotton pads.
Most commercial cleansers utilize an alcohol base, so sensitive skin types need to find more natural remedies. Look for products that work gently, keeping in mind that certain natural products may contain sea salt or similar abrasive components.
While cleansers address the surface of your skin, exfoliants provide a deeper clean. Available in the form of cream washes that contain tiny grains, exfoliants are used to open pores.
The process of exfoliation removes and prevents the buildup of excess oils, making it especially useful for oily skin types prone to acne.
Sensitive skin types should avoid harsh chemical exfoliants; dry skin types also need to use caution, as skin irritations can occur from products that require intense scrubbing.
Toners are liquids used to close pores, making skin appear taut. Open pores make way for dirt to get in and for blackheads to form. Dry skin types need to tone often, keeping your face ready for moisturizing.
Possibly the most important of all skincare essentials, moisturizers provide a protective layer over freshly closed pores and keep skin supple. They help bind water to the skin, keeping your pores hydrated.
Many common skin products also act as moisturizers such as SPF sun blocks, make-up foundation and applications that give your skin a natural shimmer or perfume. All skin types can benefit from daily moisturizing.
With so many skincare essentials at your disposal, applying products best suited for you will help keep your skin supple and healthy. Your skin can change over time; if your routine is no longer effective, you may need to try different products or change brands.