Skincare is a learned action. The skin should feel and look hydrated, not greasy and not dry. Normal. It takes work to get to that point.
There are four types of skin, Oily, Normal, Dry and Chaotic or troubled. Each needing its own system of skincare to help get it back to normal. We also have those in-between types (sometimes known as combination) like Normal to Oily (N/O), or Normal to Dry (N/D), which can be swayed with certain ingredients to appear more normal. And of course, there are aging skin issues with wrinkles, pigmentation, lack of elasticity and firmness. But don’t fear, there are many products with specific ingredients that can help improve the appearance of aging skin and other skincare needs.
I say start simple. Get your skin into shape.
Skin Type & Skincare:
Let’s start with Oily. It can mystify people with how to control the overabundance of oil. It may sound counter-intuitive but because you are drying out your skin, tightening the large pores and trying to get rid of all that excess oil and stripping your skin of its natural oils, you may end up with a plethora of oil on the surface. The skin is telling your body that there is just not enough nourishment (oil) or hydration (water) in the skin, so it makes up for it by making more and more to satisfy itself.
The most basic way to even out the oil in oily skin is to use a non-drying or gentle foaming cleanser. Follow that with a toner, which helps to tighten pores and balance the pH of the skin. Finish with a light-weight moisturizer twice a day, every day. Once to three times a week use an exfoliant which takes away that peeling, flaking skin on the surface (this is not dry skin) and once a week try a deep cleansing mask or alternatively a calming hydrating mask. Get the skin fed with what it needs, and it will aid towards normalizing your skin. When it does get to normal you can then add in treatment products such as serums which would be used once a day, every day, under moisturizers. For more info on skincare for oily skin, check out this blog.
Most of the time the skin is not picture-perfect in its entirety. Normal skin does not look oily or dry, and there are small to medium pore sizes with on-and-off flakiness on the surface. To keep normal skin normal, try to use a non-drying or cream cleanser, a toner and a light to medium moisturizer. An exfoliant is beneficial here as well, once to twice a week. Keeping this up will give your skin its basic needs to keep going strong. Of course, adding serums, treatments and masks are all a bonus and quite beneficial to this skin type.
Most normal skin will be plagued with some oily areas and some dry areas. Hence the N/O and N/D customers. Try to use the same products on the entire face but treat some areas (usually T-zone is the oilier area, and cheeks are the drier) with more advanced treatments to help get the skin back to normal. Peels and Microdermabrasion are great for that rapid exfoliation to reveal new glowing skin layers. All skin types may use this type of exfoliation but normal skin has the fewest contraindications than any other.
Our dry skin customers usually can’t get enough lotions and creams. This skin type tends to feel dry and tight all the way down. What is key in helping the appearance of dry skin is finding something that soaks in and fills up the dry cracks and crevices (not completely literally) and satisfies the skin so there is no dry feeling. You will need a crème with the right combination of oils and water that will saturate the skin until it plumps up and is no longer dehydrated, improving the appearance of dehydration lines (those little crisscross lines that fall horizontally across the face). Start with a rich crème cleanser, followed by an alcohol-free toner and a rich moisturizer for day and night.
There are a lot of cremes out there so read labels and find out what you want and need for your skin. Dry skin doesn’t necessarily need exfoliation, but once a week is great with a mild exfoliator or enzyme mask. There is always room for serums and special treatments with dry skin. These dry skin products are usually the pricier options because dry skin can take in so many more ingredients than other types.
Chaotic or troubled
The dreaded chaotic skin. It is troubled, confused and just doesn’t know how to act. Sound familiar? Sounds like its main group it descends upon…teenagers! Of course, it gets the best of us at older ages too, the main culprit is hormones which usually attack the teenager. With chaotic skin, I have found that being gentle and kind to the skin is best. Sometimes using over the counter products can over dry the skin and make troubled skin even worse. By using gentle products, you may find that the skin is calmed and appearance is improved.
It is so important to stay on a steady regimen with a clarifying cleanser and toner as well as a light-weight hydrating moisturizer (hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid are good ingredients to look for) and a very gentle exfoliator at least three times a week (and when I say gentle, I mean gentle…oatmeal, jojoba beads, enzymes, etc). There are a lot of people out there that think they are oily when in fact they are not, so check with an aesthetician and make sure you are using the right products for your skin. Anyone with acne, including adults, can benefit from calming and soothing products.
Around the eyes
The eye area is very delicate. The skin is much thinner with smaller and fewer pores so it’s beneficial to use an eye crème, gel or serum specific for that area. There are ingredients that help improve the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, “chicken” skin and crow’s feet. Eye crèmes are amazing! Start by twenty-five and you will be so thankful you did.
Summary & Sun Protection
For all skincare types, there is always a necessity for sun protection, winter or summer. The sun is always there whether it’s covered with clouds or not, and it’s the top culprit for aging so be careful! Also, you are what you eat so if there is something going on with your skin that you just can’t figure out, make a change in your diet. It could be an allergy or something that you are eating. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and eating a well-balanced diet low in sugar and caffeine. Having a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water is always, of course, a good idea.
So just to reiterate, for all skin types, there are only three basic products needed. Cleanser, Toner and Moisturizer. A scrub, serum and eye treatment can be added on for other benefits. Make sure you are using the right products for your skin type and if you don’t know–ask your friendly neighborhood aesthetician!