Skin 101

This post is basically a guide to the most basic of skin care.

Healthy, hydrated skin is essential for any gorgeous face–au naturale to ultra glam. It is not only important to know how to take care of your skin (even if it’s the simplest of routines), but you should also know your skin type since many products, and the application of, cater to specific skin types…you want to make sure you’re using the right stuff.

So, what’s your Skin Type?? (let’s review).

  1. Normal: Less oily than combination skin, little to no redness of complexion, medium-sized pores and a smooth, even texture.
  2. Combination: The forehead, nose and chin will typically be oily, while the cheeks tend to be more dry.
  3. Oily: Large pores, acne/breakout prone, shiny appearance (more “greasy” than “dewy”), prone to blackheads.
  4. Dry: Small pores, dullness to complexion, skin may feel tight after you cleanse.
  5. Sensitive: Prone to redness, may have reactions to certain products/product ingredients, may be prone to broken capillaries, fine pores.

3-Step Process:
There is a really simple 3-step process that can serve as a guideline to your skin care routine.

  1. Cleanse
  2. Tone
  3. Moisturize

You want to cleanse your skin to remove any makeup or product buildup from your skin. It also cleanses out your pores and removes any dead skin cells on the surface. Using a toner restores pH balance to your skin and helps to achieve an even complexion. Moisturizing your skin keeps it nice and hydrated (which we all know is important) and helps skin to stay young and fresh.

My product recommendations:
Personally, I love anything from the Exuviance line…I can’t get enough of their stuff (I get mine at Ulta). But I am also a fan of the Olay brand moisturizers, cleansers, etc., which you can get at places like Walgreens and Target.

So, what’s the deal with exfoliating?
No matter what your skin type is, exfoliating is a must! Why? Not only does it unclog your pores to give your skin that healthy glow we all love, but it can also diminish fine lines and even out your skin tone. But note (according to dermatologist Christopher Sciales), no matter what your skin type is “don’t use a chemical peel or microdermabrasion product more than once a week”. Normal to combination skin can get away with exfoliating up to 3 times a week. Oily skin can exfoliate everyday if the product being used says that it’s okay for daily use. Sensitive skin types can exfoliate 1-2 times a week with a product specifically meant for sensitive skin. Regardless, make sure you are looking for an exfoliator with small granules; larger granules (like those in sugar scrubs) can be harsh and irritating to the skin.
Acne & Breakouts
No one likes acne or the sneaky little breakout, but don’t let it get in the way of you feeling your most gorgeous! There is so much that can be said on the topic (it could be a post in itself) but there are 3 simple steps (3 seems to be the magic number today, huh) that will tame those breakouts. Of course, if you are experiencing extreme cases of acne or other skin irritations you should check with your dermatologist.
  1. Use a face wash that is oil-free and noncomedogenic (which basically means that it won’t clog your pores).
  2. Use an oil-free moisturizer that contains salicylic acis and/or retinol.
  3. Use a spot treatment formula that contains salicylic acid (2% is the highest you can get your hands on without a prescription) and/or benzoyl peroxide (10% is highest on the shelves). Dab on your spot treatment with a Q-tip so you don’t spread any bacteria to other areas of your face.
My recommendation:
The ProActive system (by Rodan & Fields) is great for acne, but the kit also contains all the products you’d need to complete the simple 3-step face routine. I am not prone to acne and breakouts (knock on wood) but I still on occassion use this because the skin care products are just that good!

Fact:  Contrary to some belief, greasy foods, makeup, etc, are not the cause of acne–it’s all in your personal biology. But, as a good measure always make sure you are completely removing all of your makeup, and of course, follow your skin care routine.
Want to share some of your favorite products or basic skin care secrets?! Comment below!


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