Finding the right skin-care products is a more daunting challenge than it seems. The biggest problem is that there are so many different skin types, so how do you find the routine that will work the best for you? Read on for a guide to each of the different skin types to help you determine your best course of action.
If you have normal skin, lucky you! With clear skin, you probably don’t experience too many breakouts and your skin is balanced all over (not too dry in some locations or oily in others). Taking care of normal skin is just as important as the other skin types. It’s important to apply a daily moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF, remove all your makeup at night, and use a gentle cleanser to wash your face.
Exfoliate twice a week with a manual exfoliator like a brush, scrub, or sponge to eliminate dry skin cells. Use a cream or lotion-based cleanser for your normal skin. Look for moisturizing products that say they have water in oil formations.
Combination skin means your skin is dry in some areas and oily in others. For example, it’s common for your forehead, nose, or chin to be oily, but your cheeks could be dry. You might want to use a mild cleanser that minimizes sebum removal, and a medium weight moisturizer with broad-spectrum sunscreen is ideal for your daytime routine, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Your dermatologist might suggest an evening skincare routine for combination skin that involves an over-the-counter retinol cream to keep your skin healthy and prevent future damage.
When you have dry skin, it might feel tight and itchy. If your skin is dry, be gentle when you cleanse it and always moisturize. Use a mild cleanser to wash your face, and select a cream-based moisturizer to lock in water. Make sure your body cleanser or soap is a moisturizing product as well. Start your day by applying a cream or lotion right after cleansing while your skin is still damp to help seal in moisture. If you let your skin air dry, it may dry out faster. Consider using a heavier cream at night to give your skin a good soak, and make sure you’re applying sunscreen every day, as the sun’s rays can contribute to your dry skin.
Avoid skin-care products that contain alcohol, which will only dry out your skin more. Exfoliate twice a week with a washcloth and a mild chemical exfoliator to get rid of flaky dead skin. Exfoliating regularly will ensure your skin is getting as much moisture from your lotions as it can.
Similar to dry skin, moisturizing is key to maintaining youthful, full-looking skin. If you’re battling frown lines, crow’s feet, or any other wrinkles, look for skin-care products that contain retinol and hyaluronic acid, which keep skin moisturized and plump-looking. If a simple change in skin-care regimen won’t work for you, consider a skin-tightening* treatment like TempSure™ Envi, which uses noninvasive radiofrequency to stimulate collagen and elastin under your skin.
Also, since sun damage can actually contribute to premature aging of the skin, add a broad-spectrum SPF to your daily routine—even on cloudy winter days.
To help minimize breakouts, use a cleanser that’s oil-free, noncomedogenic, and contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Some people with oily, acne-prone skin may need to wash their faces twice a day, while others’ skin will be more likely to break out if they cleanse too much. Your dermatologist can recommend products that contain vitamin-A derivatives, like retinol, which treat all types of acne, according to the American Skin Association.
Use products with salicylic acid to unclog pores and exfoliate, or benzoyl peroxide for an antimicrobial effect on your skin. It’s important not to overuse acne products—either by applying them too often or slathering one over another on your face. Acne products are strong and sometimes harsh; they can cause redness and inflammation, or lead to problems like dry skin. Make sure you’re also using a sunscreen every day to avoid making acne worse.
No matter what your skin type, maintaining healthy, youthful looking skin is possible when you care for it daily and seek out treatments that will enhance your skin’s natural beauty. Also, seriously, don’t forget sunscreen.
*Through soft tissue coagulation.