Skincare routines are very personal. You might ask your friend about their flawless personalized skin care routine. Because why not? If they can do it, it might work for me too. Bad idea. The key term is might! If they aren't your dermatologist, don't just blindly try anything. Surprise, surprise, it might make your skin worse! It's an unlikely scenario, but why risk it? Plus, it's really easy to go down the rabbit hole. With time, money, and your sanity on the line, you don't want to make the wrong choice. Especially, when you're already frantically trying to find anything and everything that works.
Take a deep breath and take a seat. There's no such thing as a miracle cure all magic fix skin product. But, there are ways to mitigate choosing the wrong one. We will try to address more natural ways for your skincare routine, since over the counter or prescription drugs are simply costly and can have severe side effects. These ingredients include but are not limited to benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.**
What is your skin type?
Your skin type is one if not the first things you should know before digging deeper. It will uncover how to treat and protect your skin for years to come. So, how do I know what type of skin I have? There are five common skin types, oily, dry, normal, combination or sensitive. Each of which has different needs.
Common Characteristics of Skin Types
While you might be able to figure it out with a little deductive reasoning, it doesn't hurt doubling down and using some tactics. But, first, let's discuss some common attributes you'll notice. For instance, oily skin tends to be shiny, and feels greasy throughout the day.
While, dry skin tends to be dull and flaky. It can even appear rough, or show signs of premature aging, such as, wrinkles, and translucent skin. You will also notice that it will feel tight. But, don't confuse dry with dehydrated skin! More on that later.
With combination skin, you'll notice dry and oily spots. The most prominent areas you'll spot oily skin is in the T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin) areas. Following the normal skin type. Which is what it sounds like, neither oily nor dry.
Sensitive skin isn't necessarily a skin type per se, which can be all the above, oily, dry, or combination skin. However, it can make finding the best product a bit more complicated since irritations from certain products, ingredients and alike, can hinder the end results. Symptoms such as red, burning sensation, itching or drying of the skin may be an indicator that you have sensitive skin.
2 Inexpensive & Quick Ways to Figuring Out Your Skin Type
This test is super simple, and no additional effort is needed. You'll expect to see how your skin behaves after cleansing. To get started, wash your face with your preferred cleanser, and pat dry. After 30 minutes, you should notice the results. Similar to the above description, you'll notice that if your skin is shiny, and feels greasy, you probably have oily skin. In contrast, if you notice dull, tight, and flaky skin, you probably have dry skin. If you have combination skin, you'll notice the T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin) areas are more shiny. Finally, normal skin will be neither dry, nor oily.
Another way to determine your skin type is by blotting sheets. Results don't lie. This simple sheet absorbs oil, and, as such, blotting sheets is a fantastic way to get a more accurate assessment. Simply wash your face with your preferred cleanser, and pat dry. After 30 minutes, use the blotting sheets to determine your shin type by pressing them on various areas of your face.
Dry Vs Dehydrated Skin
The best way to differentiate between dehydrated and dry skin is simply through internal and external factors. Dryness of the skin means that there is not enough sebum production in your sebaceous glands. Without enough Sebum, the production of lipids is also reduced. Which is a vicious cycle since your body is less protected due to a lack of sebum.
In comparison, dehydrated skin simply means that you do not have enough fluids in your skin/body. Drinking more water or changing your diet to consume more water based foods such as watermelons, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, and cauliflower can rehydrate your body naturally. It can also be attributed to better color and hydrated skin. If this isn’t your favorite selection of foods, there are so many other foods that contain a good amount of water.
The cause of dehydrated skin is caused by many external elements, but most commonly weather/season, diet, and caffeine. Now, the best, but not very scientific, way to determine if you have dehydrated skin is by pinching your cheek or the top of your hand. Which will return to normal slower when dehydrated. Dehydrated skin can even cause more than inelastic skin, it can also cause itchiness, redness, congestion, and inflammation.
What Are Some Causes & Solutions?
While it might not be absolutely necessary to know, it will help you understand and hopefully prevent acne related issues. So, acne is caused by clogged pores, excessive oil (sebum) production, bacteria getting into the skin, hormonal changes, and even what you eat.
Note that sebum is not a bad thing! It actually helps protect the skin from bacteria, dead skin cells and other airborne pathogens from getting into pores. There's more to sebum than meets the eye, but that will be for another time.
With hormonal highs and oily skin, is not a good combination. Here are some ways to control the over production of sebum in the scalp. First, use a good shampoo. It seems obvious, but, it is somewhat overlooked. People try to prevent certain effects on their hair, such as, hair loss, and fewer split ends. However, using the right shampoo goes beyond that. The scalp, like the face, gets irritated. Too much conditioner, or removing too much sebum from the scalp, signals the body to produce more sebum. It all trickles down.
I would recommend using Tree 2 Tub Shampoo.
I have sensitive skin, and too much of both sebum removal and conditioner, provides an abundance of sebum at the end of the day. But, Tree 2 Tub goes beyond clean and all natural ingredients. It provides a pH level of 5.5, which is the pH level of our skin! It also has unscented and scented products using only light essential oils because other fragrances can be irritating and toxic.
One way to regulate your sebum production is by washing your hair with the right shampoo. It might be apparent that dirty hair equals pimples, but the fact remains, too much of anything is not good.
Skin Routine Toolkit
- 1. Cleansing — Washing your face.
- 2. Toning — Balancing & Further Cleaning Your Skin.
- 3. Moisturizing — Hydrating Your Skin.
So, I hope you know your skin type before reading on. Knowing your skin type is an important part, especially when some things might make your skin worse off. In any skincare routine, this will be the foundation for your customized skin care journey. Let's go deeper into what you'll actually need to get rid of these pesky pimples.
Regardless of if you have acne or not, cleansing helps remove dirt buildup, allowing the sebum to reach the top layer of the skin. The optimum times to wash your face is twice a day, in the morning and right before you go to bed. Similar to washing your hair, having the right cleanser can make or break your routine. You know your skin better than anyone else. So, why use harsh hand and bar soups to wash your face? Stronger isn't better in this case. Neither is washing too much.
Toning is a great way to restore your skin's pH level. Why is this important? Well, your skin is a little acidic to keep moisture in and bacteria/harmful pathogens out. Another reason pH levels are important in your skincare routine, is if your skin is too alkaline, you'll look flaky and red, while, too acidic skin conditions such as eczema and acne can appear. The optimum times you should use toners are, once in the morning and right before bed. If your skin becomes irritated and dry, use it once a day.
Moisturizing is another important step in your skincare routine. Think of it as sebum, keeping the moisture in. Especially, with acne, moisturizers prevent your skin from becoming dry and irritated, mitigating further breakouts.