Skin care basics

The condition of the skin changes from day to day and season to season. Hormonal fluctuations, stress, pregnancy, medication, travel, and seasonal changes are only a few of the factors that can cause skin to act up.

How the skin works
The skin is composed of three layers:
  • A deep layer called hipodermis: contains a layer of fat, blood vessels, and nerves.
  • A middle layer called the dermis: determines how the skin responds and changes with age.
  • A surface layer called the epidermis: gives immediate, visual clues to the condition and health of the skin.

Moisturizers wok in several ways. They fill in the spaces between the relatively dry, or cornified, cells of epidermis, making the skin feel and appear smoother. They also create a barrier on the skin, helping the skin retain wáter. The oil content in moisturizers Works with the protective lipid coating the skin to partialy protect the skin from the air.
Care must be taken in the selection and use of moisturizing products, as they make a huge difference in how the skin works. Hydration is the key to smooth, even skin and moisturization is the eternal way to achieve it.

Analysis of the skin
There are different skin conditions, and each one needs a specific way of taking care of it, so there are some products for each kind of skin. Here I will list the five types that are known.
  • Normal skin
    • Comfortable-feeling
    • Smooth, even texture with small pores
    • Cheeks are the driest area, but not excessively so
    • May experience some shine and larger pores on the forehead, nose or chin
    • Water and oil content in this skin is balanced 
  • Care routine:

Normal skin needs routine cleansing with a foaming cleanser, exfoliation twice a week, moisturization with lightweight lotions, and the use of a sunscreen to keep it healthy. A diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E helps keep skin smoothh and ssoft. Sufficint fluid intake is important to maintain hydration and rid the body of toxins.

  • Dry / Extra dry
    • Feels tight after washing
    • May look dry or flaky
    • Feels rough and uneven; dehydrated
    • May be sensitive
    • Pores are small-almost invisible
    • Shows fine lines faster than other skin types
  • Care routine:

Dry skin requires special care. A lifestyle that includes a healthy diet with foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables, and at least eight glasses of water a day keeps this skin type hydrated. Caffeine and alcohol cause dehydration, so limit intake to two cups or glasses a day. Using richer cleansers, limiting sun exposure, and using a good moisturizer can protect your skin’s natural oils. Layering different textures of moisturizer can do wonders to hydrate the skin. Begin with lightweight face oil, and then layer a richer cream over that. Night creams with AHA help remove the dry, dead skin while moisturizing the new.

  • Oily skin
    • Shiny, specially through the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin)
    • May have large, visible pores
    • Frequent breakouts
    • Few signs of aging, such as fine lines
  • Care routine:

Management of oily skin and the prevention of breakouts requires a healthy diet and a regular skincare routine. Cleanse the face at least twice a day to prevent dirt accumulation and to keep pores open. Use an alcohol-free astringent to remove excess oil. Use oil-free moisturizers to keep the skin from overdrying.

  • Combination skin
    • Oily through the T-zone
    • Dry cheeks or spot dehydration
    • Larger pores on the forehead, nose and chin
  • Care routine:

Care for this skinn type requires regular cleansing, toning and moisturizing of the oily areas and the use of a milder cleanser and denser moisturizer for the dry areas. Moisturizing products containing AHA will benefit this skin type.

  • Sensitive skin
    • Can range from dry to oily
    • Easily irritated by cosmetics, moisturizers, and cleansers
    • Sensitive and proneto redness
    • Itchy or blotchy
  • Care routine:

Sensitive skin requires mild, nonperfumed cleansing products. Use an alcohol-free toner formulated for sensitive skin. Also, use cleansers and moisturizers specifically formulated for this type of skin.

Self-Test: Skin Analysis
  1. Look at your own clean, unmoisturized skin in the mirror. Is the overall texture flaky (dry), shiny (oily), or smooth (normal)?
  2. How does your skin feel after tou wash it with your current cleansing regimen? Tightness through the forehead is an indication of dry skin.
  3. How does your skin normally look by midday? Is there oil breakthrough or dryness even though you have moisturized?
  4. What lifestyle factors are influencing your skin’s current conddition: stress? hormonal fluctuations? sun exposure? diet?
  5. Does your skin have noticeable sun damage? How are you protecting yourself against the sun?

An accurate skin analysis will help you determine the most effective cleansing, hydration, and makeup products for your skin type and condition. However, when problem skin shoes no improvement or worsens, see a dermatologist.


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