Is Skincare Confusing Yet?

If there isn’t enough information about or products for skincare already, I am offering some of my experience and research that I hope will make taking care of your skin a much less confusing self-care routine.

Forget about thinking of your skin in terms like oily, dry or combination. Your skin needs are forever evolving and lifestyle choices and eating habits have a lot to do with your skin concerns at every age. 

If you have a routine that works for you, congratulations! I know that mine is ever-evolving because – this is important – I DO AN EVALUATION OF MY SKIN NEEDS EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

I’m still going to break it down into four categories, yet you may not find yourself in a specific category all the time. So yes, you may need a couple extra products, but if you aren’t desiring a flawless complexion, then stop reading.

Broken down into broader, yet clearer terms will lead you to understand your skin, what products to use and things to do and not to do, besides the application of topical products.

The four categories are Adaptive, Hormone Reactive, Stress Reactive and Mature.

You may find yourself in a different category at different times (you can have Mature skin in your 20’s.) But bare with me, it’s worth paying attention to what you skin is telling you rather than treating it the same everyday.

Adaptive: Very accepting of new products introduced to skin. Ever tried a new face wash and broke out afterward? I know I have. If not, then you’re likely in this category, which is good since you have more room to explore. Simply, cleanse your face in the morning, after sweating and exercise, and at night, especially if you’ve worn makeup. Give something I really like a try – St. Ives Cleansing Sticks. They are portable, gentle and inexpensive. They come in four varieties – Rose Water & Bamboo, Cactus Water & Hibiscus, Matcha Green Tea & Ginger and Apricot & Manuka Honey. 

Moisturize regularly, morning and night using a light lotion. Using one with one of the following oils will be beneficial : argan oil, olive oil, avocado oil, rose hip oil or even safflower oil. Take time to look at ingredient lists on products and even directions so you know what you’re getting and how to use. One I have used is reasonably priced and packed with nutrients for your skin. I got Nourish Organics Argan and Rosewater Lightweight Facial Lotion at Walmart for around $18 for 1.7 oz. Here is a site to read up on this product: site: Nourish Organics

Brighten with a enzyme or chemical peel. Use 2 – 3 times per week. Fruit enzyme peels are less strong then chemical peels. Juice Beauty offers a great enzyme peel that literally takes a few seconds to slough off dead skin cells. Here is the link to the organic peel: Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Exfoliating Peel Spray

Both the moisturizer and peel suggested here have Aloe Barbadensis Juice as the first ingredient. Aloe has long been used in skin care, wound healing and soothing skin after sunbathing. Also the peel contains licorice root extract, which is a super ingredient for healing any acne scars that have left discoloration. They both are organic as well. 

Hormone Reactive: Androgens are hormones that are the culprit here. You will experience oiliness and clogged pores. 

Though topical products need 30 minutes to fully adsorb into the skin so you get the benefits, here I suggest using a product such as Epionce Lytic Acid Facial Wash. It’s truly amazing at unclogging pores and getting rid of acne. Here is the link to view product (sign up and receive 20% off your first order.) Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser

Avoid creamy washes and use a gel cleanser like this one (highly recommend) or many people like a foaming cleanser.

Invest in a serum to decongest the pores. Murad’s Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment has five acids. Clear skin to be expected. These include salicylic acid combined with lysophosphatidic, hydroxydecanoic, sebacic, and glycolic acids to reduce pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It also contains soothing ingredients of Boswellia, Honey and Rice Extracts.

View it here: Murad Outsmart Acne Clarifying Treatment

You still must moisturizer; otherwise, your skin produces even more oil. Don’t give up here, you may think you don’t need it (I was one of those people) but to stop the cycle, you do. You may wish to choose a mattifying one such as Origin’s Original Skin Matte Moisturizer with Willowherb. It’s loaded with good oils, too, but it’s a water gel form. For this type of skin, stick to gel moisturizers, rather than the heavier creams. Provide your email at Origin’s and save 15% on your order.

Use a clay-mask regularly to suck up oil and clear blemishes. L’Oreal makes several varieties that are good and can be purchased at your drugstore. Kheil’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask is only $33 and will last you a long time. It’s the only clay mask that I’ve used every bit of. Visit Kheil’s here (they also have promotions going on: Kheil’s

I will talk more about diet, but especially with this category, avoid dairy and sweets, both of which are inflammatory and at least for me, dairy increases my oil production.

Stress Reactive: You suffer from eczema or rosacea and your skin is very reactive to changing conditions, such as lack of sleep, unhealthy diet, stress and even weather changes. 

Cleansing should be gentle. Avoid sulfates, foaming varieties and opt for ones designed for sensitive skin. Bioelements has a great one, it’s a little expensive at about $50, but they too are running offers. Find  it here: Bioelements Sensitive Skin Cleanser

Look for serums, masks and essences that having skin calming properties. Facial mists are also totally awesome and there are so many to choose from. Keep in refrigerator for an especially soothing and awakening experience.

Diet needs to be watched in this category. Avoid red meat, dairy and spicy foods as they create heat in the skin, leading to inflammation. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.

Mature: This type has thin skin, lacks moisture and is showing signs of aging. Your skin is not turning over cells as fast anymore, so exfoliate while you cleanse. Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion age defying exfoliator is a cult-favorite, light cream exfoliant that is anti-aging and prepares skin for better absorption of products after use. The best price was Walmart’s at $39.50 plus shipping: Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Exfoliant

Moisturize with a product containing hyaluronic acid, a humectrant that draws moisturize to the skin, or glycerin. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream contains 
Glycerin, Colloidal Oatmeal, Shea Butter, Allantoin and Cermamides, which help protect the skin’s barrier. Six ozs. for $30 at Sephora

A product with Retinol, a Vitamin A derivative, will speed up cell turnover and plump skin by boosting collagen – essential to a youthful look. Roc’s Retinol Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is around $20 for 1 oz. (you only need a pea sized amount for entire face) can be found at your local drugstore and is super-effective. I like using it at night because retinol and sun create sunburn and products used at night is when they work their best. It is created by a dermatologist, oil-free, non-comodegenic and a fraction of the cost of most retinol products. Start to notice changes in about two weeks. RoC Retinol Correction Deep Wrinkle Anti-Aging Night Face Cream

Those with Mature skin should also avoid sugar.

So what about lifestyle? Exercise increases blood flow in the body so incorporating at least 20 minutes of cardio a day will help your skin concerns. Eating a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables will also improve skin quality. Note that excessive running or activity similar to the pounding, up and down movement, can actually make skin sag and appear older. Just make sure you put back in the nutrients, especially protein, that you’ve lost with intense exercise. And finally, as well all know, drink lots of water and wear a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. a

Just one more thing. The undereye area. Here the skin is the thinnest on your face. Don’t skip moisturizing this area to avoid wrinkles and creapiness. Be gentle and tap in your product of choice, rather than rub the area.

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