Some women believe they don’t need to care for their skin until they start to see signs of aging, but even the youngest and freshest faces can benefit from a tailored skin care regimen. The first step toward proper skin TLC is to assess your skin’s type and condition. Then you can identify the products to meet every aspect of your face’s needs.
In addition to explaining how to determine your skin type and condition, this article will discuss how to choose and effectively use products to fulfill the four basic skin care needs:
It will also address more specific needs such as acne or enlarged pores.
Determining your skin type and conditions
Choosing the right facial treatments for your skin care regimen starts with determining your skin’s type and special needs.
There are four basic skin types, each with typical characteristics:
- Normal skin is well-balanced and shows neither oil nor flaking. It is soft, smooth, and resilient, and rarely gets blemishes.
- Oily skin has a greasy, shiny appearance. It is prone to bumps and blemishes, including recurring pimples and blackheads.
- Dry skin feels taut and rough and is often flaky or red. It is often extra sensitive to new products and cracks easily, making it more susceptible to aging.
- Combination skin is most common, and exhibits traits of the other 3. Usually, skin in the t-zone is oily and shiny, while the rest of the face is normal or dry.
In addition to these basic categories of skin type, most people have special conditions that require extra attention.
Consider whether you have:
- Discoloration and damage
- Enlarged pores
- Lines and wrinkles
- Loss of elasticity
Knowing your skin type and conditions will help you choose the the most effective facial treatments and avoid wasting time and money.
Proper cleansing removes dirt and impurities to help improve tone, clarity, and texture. Perfectly clean skin also allows other treatments to penetrate better.
Regardless of your skin type, don’t use harsh bar soaps or cleanse too often, as both dry out the skin. Even oily skin can be over-cleansed. When too much natural oil is stripped away, the skin can attempt to compensate by producing excess oil, making the skin even shinier.
As far as choosing a product, creamy cleansers work best for dry skin, and oil-free or gel cleansers are suited for difficult, oily skin.
Remember to cleanse gently, yet thoroughly, and always use warm water, as cold and hot make skin more sensitive and can cause broken capillaries.
To properly wash your face, follow these steps:
- Prep by removing makeup and rinsing face.
- Use a dime-sized amount of cleanser and lather in a circular motion.
- Rinse again thoroughly.
- Pat dry; don’t rub.
The skin constantly generates new skins cells at the dermis (the skin’s lower layer) and sends them to the epidermis (the skin’s surface). As these cells rise to the surface, older cells die and are shed. However, aging slows cell turnover, causing cells to linger on the skin’s surface. This creates an uneven surface that gives skin a dry, rough, and dull appearance.
Exfoliation is a commonly overlooked step toward radiant skin. Exfoliation removes the outermost, oldest dead skin cells through either a manual or chemical treatment.
Manual exfoliation involves a gritty scrub, brush, or cloth and uses friction and abrasion to remove the dead skin cells. Anyone with acne-prone skin should avoid harsh, manual exfoliating scrubs because they can irritate blemishes and make acne worse.
Chemical exfoliation uses retinoids or acids to increase cell turnover by dissolving the bonds that hold the top layer of skin cells together.
Retinoids are a class of chemical compounds related to vitamin A. They regulate epithelial cell (i.e. the cells that line the cavities and surfaces of structures in the body) growth and have been proven effective in normalizing the skin and increasing the rate at which skin cells shed. In addition, retinoids generate collagen, which keeps skin from sagging.
Alpha Hydroxy and Beta Hydroxy acids work separately or together to exfoliate and maintain healthy skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acids, like lactic acid and glycolic acid, reduce the buildup of dead cells on the surface of the skin. Beta Hydroxy Acids like salicylic acid exfoliate inside pores to keep them clear and discourage blockage.
Everyone, regardless of age or skin type, needs a moisturizer to keep their skin hydrated and balanced. It’s even important for acne-prone skin, especially in conjunction with potentially drying adult acne products. In addition to their primary purpose, moisturizers often serve as a vehicle for antioxidants and nutrients, as well as treatments for acne, enlarged pores, and signs of aging.
Different skin types need lighter or richer products:
- Dry skin benefits from creamy moisturizers with richer emollients and oils.
- Combination skin benefits from a non-comedogenic moisturizer that both hydrates and mattifies.
- Oily skin also needs non-comedogenic products, and should be treated with the gentlest and lightest oil-free moisturizers.
- Sensitive skin ttappreciates fragrance-free, hypoallergenic moisturizers.
Most skin types also benefit from a specialized eye area moisturizer. The delicate skin around the eye is particularly susceptible to wrinkles. It is some of the thinnest on the body and has less fatty tissue than the rest of the face. Products designed specifically for the eyes hydrate and treat fine lines without being too heavy or irritating for this fragile area.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Excessive sun exposure is responsible for most of the skin damage associated with aging.” Thus, sunscreen is a very important part of a skin care regimen intended to reduce the signs of aging.
Sun damage starts at an early age and accumulates gradually, even if you don’t often get sunburns. It can result in uneven pigmentation, age spots, sagging, wrinkles, and serious problems like skin cancer.
When exposed to the sun, your skin undergoes damaging changes. The upper layers of skin thicken and cells called melanocytes produce melanin, the skin color pigment that absorbs energy from ultraviolet (UV) light. This is an attempt to keep the sun from damaging any deeper cells.
Sun exposure also causes free radical damage. A free radical is a molecule that is unstable because it’s missing an electron. Because it is unstable, it takes electrons from other molecules to become stable again. When substances like collagen lose an electron, they break. Strands of broken collagen lead to wrinkles and sagging.
Sunscreen should be used every day, even when it is overcast, since 60-80 percent of UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. However, don’t use products with sun protection at night. The ingredients can aggravate skin when worn all day and into the night. Instead, choose two moisturizers: one for the morning and one suited for evening repair.
Products for an Effective Routine
Perricone makes cleansers, exfoliants, moisturizers, and sunscreens with effective, scientifically advanced ingredients. These products can be combined to create your own regimen, or your can choose a Perricone-designed regimen that contains everything you need to treat your skin based on its level of aging and specific conditions.
A good basic regimen begins with leansing and purifying skin with the Citrus Facial Wash. It contains DMAE and Vitamin C Ester to help improve tone, clarity and texture, unveiling skin’s natural radiance. Or, choose the Skin Clear Cleanser, which exfoliates with salicylic acid to eliminate surface contamination and excess sebum.
Moisturize with Face Finishing Moisturizer, to hydrate and nourish for a healthy glow. Face Finishing Moisturizer has a rich texture and is formulated with Dr. Perricone’s powerful anti-aging science.
No Foundation Foundation provides SPF 30 sun protection from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. NV Perricone MD took special care to formulate No Foundation Foundation with non-chemical sun protection ingredients, making it ideal for all skin types, even the most sensitive.