I have to admit, I was a sucker for buying beauty products – they are just so much fun to shop for, to smell and try out on our skin. But let’s be honest, we’ve all bought a cream or two which we only used a couple of days and then let it get lost in the darkest corners of our beauty drawer.
However, I need to stress out that different products work differently on different people. The facial cleanser your friend so boasts about might dry out your skin, and the coconut oil you regularly use might cause her face to breakout. Every person’s body is different, so it’s important to be able to recognize the various skin types and products designed to properly nourish yours.
Normal skin is characterised by a supple, soft and rosy complexion and small, almost invisible, pores. While you might be lucky not having to worry about things like blemishes and flakiness, you should still adopt a healthy daily care routine that will help maintain your skin’s health and prevent premature ageing. Gentle exfoliation with a mild scrub made of natural exfoliants and rich in vitamins A and E can remove any dirt and help stimulate the production of epidermal protein that increases the skin’s elasticity. Moisturisers and creams that include retinoids are especially effective in preventing and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Make sure to avoid any harsh cleansers or excessively drying products that will damage your skin’s barrier no matter how healthy it might be.
Having dry skin can be a real nightmare, I should know that. If that’s your case too, then know that your skin lacks natural oil (sebum) whose role is to keep it lubricated and supple. Without enough oil, your skin tends to feel tight and uncomfortable, even irritating. Unless you provide it with proper care and replace the lost oil, your skin could end up being flaky and lose its elasticity which will only make it prone to developing fine lines and wrinkles.
I personally find that essential oils work best in nourishing and replenishing dry skin. They can go really deep into the skin cells and provide it with the proper moisture it needs. It’s preferable that you avoid facial scrubs and instead clean your skin with toners that include lactic acid or rich facial oils like coconut or argan. Make it a habit to put on a generous layer of thick, moisturising cream in the morning which will protect the skin from getting dried out from outside factors like wind and sun. By all means, avoid clay or charcoal masks that strip the skin’s natural oils, and products that include alcohol.
On the other hand, oily skin produces excess sebum, which does have some advantages like less forehead wrinkles. However, it also has major drawbacks – namely looking shiney and feeling oily, not to mention how it makes you extra prone to acne breakouts and clogged pores. This means you should develop a beauty routine that focuses on balancing the production of sebum. Any water-based serums and lightweight moisturisers are good for this type of skin. When you experience breakouts, try products with salicylic acid as they are considered the most effective ones for treating acne. Since your skin is already producing plenty of the good stuff, make sure to skip heavy creams and facial oils. On the other hand, also avoid super-drying formulas like benzoyl peroxide, which will strip the oil from your skin completely, causing it to overproduce and compensate.
It’s not always easy to figure out the different skin types and products that work best for them, especially if you have combined skin. This type of skin is a mixture of normal skin which either overproduces oil in some places, or it under-produces them in others – leaving you frustrated about what kind of daily routine to adopt. Let me give you a good tip: you don’t need to use a single product on your entire face. If your T-zone is oily, skip heavy moisturisers and use lightweight lotions instead. On your flaky spots, try using some essential oils or a thick cream. Just try a combination of both types of products and see how that works for you.