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Determining Your Skin Type & How to Work With It, NOT Against It!

Knowing your skin type is VERY important, and knowing how to deal with your skin’s characteristics is even more important to staying healthy and looking your best for as long as possible!  If you have problems with your skin that are making you self conscious or physically uncomfortable, changing the way you care for the largest organ in your body may make your life better in many ways!

You have oily skin?  Then you are probably blotting and powdering often, maybe even several times a day.  Your skin probably feels greasy and uncomfortable after an hour or two, and your makeup most likely doesn’t last the entire day.  If you look up close in the mirror, you may often see large pores in your T-zone, maybe accompanied by blackheads and acne as well.

Skincare:  You must set a strict skincare schedule for yourself.  Use a gentle cleanser on your face when you wake up and before you go to bed, accompanied by a light, oil-free moisturizer.  Yes, moisturizing oily skin is VERY important, because often your skin isn’t hydrated enough, for which it compensates by producing lots of extra oil.  

Exfoliate once every other day to remove excess skin and unclog blocked pores.  Using a clay mask 2-3 times a week will also help minimize the appearance of your pores and reduce excess shine.

Makeup:  Longwear, oil absorbing products are your friend.  If you have large pores, first apply a silicone-based primer to your skin, which will help smooth out your skins surface.  Next, pick a longwear foundation that is oil-free and has a matte finish.  Once your foundation and/or concealer has dried and settled in, finish off with a light dusting of a mattifying pressed powder.

To touch up throughout the day, blot first lightly with a tissue, and then add another dusting of powder to the area you have just blotted.  It is important to blot first to keep the powder from oxidizing due to the oil on your skin.

You have dry skin?  Your skin probably craves moisture, and shows this by getting flaky, tight, and cracked.  You might experience sensitivity and your makeup probably accentuates the dry patches on your face, making you look scaly.

Skincare:  You need a strict skincare routine.  Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser morning and night, accompanied by a rich moisturizing cream.  Exfoliate gently with a washcloth or light scrub to remove dead skin and dry patches.  Use extra moisturizer after exfoliating to build up your skin’s hydration barrier.

Do not use products that contain alcohol, as this will dry out and irritate your skin further.  Use oil to remove makeup at night, and for very dry skin, give yourself a “facial” 2-3 times a week, by slathering on moisturizer and then covering your face with a hot, moist towel for about 10 minutes.

Makeup:  For you, luminizing and anti-aging products will be a lifesaver! Always moisturize beforehand, and once that has settled into your skin, apply a primer to help smooth over dry patches.  Next, apply a liquid or cream foundation, and set this very lightly with a bit of powder for added coverage.  Finish off with a makeup setting spray to help set your makeup and keep it in place all day.

Touch up by spritzing a setting spray on your face if you start feeling tight after a few hours.

You have combination skin?  Your skin probably changes day by day!  You most likely suffer an oily T-zone, with dry, flaky patches randomly on your skin.  Some days your skin may be oilier than others, and some days you might see more dryness.  Your makeup probably fades patchily throughout the day, and you may be unsure how to accommodate your various skin issues.

Skincare:  Generally, you should follow the same routine suggested for those of you with oily skin.  Wash your face when you wake up and before you go to bed, and use a light, oil-free moisturizer all over twice a day as well.  Add a bit of extra moisturizer to the areas your skin tends to be more dry.

You should still be exfoliating gently once every other day to remove dead skin and unclog your pores.  Use a clay mask only on the areas where you most often get oily 2-3 times a week.

Makeup:  I recommend that you invest in two type of foundation - a longwear foundation with a matte finish for days you are more oily, and creamier foundation for days when you’re really combating those dry patches.  Apply a moisturizer and primer beforehand, and then apply your foundation.  Use a powder only over the areas you get most oily to help reduce and control shine.

You have normal skin?  Your complexion is probably pretty even, and you don’t often experience much oiliness or dryness.  Depending on the day, you may see a bit more shine than others, and sometimes you may get dry patches around your nose or near blemishes.  You might have concerns with blackheads or redness.

Skincare:  Even though you may not see immediate issues as people with oily, dry, or combo skin do, it is still important to have a strict, everyday routine for your skin.  Wash your face with a gentle cleanser when you wake up and before you go to bed, making sure you remove all makeup.  Apply a light, oil free moisturizer before you apply your makeup, and again at night if your skin is on the drier side.

Exfoliate gently once every other day to keep your pores clear, and use a mask 2-3 times a week to keep your complexion bright.

Makeup:  Use a light liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer to even out your skin tone.  Set this with a bit of pressed powder for added coverage and longevity.

Touch up by adding concealer and blotting away any shine if needed.


Now that you’ve figured out what type of skin you have, there are two additional skin categories that may or may not afflict you.  Many people believe that “sensitive” or “acne prone” are skin types, but they are not by themselves - you might have dry, acne prone skin or combination, sensitive skin for instance.  You might even have both acne prone and sensitive skin, or neither at all.  Either way, there are special ways you must cope with sensitivity and acne, on top of what you do for your oily, combo, normal or dry characteristics.

Your skin is also sensitive?  You probably are limited by what products you can use, because you might react to certain ingredients like fragrances or dyes.  You might experience dry patches and redness, or you may even break out into bumps or rashes.

Skincare:  Use the gentlest products you can find, keeping away from ingredients such as alcohol, salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and perfumes. Otherwise, keep with the routine you set with your skins type.

Makeup:  Stick to fragrance-free products designed for sensitive skin types.  Make sure they are allergy-friendly, and always test new products on a small area of the skin before applying to your entire face.

You also have acne-prone skin?  You’ve probably been battling continuous breakouts for some time now, from scattered whiteheads to stubborn, red bumps.  

Skincare:  The strictness of your skincare routine must be very firm, and you shouldn’t skip a day, ever.  Keeping your skin moisturized and balanced is very important, and it is equally important to remove your makeup and any dirt or oil fully before you go to bed.  Use treatments with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid only on the areas where you break out.

Makeup:  You will typically need a full coverage foundation or concealer to completely hide redness.  However, don’t wear foundation as often as possible, to allow your skin to breathe.  Although makeup is not the only cause for breakouts, the less makeup you wear could significantly help reduce breakouts.

The more you know, the better your skin will look and feel!  Remember that the state of your skin is a direct result of things happening inside your body.  Keeping with a healthy diet, reducing your stress, and exercising regularly will help keep your skin glowing and clear (as well as keeping your whole body in check!)

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