What’s Your Skin Type?

We are born with a skin type determined by genetics and ethnicity. The type of skin we have is a function of how much oil the follicle produces from the sebaceous gland (or oil gland).

As we age, our oil production slows down resulting in increasing dryness.  Menopause, antibiotics and weather conditions can also effect the skin. Choosing the right products for your skin type not only helps protect it, but keeps it radiant, while slowing down the aging process.
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Focus On What's Important In Your Skincare Routine

The booming skincare industry constantly introducing products can be overwhelming.

I understand the urge to want beautiful, luxurious bottles in your cabinet, but you should be more focused on what’s right for your skin and health.

I can assure you that keeping your routine free of fragrance, dyes, excess exfoliation and unnecessary product rotation will help keep your skin healthy and happy now and in the long run.

Under each category I posted appropriate products.  These are simply recommendations.  We are all so different and what works for Mary Beth might not work for you even if you both have sensitive skin.

Skincare is trial and error sometimes.  However, it’s very unlikely these products will give you a bad reaction.

A Good Skin Care Does Not Exclude A Sunscreen!

You can use all these amazing products, get monthly facials and laser treatments but if you’re not using an SPF every day–rain or shine–all those things are completely worthless.

All sunscreen recommendations are included here:
Why You Should Wear Sunscreen Every Day

Dry Skin

Dry skin does not produce enough oil to keep the top layer of skin completely lubricated. Pores are small, and skin usually feels tight.  Rough, itchy, scaly, and irritated skin are all examples of this skin type. Lines in the face are more visible as well.

Moving into winter months, dry skin becomes more aggravated due to lower levels of moisture in the air.

Dry skin is not to be confused with dehydrated skin, a condition where there is not enough water (rather than oil) in the skin. People who suffer from acne, for instance, can have dehydrated skin.

Gentle creamy, oil or milky cleansers are best to gently remove dirt, oil, makeup and water-resistant sunscreen. Hyaluronic acid, algae extracts, peptides and polyglutamic acid serums are all dry skin friendly humectants, which add hydration and plump the skin at the same time.

Individuals with dry skin benefit from occlusive moisturizers.  These are simply thicker in consistency and are more moisturizing. Fragrance free moisturizers with ceramides, glycerin, lanolin or shea butter are fantastic.

If you are very dry and flaky, you can even use a petroleum jelly to target those areas, sealing in water and protecting the skin. CeraVe Healing Ointment is my favorite, and can be used as a lip balm, foot balm, or eye cream as well.

Dry rough skin can benefit from using an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) based moisturizer. AHAs act as humectants and bind water to the skin, moisturizing, while also exfoliating to get rid of rough patches.  I recommend you use a moisturizer, rather than face wash, with AHA.  Since AHA is water soluble, you’d just be letting it run down the drain.

Avoid long hot showers, as this further strips the oils that you’re trying so hard to keep in your skin with the rest of your routine.

A favorite little trick of mine is to apply skincare to a damp face so you lock in that water on top for added hydration.  This applies to the body as well.

Having a cool mist humidifier in your room can be very beneficial to helping dry skin.

q-tips can be used to deal with oily skin

Oily Skin

Oily skin, also known as lipidic skin, secretes more oil from the follicle, resulting in larger, more visible pores and a shiny appearance.   It is more prone to acne breakouts, open comedones (blackheads), and closed comedones (whiteheads), because the follicle is more easily clogged with oil and dead skin cells.

If you’re frustrated with your oily skin (like I used to be), just know our skin ages more slowly because the top layer is constantly being hydrated and nourished by oil!

Oily skin requires more exfoliating than other skin types. You want to make sure your pores are clean, so there is no congestion potentially leading to breakouts.  That doesn’t mean you should over exfoliate, as this will trigger the production of more oil and make the issue worse.

Washing morning and night, using a BHA (aka salicylic acid) wash OR toner can be helpful in reducing oil. However, using both may lead to over exfoliating, so just pick one.

Oilier skin types can benefit from niacinamide serums along with antioxidant serums. Water based or gel moisturizers are best for this skin type because they’re lighter on the skin. You may be able to skip a moisturizer altogether and go right to sunscreen after your serum, depending how oily you are.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is very common and comes in various degrees, making it very individual. People with sensitive skin experience facial redness, irritation, burning and flushing. These effects are more visible in people with lighter skin tones.

Sensitive skin can be genetic or acquired. Environment, pollutants, products, and spicy foods can all trigger this sensitivity.

You want to keep your skincare routine very simple, with gentle, fragrance free products. Avoid over-cleaning, over-exfoliating, harsh acid toners, and long hot showers.  Instead, concentrate on cleansers with gentle surfactants followed by humectants and soothing anti-inflammatory ingredients like licorice root, colloidal oats, niacinamide and green tea.

Polyhydroxy acids are the preferred exfoliating acid for people with sensitive skin, because they lightly exfoliate without the sensitizing outcome.  As a result, they are well tolerated.

Combination Skin

This skin type is so common that most dermatologists and skin care professionals, like myself would consider this to be normal skin. It is usually described as being oilier in the T zone and dryer on the cheeks.

Harsh products, fragrance, excessive cleansing and exfoliating is a no-no for all skin types, including combination skin. Finding the right balance in combination skin can be a bit challenging at times. Gentle cleansers, antioxidant serums, and a moisturizer that’s preferably water based are great options.

“Multimasking” allows you to target the different needs of different areas. For example, use a sulfur or clay mask on your oily/acne prone areas, and use a hydrating mask on your cheeks or dryer zones.

With Love,


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