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The Backbone of Skin Care
By Katrina VanDoran

One of the biggest beauty assets available to women is clear, soft and supple skin. The condition of your skin is the beginning of any skin care regime. Knowing what skin type you are is essential to looking your best. To help you find out what skin type you are, please take a look at the following characteristics:

Dry Skin:

  • Cleansing makes your face feel tight
  • Flaky patches occur by the middle of the day
  • It stings when facial toner is used
  • Applying a rich night cream feels very good
  • You hardly ever break out

Normal Skin:

  • Cleansing makes your face feel smooth
  • Skin still looks fresh and clean by the middle of the day
  • May break out before or after a period
  • Never have problems when facial toner is applied
  • Applying a rich night cream feels good

Sensitive Skin:

  • Cleansing makes your face feel dry and itchy
  • Flaky patches and redness occur by the middle of the day
  • Occasionally break out
  • Facial toner stings and itches when applied
  • Applying a rich night cream makes your skin irritated

Oily Skin:

  • Cleansing feels good, even comfortable, but some products make it feel oily
  • By the middle of the day you have a shine
  • You break out often
  • Facial toner helps you feel fresher
  • Applying a rich night cream makes you feel very oily

Combination Skin:

  • Cleansing feels good in some areas but dry in others
  • By the middle of the day you have shine in your T-zone
  • You break out often and mostly in your T-zone
  • Applying facial toner feels good in some areas but stings in others
  • Applying a rich night cream feels good to your cheeks but oily in your T-zone

The key to having great skin is to know what is your skin-type. From this point, you can now treat the skin you have with a range of modern products.

Treating Dry Skin: Simply put, dry skin lacks moisture caused by the skin producing too little sebum. Dry skin conditions can be aggravated by the use of incorrect soaps and cleansers, by over exposure to sunlight and lack of humidity such as in winter with the use of gas forced air and in the summer with air conditioning.

Special care is needed in locating the right cleanser. A milky cleanser or a cream cleanser works the best. These types of cleansers usually don't foam but still contain gentle oils that dissolve dirt and make-up and quickly rinse away. Take extra care and use lukewarm or cold water for rinsing since hot water will dry the skin. Apply a thick cream, not lotion, to your face and give your skin a few moments to allow for absorption and to seal in moisture before applying make-up. Look for products that have ingredients that are suitable for dry skin such as avocado oils, calendula oils, vitamin compounds and chamomile.

Treating Normal Skin: Choose a cleanser or facial wash that is best suited for removing the make-up you wear on a daily basis. Apply a toner and a moisturizer that feels good to your skin. You won't need too much moisturizer, just a few dots on your face that you can blend in and then easily apply make-up.

Treating Sensitive Skin: For sensitive skin you need to look for hypo-allergenic products and products that say they are specially formulated for sensitive skin. Never use a soap, this is too harsh and will cause redness and itching. Look for milks or cleansing lotions and unscented moisturizers/creams. Products containing chamomile, calendula oils, avocado oils, vitamins and horse chestnut are very soothing and nourishing. Some people have very sensitive skin and will still have problems with products claiming to be formulated for "sensitive skin", unfortunately, this is the nature of sensitive skin. Probably most people with this skin type have purchased and wasted more product than any other group because they have to go through a lot more trial and error when it comes to finding the right product.

Treating Oily Skin: For oily skin types choose a cleanser that gently washes away oils from the skin surface and that says it will unblock pores, blackheads, and deep blemishes. Be careful not to over do it since excess cleansing can encourage your oil glands to produce more sebum. A foaming wash or cleansing lotion specially formulated for oily skin are the types of products to purchase. Even oily skin needs a moisturizer to seal the top layers of the skin and keep them soft and supple. You won't need a lot of moisturizer, possibly only a dime size in your palm. You can also apply the moisturizer and wipe off any extra with a cotton pad. If you look shiny, wait for the moisturizer to sink (2-3 minutes) then take a tissue and dab off until the shine goes away.

Treating Combination Skin: Skin that is both dry and oily in places makes for a tough challenge. You really need to treat the two areas of your skin in two different ways. You can't treat the entire face as either dry or oily, therefore, a dual approach is needed. Choose a cleanser that will ensure that the oily areas are clean, probably a cleansing cream or lotion work the best. Make sure you use a toner in the t-zone and avoid or use a mild toner along the cheeks and forehead. Apply moisturizer, two different kinds, on your face. Choose an aloe based formula, especially for oily skin, in your t-zone and a calendula or chamomile based formula along your cheeks and forehead. Blend each in their appropriate zone, making sure not to cross over into the opposing area. Blot off the excess moisturizer in your t-zone if any exists after waiting 2-3 minutes to absorb.

Now that you understand the type of skin you have and the best way to prep your skin for lasting beauty, you can now move on to enhancing that beauty with special treatments and make-up.

Katrina VanDoran Make-Up USA

All Articles and most Newsletters are Available For Syndication: CREDIT BYLINE: Article written by Katrina VanDoran, Editor of Make-up USA Newsletter: http://www.make-upusa.com. Ms. VanDoran is a top makeup artist using Bren Cosmetics and Colosé Cosmetics and Skin Care products exclusively.
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