Everyone wants to have great skin, and it seems like everyone fits into at least one of two categories: people who are always on the lookout for ways to improve their skin, or people who swear they’ve got the secret to making skin look fantastic. The fact of the matter is though, that there really isn’t one big secret that’s going to completely change your skin forever. The secret is a consistent regimen of care.

Fortunately, adapting a new skincare routine needn’t be a chore. To start with, one thing everyone should consider before starting a skincare routine is: what type of skin do you actually have?

Determining Skin Type

three skin care facesIf you don’t already know your skin type, there are a few things that can help you figure it out. There is the commonly-used tissue trick, in which you wipe your face with a clean tissue first thing in the morning before you put on makeup, then observe the tissue. Normal or dry skin won’t leave behind any oil on the tissue, oily skin will leave behind an oily residue, and combination skin will deposit oil onto the tissue only where it touched on the nose, forehead, and chin. To determine if you have dry skin, note if your face feels dry and tight after you have cleansed it and before you put on a moisturizer. Typically sensitive skin makes itself all too apparent to its owner, because it may be easily irritated by products and the elements, prone to flushing and itchy rashes, or have broken capillaries.

Now that you know your skin type, we need to know our enemy.

Dark skin spots are normally a form of hyperpigmentation that can be caused by sun damage, hormones, illness, or a side effect of medication. To fight them, you will want to look for products including retinol, licorice root extract, and Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid).

Acne is caused by over-abundant sebum production or from dead skin cells or bacteria blocking the pore. It is most often treated with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, but of course there are also alternatives as with other unpleasant skin conditions.

Time to move on to constructing a spot-battling regimen tailored to your skin type.

Battling Dark Spots and Acne

Dry Skin

Usually for dry skin, a cream cleanser is best, as it is gentler and less dehydrating on the skin. You may also want to consider skin cleansing towelettes as a one-step solution to washing your face. .

  • Occasionally, if you’ve previously been stripping your dry skin of moisture, possibly due to misidentifying its type, you may find that acne greatly decreases right from beginning of treating your skin more gently.
  • You may want to try salicylic acid as a spot treatment on acne. It comes in different percentages- from .05 to 2 percent in over-the-counter products – so you can find the right concentration for you.
  • Combat dark spots with a cream that has ingredients proven to do so. A good idea would be to get the best bleach lotion for spots and marks that have been clinically shown to improve skin tone and lighten brown spots.

Oily Skin

A gel cleanser normally goes well on oily skin and a benzoyl peroxide cleanser might be a viable solution to your acne problem if your skin can handle it. If not, you may wish to try a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment product or a salicylic acid (less strong than benzoyl peroxide) wash.

  • Even oily skin needs a moisturizer. However, your sunscreen can double as your daytime moisturizer if you prefer. You can fight acne while you moisturize with a product like Clean & Clear Oil-Free Dual Action Moisturizer. Remember that you will to select a light and oil-free moisturizer.
  • You might also like Sanitas Skincare Vitamin C Moisturizer, which is another product that both moisturizes and fights breakouts, but it’s really a triple threat, as the Vitamin C can help with dark spots.

Normal or Combination Skin

  • You may actually have to use two different cleansers on your face if you have combination skin: a more basic and gentle cleanser for your cheeks, and a gel or foaming cleansing for your T-zone. Simply trying this could cause a decrease in your acne.
  • Keep your pores clear through exfoliation. The internet is full of recipes for D.I.Y. facial scrubs, and the drugstore buy Queen Helene Cocoa Butter Scrub is a highly-rated facial scrub.
  • For dark spots, Kiehl’s makes a Clearly Corrective White Purifying Foaming Cleanser to promote even skin tone, and also a Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution.
  • Finish with moisturizer and a sunscreen, or a moisturizer with SPF (paying extra attention to any dry spots on your face).

Sensitive Skin

You can follow a lot of the same advice given for the dry skin type, although even more particular care should be taken if using salicylic acid.

  • When exfoliating, make sure you are choosing a product with the smallest grains that you can find, as larger ones can easily inflame and irritate your skin. In fact, you may find that cleansing your face with a washcloth instead of just your hands a couple of times a week is all the exfoliation you need.
  • Sometimes, natural products can work better on sensitive skin than products that have more detergent-like ingredients. (However, keep in mind that just because a product has all-natural or organic ingredients, that doesn’t mean it can’t react adversely with skin.)
  • You may want to try Burt’s Bees Sensitive line, which makes a cleanser, cleansing towelettes, and moisturizer. Additionally, the brand makes a Brightening Even Skin Tone Moisturizing Cream.

Remember that it can up to 8-12 weeks to see full results from cosmetic products. No matter what skincare routine you choose to adopt, the word “routine” is key. You must be consistent if you want to see improvement. If you want to stop your skin from being so spotty, see to it that your skincare routine isn’t, either!

Skin tags

A skin tag, also known as an acrochordon, cutaneous papilloma, cutaneous tag, fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma molluscum, fibroma pendulum, papilloma colli, soft fibroma, and templeton skin tag, is a small bump of skin which may have a peduncle (stalk) – they look like a small piece of soft, hanging skin.

They can appear on any part of the body, but most typically exist in areas where skin may rub against skin, such as the:

  • Eyelids
  • Axillae (armpits)
  • Under the breasts
  • Groin
  • Upper chest
  • Neck.

Skin tags are invariably benign tumors of the skin with no symptoms, unless it is repeatedly rubbed or scratched, but could happen with clothing, jewelry, or when shaving. Very large skin tags may burst under pressure. They are composed of a core of fibers and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and a covering or epidermis.

People who are overweight, pregnant women, and diabetics are more susceptible to getting them. Also, it may be partly due to heredity and often unknown reasons. Some people have them and never even noticed them. Some may have had rubbed or fallen off painlessly. In most cases, however, they do not fall off.

Stretch marks

Stretch marks or striae, as they are called in dermatology , are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. They are caused by tearing of the dermis, they may fade over time, but will never completely disappear. The cause of stretch marks are rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes. Stretch marks in most cases may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, hormone replacement therapy, etc. When they first appear they are reddish or purple lines, but tend to gradually fade to a lighter range. The area usually appears to be soft to the touch.

There are several treatment to have them removed. For example, laser removal, dermabrasion, and prescription retinoids.


Cellulite is a spreading bacterial infection just below the skin surface. It is most commonly caused by Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. Some may think by the sound of it that it is a severe medical condition. But it is nothing more than normal fat beneath the skin. It makes the fat appear bumpy because it pushes against connective tissue, causing the skin above it to pucker. When it first appears it may be a red, swollen area that feels hot and tender to the touch. The redness and swelling spread quickly and is usually painful. The treatment for cellulite usually depends on what caused the infection, how severe your symptoms are and the general state of your health. Fortunately, there is a treatment for it. Your doctor can prescribe an oral antibiotic, but sometimes you may have to be hospitalized to receive antibiotics through your veins.

When dealing with cellulite it is important to rest and elevate the area of the body. That can help keep it calm and less painful.


Eczema is medical condition that cause the skin to become inflamed or irritated. Often those using the term eczema are referring to atopic dermatitis. It can be very irritating, very itchy and at times can be very painful. Eczema can be caused by poison oak, irritant dermatitis (from excessive contact with a harsh chemical substance), fungal infections, scabies, very dry skin, and pompholyx.

Treatment for eczema can be managed at home by:

  • Changing laundry detergents or soaps that may be causing the irritant
  • Avoiding tight-fitting or rough clothing
  • Avoiding scratching the affected area
  • Medical treatments that include prescription anti-inflammatory medications, and steroid creams
  • Also, antibiotics may have to be prescribed to clear the affected irritation.


Rosacea is a common disorder that mainly affects skin on the face. It causes redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead. It can also cause small, red, pus-filled bumps on the face. It can occur in anyone, but it mostly affects middle-aged women who have fair skin. Unfortunately there is no cure for rosacea, there are treatments that can control and reduce the signs and symptoms. If you experience persistent redness of your face, it is important to see your doctor for a diagnosis and get the proper treatment you may need. If it is left untreated, rosacea can worsen over time. The signs and symptoms may flare up for a period of weeks to months and then fade before flaring up again. Some people mistaken it for acne, an allergic reaction or other skin problems.


Erysipelas is caused by bacteria penetrating the outer barrier of your skin. The bacteria that can commonly cause erysipelas are known as streptococci, and they usually live on your skin and other body surfaces and do not cause harm. They can enter your skin through a cut or a sore. Conditions that cause breaks in the skin such as athlete’s foot and eczema, can sometimes lead to erysipelas.

Some other causes for it are

  • cuts and ulcers in your skin
  • surgical incisions
  • insect bites
  • swollen legs due to health problems such as heart failure
  • uncontrolled diabetes
  • injecting illegal drugs
  • anything that suppresses the immune system
  • having had a previous episode of erysipelas.

Those who are at risk the most are very young or very old. Those over 60 being most likely to develop erysipelas. Elderly people whose immune systems are compromised or who have problems with fluid building up after surgery have the greatest risk. Before the symptoms of it develop, you may notice there is a cut, insect bite, or a nose and throat infection.