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
If 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
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.
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).
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!