Are You Using the Right Products for Your Skin Type?

Whether the products you choose to care for your skin are effective or not depends on choosing those that are appropriate for your skin type. In other words, if you have oily skin, but you choose products designed for dry skin, your skin care regimen is probably not effective.

There are five basic categories of skin type:

Your skin type can change over time because it depends on a number of factors, such as the elasticity of your skin, how much oil it produces, genetics, and others. Even seasonal changes or your habits can change your skin type. Here’s some tips for choosing the correct products for your skin.

Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, you likely struggle with acne and a high shine. Many people with oily skin tend to over-clean, which does not lessen oil production. In fact, it does dry out your skin’s surface and cause damage. Choose a salicylic acid cleanser to wash once per day, and a mild, gentle cleanser to wash once per day.

You also want to moisturize your skin after cleaning it, but finding a product that won’t clog your pores may feel challenging. Look for something light with an SPF-20. If necessary, use a hydroxy acid complex product to help reduce acne.

For cosmetics, look for a foundation designed for oily skin and that will not feel too heavy. You may also want to invest in oil-absorbing blotting sheets, rather than applying powder throughout the day.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be uncomfortable as well as flaky. Choosing products for dry skin is all about keeping your skin nicely hydrated. Choose gentle cleansers that are fragrance-free, and use just enough rather than a generous amount.

Once your face is clean, immediately apply moisturizer. Choose an ointment or cream-type moisturizer and look for products that contain olive or jojoba oil, shea butter, lanolin, mineral oil, or glycerin.

Lip balm is a must for dry skin. You may need to experiment with different types to find the one that feels best on your lips.

Combination Skin

The biggest difficulty with combination skin is the struggle to find products that are just right. When choosing a cleanser, you want a product that helps to balance your skin. Look for mild, gentle cleaners that will not irritate your skin or cause it to dry out.

If you have combination skin, a liquid or gel moisturizer is probably best. Choose something lightweight and hydrating. As with any skin type, using a sunscreen daily, regardless of the season or weather, is a must; so look for a moisturizing product that has SPF protection.  

Often, people with combination skin have breakouts in the T-zone -- across the forehead, and down the nose and chin. Choosing a toner to help balance and clean the T-zone may be a good option.

Sensitive Skin

Caring for sensitive skin is especially critical. Choosing products that won’t irritate, dry, or break out your skin mean the difference between feeling great and being extremely uncomfortable.

Choose a cleanser that is gentle, and that won’t strip out all the natural oils in your skin. Look for ultra gentle, hydrating cleansers that are either sulfate-free or low in sulfates.

Always use moisturizers that are fragrance-free and soothing. As always, SPF protection is critical, and you want a moisturizer that is lightweight, but will also keep your skin hydrated.

Normal Skin

The most important part of having normal skin is caring for it so that it remains healthy. Keeping normal skin clean is vital. Choose a cleanser that is gentle, massage it into your skin, and rinse with lukewarm water.

Use an exfoliator once or twice a week, and choose a product with natural ingredients rather than one with microbeads.

Moisturizer is important regardless of your skin type. During the day, use a product that has at least SPF-15. At night, you may want a product that is richer, with collagen, elastin, and lipids.

Dr. Melanie L. Adams at Adams Dermatology can provide skin care solutions for any skin type. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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