Getting a Skin Regimen: Fitting Your Skin Care to Your Skin Type

Taking good care of your skin does not take an hour, but it should be just as important to you as brushing your teeth or showering. Think about it: from the first day we bring a baby home, we bath, powder and lotion that delicate soft skin. Then we become older and our skin gets somehow forgotten and mistreated. Ironic, considering this is when our skin gets the lion’s share of the abuse and mistreatment that we do to it over the course of a lifetime.

Getting a good skin care regimen should begin with figuring out exactly what type your skin is. This is especially important if you may have sensitive skin that may react to ingredients in lotions, washes and other products. The basic skin types are oily, normal/combination, dry, sun-damaged and of course, sensitive. Once you know your skin care type, you will know what the right type of product that you need is.

No matter what your skin type is, the basic regimen is the same steps: cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize and protect. Some product lines also advocate a toner, but that might be more damaging than necessary and unneeded. For those with damaged or sensitive skin the best course is to limit the amount of products that are used, regardless.

1. Cleanse. This is definitely not the place to grab whatever bar soap is lying around and just scrubbing up. In fact, the experts almost universally agree on this one: no bar soap for the face, period. Instead, use a gentle cleanser that is labeled for the face and your skin type and then exercise restraint. Gentle cleansing should be done no more than twice per day, with tepid water and a soft cloth. Remember, this is your face and you love it- do not treat it roughly.

2. Exfoliate. This should not be a daily part of your skin care regimen, but should be included as an extra step in the weekly process. Again, do not use overly harsh products, and make sure that your skin does not become overly red or irritated by exfoliation. For best results use a gentle scrub once a week. Many scrubs contain particles of nutshells, or other slightly rough ingredients that takes the dead, top layer of skin off to reveal the new skin cells beneath.

3. Moisturize. If there is a problem with acne, the idea of putting a moisturizer on your face can be confusing at best. Again, make sure that the product you choose for this step is actually labeled for your skin type and use it sparingly. In many cases, moisturizers can be used once a day.

4. Protect. No matter what your skin type is, you need to protect your skin from damages that you encounter day to day like the sun, wind and other environmental factors. This should include using sunscreen whenever you go out, no matter what.

Take good care of your skin, and it will treat you well, too.