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Moisturizing Do’s for Combination Skin

Female hands dipping into a jar of moisturizer

Do Use a Moisturizer

The most important do is to actually use a moisturizer on your combination skin. It can be tempting to skin moisturizer when you have overactive oil glands constantly pumping out sebum in your T-zone, but drying your skin out only creates more problems down the line. When you dry your skin out by using products that are too harsh or by skipping moisturizer altogether, your face will respond by producing more oil to compensate for the hydration it’s losing. No matter how oily your face gets, you don’t want to skip a moisturizer.

Do Check the Ingredients

Checking the ingredients of your moisturizer (and any facial care product for that matter) should be the number one thing that you do. You need to know what ingredients are in a product, so that you can properly match the ingredients with the needs of your skin. Some of the best ingredients for combination skin include antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients and pantothenic acid.

Do Spot Treat

Even with a perfectly formulated moisturizer, there are going to be instances where it just won’t be enough to balance your skin out. When you find this happening, it’s best to use two separate products to treat the differing skin types on your face. Lotions and creams are great for the dry areas of your face, but they are often much too heavy for the oily areas. Gel moisturizers or serums that are oil-free and lightweight are perfect for your T-zone because they provide moisture without it being an overwhelming amount.

Do Switch Products

The needs of your skin change from season to season, so it is important to constantly pay attention to what your skin is telling you. While all skin types experience fluctuations when the weather changes, combination skin is often hit the hardest. Use products that are appropriate for the needs of your skin during each season.

…And Don’t Forget to Exfoliate

You can have the world’s most incredible moisturizer, but if you aren’t exfoliating your combination skin, then you aren’t seeing the full benefits of your moisturizer. Combination skin often responds well to beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid) exfoliators. These effectively remove the layer of dead skin cells from the surface of your skin without stripping natural oils and prompting increased oil production. Exfoliate two to three times a week for best results.

Combination skin is challenging, but it’s not impossible to deal with. You must be extra sensitive to what your skin needs and be diligent about exfoliation. No matter how tempting skipping a moisturizer can be, that’s a definite don’t when it comes to your combination skin. Moisturizing your skin is imperative to keep it balanced and healthy.

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Dry + Normal = Combination Skin

Closeup of woman's skin

It is not uncommon for some areas of your skin to behave one way while other areas act quite differently. Many women face differing skin types on the face and some experts put the number of women that have true combination skin near 70 percent. If you think your skin is pretty normal, except for those irritating rough and dry patches, you may want to reconsider whether your skin really is normal and dry or whether you have combination skin. The information below will help you determine if you have combination skin and how you can effectively care for it.

Find Your Skin Type

Classic combination skin is identified as an overly oily T-zone – your forehead, nose and chin – with other areas of the face being dry. However, your face doesn’t have to be slick with oil for you to have combination skin. If you aren’t sure what type of skin you have, there is a way that you can figure this out at home. Wash your face as you normally would, then pat the skin dry. Apply no other products to your skin and allow your skin to do its thing for an hour. When an hour is up, grab a piece of rice paper or another type of blotting paper and begin testing your skin. Gently blot your T-zone, then use a different sheet to blot areas around your eyes and your cheeks. If you find that one tissue has spots of transparency, even if they are small, while the other one does not then you have combination skin. You may be surprised by the results if you previously thought you just had normal skin with some dry patches, but properly identifying your skin type will allow you to care for your combination skin.

How to Care for Combination Skin

It can be frustrating to care for combination skin because it seems as though different parts of your face are at war with each other. The key in any combination skincare routine is to balance the dry areas with those that are a bit more oily. “You may have to treat different parts of the face slightly differently,” says Susan Van Dyke, M.D. and dermatologist with the Van Dyke Laser and Skin Care in Paradise Valley, Arizona. This means that you may have to spot treat problem areas using differing products.

You will need to find a gentle cleanser that removes oil without stripping moisture from the dry areas of your face. Exfoliation is also a key step in a combination skincare routine, and alpha-hydroxy acids are particularly beneficial to those with combination skin. When it comes to moisturizing your skin, you may need to use two separate products. A rich cream is ideal for around the eye area and for your dry spots, while a lightweight moisturizer is perfect for any areas that are slightly oil.

Many women go their entire lives believing they have one skin type when they really have combinations of several on various parts of their faces. Your dermatologist can help you determine your skin type so that you can most effectively take care of your skin. Always use well-formulated products that contain quality ingredients so that you combination skin looks balanced and at its best.

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Most Important Things to Know When Caring for Sensitive Skin

Young woman touching skin

Drink Hot Water with Lemon

French women, models, actresses and other gorgeous women everywhere share a secret: they begin their day by drinking hot water with lemon. You know that drinking water helps rid your body, including your skin, of toxins and adding lemon intensifies the process of detoxification. Drinking hot water with lemon each morning will improve your digestion, relieve bloating, purify your blood and of course, beautify your skin from the inside out.

Use Sunscreen

Applying sunscreen daily is the single greatest thing you can do to protect your skin from signs of aging and damage, but it can be tricky to find one that works with your skin. When choosing a sunscreen, keep in mind that sunscreens with a higher SPF are often more irritating to the skin than lower SPFs and experts recommend using an SPF of around 30 for protection. Sensitive skin needs a sunscreen that is free from fragrance and parabens and that is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores. If you still struggle to find a sunscreen that doesn’t irritate your skin, consider switching from a chemical sunscreen to a mineral sunscreen.

Look for Antioxidants

Antioxidants benefit every skin type, including sensitive skin, but you do have to pay attention to the ingredients in your products all the same. When you are looking for skincare or beauty products, it’s always important to read the labels, but when you have sensitive skin knowing the ingredients is a necessity. Look for antioxidants that feature anti-inflammatory properties to keep your skin soothed and calm. Some skincare ingredients to look for include white tea, calendula and oats.

Exfoliate Carefully

Although you may be skeptical, sensitive skin does still require exfoliation in order to maintain optimal health. Exfoliating the skin removes dead skin cells and other debris from your face while stimulating healthy cell turnover. If you have sensitive skin, you know how awful the thought of using anything harsh or abrasive is, but you don’t have to use products like that to exfoliate. Alpha-hydroxy acids, specifically lactic acid, are chemical exfoliants that work by dissolving the dead skin and debris rather than roughly scrubbing them away.

Pay Attention to Your Skin

You know what your skin looks and feels like when it’s at its best, and you also know what it feels like at its worst. When you have sensitive skin, it is especially important to pay attention to the signals your skin gives you. For instance, dryness, tightness, itching, flaking and redness all have various meanings and ignoring them will only lead to further damage or an increase in the severity of the symptoms.

It can take a bit of trial and error before you find the perfect combination of skincare ingredients and products for your sensitive skin, but the work it requires is worth it. Begin by looking for gentle products that are free of fragrance and other known irritants. Use the above tips when caring for your sensitive skin to reveal the beautiful, radiant and calm skin that you long for.

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How to Know You Have Sensitive Skin

Young fierce-looking woman touching both cheeks

Dry, Tight, Flaky and Peeling Skin

One of the most common symptoms people associate with sensitive skin is skin that is dry, tight, flaky or peeling. Although sensitive skin can experience these problems, there are two major possibilities that aren’t sensitive skin: products that are too harsh for your skin or an allergic reaction to a specific skincare ingredient.

Anti-aging ingredients, like retinol, can be damaging to the moisture barrier of your skin which results in the loss of hydration and moisture. Using harsh products removes your skin’s natural oils and good bacteria leaving your skin more vulnerable to dryness, peeling and even wrinkling. Allergic reactions can come out of nowhere and may be to ingredients like fragrances, preservatives, chemicals or even certain plant extracts. To remedy both harsh products and potential allergies, your best bet is to switch to gentle, mild formulas free from fragrances, common allergens, known irritants and high concentrations of anti-aging ingredients like vitamin A. If using milder products does not improve your skin over a period of a few weeks, it’s possible that the dryness is due to sensitive skin, so it’s a good idea to contact your dermatologist.

Bumps, Ruddiness and Redness

Redness certainly can be a symptom of sensitive skin, but it can occur for a number of other reasons as well including rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that can cause redness, acne-like bumps and a stinging feeling. One way to help determine whether your redness is sensitive skin or rosacea is to pay attention to when the redness increases. “Anything that increases blood flow to the face – hot and cold weather, consuming caffeinated drinks or spicy food – makes it worse,” says Dr. Tina Alster MD, a dermatologist in Washington D.C. Using products aimed to calm your skin and reduce redness will help with rosacea, but they may take several months to take full effect. Additionally, New York City dermatologist, Dr. Jeanette Graf, says that using sulfur treatments can help with rosacea and its symptoms.

Itching and Scratching

Sensitive skin sufferers can experience skin that is itchy and scratchy, but more commonly the problem is one of two skin conditions: eczema or psoriasis. Eczema is incredibly common with about one in 10 people experiencing it. Eczema often manifests in areas where your skin is thin or where skin is dry often. Psoriasis usually appears in the form of raised scales that are very common on the scalp, elbows and knees. Both of these skin conditions result in dry, itchy skin and a visit to your dermatologist can help properly diagnose and treat these conditions.

Although sensitive skin is common, it is not as prevalent as many believe. “Everyone comes to me saying ‘I have the most sensitive skin!’” says Dr. Alster, but often the problem she discovers is not sensitive skin at all. Celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas has this advice for determining whether or not you have sensitive skin: “Brush your fingers across the side of your face with light to medium pressure. If the skin turns red, it’s sensitive. You know you have sensitive skin if the majority of the products you place on your skin cause stinging or redness.” Whether or not you have sensitive skin, the number one tip from dermatologists is to be kind and gentle to your skin to avoid stressing it out!

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Dealing with Dry Skin

Young woman checking skin in the mirror

If you have noticed flaky and irritable skin that looks dull or rough than you are more than likely suffering from dry skin. Dry skin is a common skin care issue that many people face. But do not distress because there are simple ways you can care for your dry skin and get it back in shape! Understanding why you have dry skin can help you address this issue.

Infographic on dealing with dry skin

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Selecting Which Cosmetics are Right for Your Skin

Collage of 9 different women

We’ve all been there. We buy a new foundation, cream, or blush that friends have raved about. All of the reviews are positive, and the color looks great in the store. But as soon as you get home and try wearing it, something terrible happens. Your skin has a reaction. You break out, or start to flake. These problems can occur for a number of reasons, but most commonly it is because you did not purchase a cosmetic that was right for your skin. Selecting which cosmetics are right for your skin is a skill that everyone needs to learn.

There are different skin types, and this means that your reaction to cosmetics will vary depending on your skin type. Before you choose cosmetics, you need to know which type of skin you have. There are five basic types of skin, so determine which type you have before looking for cosmetics.

1. Normal skin is the easiest to care for. It will not show oil, and it has great circulation, elasticity, and smoothness. It looks clean, feels vibrant, and will continue to look great as it ages.

2. Dry skin feels flaky, dry, and tight. It can easily develop a sallow tone as well as wrinkles. It is prone to aging and irritants. Moisturizing dry skin is essential for keeping it healthy.

3. Oily skin looks greasy and is prone to breakouts. It is not prone to wrinkling or aging, however. Careful cleansing can help to improve oily skin.

4. Combination skin is the type that most people have. Different areas of the face are either oily or dry and therefore require different care. Typically the nose and forehead areas are oily while the cheeks and around the eyes are considered dry.

5. Sensitive skin tends to be very dry. It feels tight and becomes irritated or inflamed easily. It is the most fragile type of skin and requires great care in order to remain healthy.

Once you have determined your skin type you can begin researching the best kinds of cosmetics. Many brands of cosmetics feature different types of products that cater to a particular skin type. You can often find them labeled as dry, oily, normal, or sensitive. Choose the cosmetic that is best for your skin, and you will see a major difference.

And remember, when it comes to cosmetics, often times you get what you pay for. For serious results, choose an established cosmetic line that has great products, such as Vine Vera.