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Is Your Daily Routine Helping or Hurting Your Skin?

Smiling Asian/Indian young woman looking in mirror and applying facial scrub.

Smiling Asian/Indian young woman looking in mirror and applying facial scrub.

Being that it’s on the outside of your body, it’s easy to forget that your skin is an organ. It’s the organ that protects us from harmful pollution, injury and infections – not to mention cancer-causing UV rays. Skin is our body’s frontline of defense and it takes a beating.

Taking care of your skin is about more than looking younger and more attractive. It’s about keeping your whole body healthy. The first step is identifying your skin type.

Choosing the Right Daily Use Products for Your Skin

Protecting and nurturing your skin largely depends on your unique needs. We all have the same skin structure, but the quality and type of skin we have can vary from one person to the next. There are five types of skin, all of which require specific types of products:

  • Normal Skin
  • Dry Skin
  • Oily Skin
  • Combination Skin
  • Sensitive Skin

Before we break down the characteristics of each skin type and the products that work best, you can cut right to the chase if you don’t have sensitive skin. An all-inclusive kit like Dermaclara Complete is a great option because it includes everything you need for total skin care and the products compliment one another. Kits are usually developed to make product selection simple and work well for most skin types.

Normal Skin

If you fall into this category count yourself as lucky. Despite the name, few people have normal skin that is well balanced and has few imperfections to work around. You can use a variety of products, including basic ones that keep your skin clean and hydrated.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a serious problem for a number of reasons. First off, it’s an indicator that your body could be dehydrated. Second, dry skin is more susceptible to injury and infection because it tears and cracks easily. Third, it just doesn’t look good. Dry skin has a flaky, rough texture that makes the skin look dull and exaggerates fine lines. Oddly enough, dry skin is also more acne prone because pores get clogged easily.

Products to look for:

  • Soap-free cleanser
  • Alcohol-free toner
  • Rich cream moisturizers
  • Gentle exfoliating scrub that can be used several times a week
  • Hydrating mask that can be worn once or twice a week

Oily Skin

Anyone who has oily skin is constantly fighting the shine. It occurs because there’s an overproduction of oil in skin glands that may be brought on by hormonal imbalances or stress. This type of skin is very prone to blackheads and acne, but at least it’s well hydrated. You may notice that your skin is a little less oily during the winter when the air is drier.

Products to look for:

  • Oil-free cleanser
  • Alcohol-free toner
  • Gel moisturizers
  • Products containing charcoal to shrink pores
  • Products labeled noncomedogenic
  • Products that include salicylic acid

Combination Skin

This type of skin is a combination of dry or normal in some areas and oily in others. On the face, people are usually oily in their T-zone (forehead, nose area and chin) and dry or normal everywhere else. Skin on the body tends to be normal as well, but may be dry and rough at the joints. The majority of people fall into this category.

Products to look for:

  • Multiple masks that can be combined into a single treatment
  • Blackhead treatment for the T-zone
  • Treatment to shrink/tighten pores
  • Moisturizing lotion

Sensitive Skin

Does your skin get irritated easily? If so, you probably have sensitive skin. Some people are born with sensitive skin, but a number of products can also increase skin sensitivity. There may also be an environmental or allergic trigger that makes your skin more sensitive.

Products to look for:

  • Fragrance-free products
  • Soap-free cleanser
  • Products labeled gentle or mild
  • Products made for sensitive skin
  • Products made with natural ingredients

Daily Habits That Hurt Your Skin

Many of us are guilty of bad skin habits. Simple things that we do every day can add up to cause serious skin issues down the road:

  • Not using products made for your skin type
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Scrubbing the skin while washing and/or drying
  • Not drinking the recommended amount of daily fluids
  • Taking showers in very hot water
  • Going to bed with makeup on
  • Picking at skin
  • Using a tanning bed
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day

Daily Habits That Help Your Skin

Replace your bad habits with the skin supporting habits below:

  • Using broad spectrum sunscreen daily
  • Washing, toning and moisturizing your face every night
  • Getting 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise
  • Eating an anti-oxidant rich diet
  • Drinking 8-10 cups of water daily
  • Using a daily body moisturizer
  • Minimizing time spent in direct sunlight
  • Wearing sunglasses with UV-blocking lenses

Becky Wilcox is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about beauty, fashion, technology and more.  She writes for Life with Lisa as well as several other blogs and websites.  Check back soon for more from Becky.