Friday, September 7, 2007

WE Beauty - Developing a Decent Skin Care Routine

Do You Know What Your Skin Type Is?
(Part 2)

By Carol A. Allen

Everyone wants to have a healthy and radiant appearance and the beauty industry is churning out thousands of skin care products annually in attempts to meet the demands of hungry, complexion-conscious consumers.

However, before you venture into selecting good skin care products, you need to know what type of skin you have in order to achieve the best results.

Skin can be dry, normal, combination or oily and within those skin types, you can also have sensitive skin. Some people have problem skin, specifically acne which appears in various forms including blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and even deeper lumps such as cysts. It usually affects teenagers, however, people in their twenties to forties or even older can also develop it. Acne can develop on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even on the upper arms and often leads to scarring if not treated properly. Over-processed skin or photo-aging, is a combination of fine lines, wrinkles and pigmented areas, and is usually the result of sun damage, requiring a higher level of skin care designed specifically for anti-aging.

To achieve a pore-deep cleansing, aloe vera based lines are a good choice because the gel naturally contain Vitamins A, C and E. Aloe vera penetrates deep below the skin’s surface and sloughs away dead surface cells stimulating new cell growth. This process naturally leads to fresher, healthier, younger-looking skin with a smooth, radiant tone and texture.

It is best to look for products made with natural botanicals that are dermatology tested, sensitivity tested, and non-comedegenic meaning it won’t clog the pores.

Dry skin tends to be characterized by small pores, a dull finish and may be rough, itchy, flaky or crack. Expression lines are common, especially around the eyes and mouth. Conditions such as rosacea, redness affecting the cheeks, face, and forehead, is quite common in fair-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 60, particularly those living in hot or cold low-humidity climates.

Normal skin usually appears to be healthy-looking with a very smooth texture. The oil and moisture is balanced, while blemishes and clogged pores are uncommon. Wrinkles are very minimal and usually not visible until the later years.

Combination skin generally has a healthy appearance and smooth texture, but there tends to be excess oil in the "T" zone--across the forehead, down the nose to the chin. There may be a bit of dryness around the cheeks, but again, as with normal skin, lines and wrinkles usually do not appear until later in life. Breakouts may be occasional. About 70% of the population has combination skin.

Oily skin is caused by extra oil being produced in the sebaceous glands, making your skin appear shiny and greasy. People with oily skin tend to have larger pores that are more prone to breakouts, clogging and blemishes. Oily skin may look younger longer, however, it can be a constant hassle trying to frequently remove the excess oil.

Skin types will vary from person to person. Seasonal changes, diet and age will also make a difference. Warmer weather tends to bring on more oily skin, while cold weather may make it drier. Menopause also has an effect and may make skin appear and feel drier. A low-fat diet compared to a diet consisting of essential fatty acids can cause skin to change from dry to normal.

So, now you should have a good idea of your skin type. No matter what condition your skin is in, you need to develop a consistent routine by selecting the right products for your skin type and knowing how and when to use them.

We’ll explore the Steps to Great Skin Care in the next issue.

Carol Allen is a Skin Care Consultant and Make-Up Artist for Aloette Cosmetics
You can book a personal consultation by calling (416) 410 7556 or by email to

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