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July 17, 2020 3 min read

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the facial beauty products out there. I want to help you understand some of the basics so you can put together a sound skin care routine.

Clear skin that looks amazing and makes you feel great, starts with a care routine based on your skin type. There is not a one size fits all solution. Determine your skin type and then you can tailor your program for amazing, clear, radiant skin!

The four main skin types are normal, dry, oily and combination skin. If your skin is flaky, itchy or rough you have dry skin. Oily skin is greasy and shiny and may have more prominence of the pores. Combination skin is dry in some areas but oily in others. Oily and combination skin can be more prone to acne. If none of these apply to you, you have normal skin. 

There are four basic parts of a general skin care routine: cleansing, exfoliating/toning, moisturizing, protecting. These parts are the same regardless of skin type but the products chosen for each step will differ. Sometimes an additional step will be needed to treat a specific problem such as acne or ageing skin. All skin types should use a broad spectrum sunscreen with at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30 on the face prior to applying makeup. A great makeup remover for all skin types is micellar water. Makeup removing wipes are also a great option and have the added benefit of giving a gentle mechanical exfoliation to the skin.

If you have oily skin, you want to cleanse twice daily with an oil-free foaming cleanser. A toner/exfoliant should be used once daily. Choose a toner with salicylic acid or tea tree oil if you have acne prone skin, otherwise, use one with alpha or beta hydroxy acids. A hydrating mist containing rose water or witch hazel can help calm any inflammation. Look for oil-free gel type moisturizers and consider an oil-controlling or mattifying moisturizer with sun protection in the morning under your makeup. If you have acne-prone skin, look for products that say “oil-free and non-comedogenic.”

If you have dry skin, I suggest just splashing face with warm water in the morning followed by the use of a hydrating mist. The best hydrating mist will have rose water as an ingredient.   After spritzing, apply a moisturizing lotion with sun protection. After removing make-up at night, use a gentle non-foaming cleanser without alcohol or fragrance. Apply a hydrating toner followed by a hyaluronic acid serum or moisturizer. Be sure to avoid hot water as this will further dry the skin. Use an exfoliating toner instead of the hydrating toner twice per week to help the skin turn over gently. Look for products that contain aloe, tea tree oil, colloidal oatmeal or rose water to help with inflammation. Hydrating facial masks 2-3 times per week are also helpful. 

For normal or combination skin, simply splash face with warm water in the morning and apply a moisturizing lotion with sun protection. After removing make-up at night, cleanse with a gentle cleanser and use a salicylic acid toner if acne-prone, otherwise a toner with alpha or beta hydroxy acids. Follow with a lotion type moisturizer. 

For ageing skin issues such as discoloration and wrinkles there are many treatment options. Retinol, topical vitamin C, rosehip seed oil, bakuchiol, carrot oil or sea buckthorn seed oil could be added to the regimen. Vitamin C containing products should be used in the morning. Retinol should be used at night. All of these ingredients can be slightly drying to the skin and a moisturizer should be used on top. 

For acne-prone skin, retinol can also be helpful being mindful of dryness because that can further contribute to acne. 

Clear skin takes work but the results are worth it!

Disclosure: This blog entry is intended as general medical education and does not constitute medical advice. This is a paid post. 

Brooke Jeffy
Brooke Jeffy

Dr. Brooke Jeffy, MD is a dermatologist in private practice in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr. Jeffy focuses on acne, aging skin, and skin cancer prevention in her practice. Dr. Jeffy is passionate about educating her patients and believes in the importance of an integrative approach to skincare.


1 Response

Casey Grant
Casey Grant

July 17, 2020

Cool info! Definitely going to try splashing water on my face Prior to moisturizing for my dry skin!

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