A Beauty Essential: How To: Create Your Own Skincare Routine: Skincare 101


Ever wonder why your skin is still oily or why you still have lots of breakouts? There are different products for all types of skin, but do they really work? What type of product should I be using to help my skin? 
There are a lot of questions that we all want to know the answers to. So here is the first of my Skincare 101 posts where I try and answer all those questions and share my skincare knowledge and experiences with you. 

Oily Skin: The name kind of gives it away doesn't it? To have oily skin means that your skin is producing too much of the oils your skin naturally makes. So why do we use things that strip the skin? Is that what should be happening? No. Foaming cleansers/face washes are not the best thing to use if you have oily skin, it dries it out, leaving it feeling stripped and tight, which then causes your skin to over compensate by producing more oil than it should, completing the vicious circle. So what should you do? This is from personal experience and what worked for me, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will work this way for you. I had a fairly oily t-zone, but I pushed the foaming cleansers aside however difficult it was and in place, used something that is calming and soothing on the skin. I also sandwiched Argan Oil between my serum and night time moisturiser to add some extra nourishment. I found this was the best and most effective way to control the oil balance on my skin. If your skin is no longer feeling stripped and tight then it won't have a reason to over produce oil. Which in turn can start to improve any breakout issues that you may have.

Dry Skin: Dry skin "sufferers" should stay well clear of any foaming or gel cleansers as well and steer more towards milks, creams and balms. I don't have particularly dry skin, not in the summer anyway. But autumn/winter has a tendency to brighten my day with the odd dry patch. Mostly under my eyes, around my nose, and around any areas with a cluster of blemishes (that's all year round). Dry skin is exactly what it says. You often have patches of dry, flaky skin which can get irritated if you use products that dry the skin even more, like foaming washes or products that contain alcohol (e.g. toners). 

Combination Skin: Again does what it says. This skin type is a combination of oily and dry. I have combination skin, it leans more towards dry nowadays though, and I'm not 100% sure whether that's because of the colder weather or the products I am using. But, sometimes your skin can fluctuate between the 2 main skin groups, but that's not a huge issue. You just need to make sure you address both concerns with the appropriate treatment. Anyway, with dry skin, it can sometimes cause an issue, wherever it is on your skin. But if you apply a decent moisturiser, and know the right tricks when applying any makeup then you would never notice it. 

Sensitive Skin: People with sensitive skin have to be very careful with the products they use. Milks and cream cleansers are their best bet. There is a brand called Simple (among others) who pride themselves on being suitable for sensitive skin. When using products you tend to know pretty much straight away if it is okay or not, and if your face goes very red when it comes in to contact with anything even water, then you probably have sensitive skin. You can also have another of the skin types in this post, it just means you have to be very particular in you skincare choices, any signs of alcohol in a product is a definite no go.

Spot Prone Skin: There are a lot of reasons for someone to be more prone to breakouts than others. Many are blamed on hormones, stress, diet or bad treatment of skin, and until you alter your lifestyle, what you can anyway, then you may begin to see a change in your skin. Process of elimination if you like. But it can also be put down to the over production of oil. Oily skin types, tend to be open to breakouts, as the pores in the skin get clogged up causing the perfect breeding ground for bacteria leading to breakouts. No matter how difficult it is, and how tempting it may be, squeezing, messing about and popping any spots will make it worse as you're spreading the bacteria around. But no matter what you do, no matter how much you feel you have to, DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE!!

Dehydrated Skin: Anyone can have dehydrated skin, whether you have dry or oily skin. It does not mean that you have dry skin, it means your skin lacks moisture, feels tight, isn't plump and smooth and looks dull, - if your skin is showing signs of creasing and lines that it shouldn't be, then you may have dehydrated skin. It changes from person to person but just take the time to look at what your skin is telling you and even if you don't know which skin type you come under, know what your skin needs and that is just as good.

With any of these skin types it is possible to have more than one of them. That just means you have to be extra vigilant with the products you choose, making sure you treat both concerns effectively.
I am in no way a skin expert or claim to know everything about skincare, but this is from personal experience and what has worked for me. My skin is in no way perfect but it is constantly improving, and I love trying new products that will help my skin continue to get better, and if I can help anyone else, then bonus.

What works for you? Do you know what skin type you are?

** Disclaimer: I am in no where a skincare expert or claim to know everything about skincare. This is just what I have learnt and picked up along the way and I have done a lot of trial and error so I can give you my thoughts on what does and doesn't work for me. Please always read the instructions on the product and make sure you are taking the necessary precautions (like wearing SPF) to prevent any damage or irritation.

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