The Skin

The skin is a wonderful organ. It is the largest organ in (or on?) the human body. It renews itself every 28days (even faster when we are young - every 10-14 days). The 3 main layers of the skin are the epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous (or hypodermis). When we apply products onto the skin, we are applying them to the epidermis. Some products are designed to penetrate into the dermis and aid the skin from the deeper layers. The subcutaneous layer is where the muslces, fat cells and blood/lymph vessels are found.

Skin Types

Let's start here... what is a skin type?

Your skin type is determined by your genes and therefore there isn't a lot you can do about it. If you have dry skin, oily skin, a combination of both, or sensitive skin, you're best option is to work with the problem rather than trying to correct it!

The 5 skin types are:

1. Normal

If your skin belongs under the normal banner, your skin should feel vibrant, elastic, and supple. Normal skin is the least problematic type. It looks clean and smooth and has a good circulation and healthy complexion. Even with minimum care, it will look good well into your advanced age.

2. Dry

Your skin will feel flaky, dry, and tight.

Dry skin can easily develop a sallow tone, wrinkles, and fine pores, and it is prone to premature aging and irritations. It might still look great on a young person, but, to keep it healthy, you should adopt good skin care and use regular treatments with natural masks and moisturisers.

3. Oily

Oily skin has a shiny, oily appearance especially on the areas of your chin, nose, and forehead. Although oily skin types age better, it is problematic in its own way – it usually looks greasy, is thick, coarse, and shiny, has enlarged pores, and tends to break often due to overactive sebum activity.

Careful cleansing and avoiding rich creams can be helpful in improving the quality of oily skin. However, the holistic approach of "treating like-with-like" works especially well with oily skin types. More about this later (see Dr Hauschka skin care link below)

4. Combination

If you skin is combination, like that of most women, you most likely have an oily T-zone and normal/dry cheeks.

Combination skins have patches of both dry and oily areas, and it requires different types of care in relation to particular facial areas.

Dry zones, which are usually located on the cheeks and around the eyes, should be treated with rich creams and moisturizers, while oily areas, usually on the forehead and nose, will benefit from an oily skin regimen.

5. Sensitive

Is usually very dry, tends to feel tight, and becomes inflamed (red) and irritated easily. Typically, it develops reddish and scaly areas, can be itchy and tingly, and is prone to breaking out. It is the most problematic and fragile type of skin, which needs a very special type of care. Improper use or wrong skin care products will aggravate this skin type.

So what is a skin condition then?

A skin condition is usually effected by internal or external factors. For example, you may have a normal skin type, but air-conditioning or not drinking enough water creates a dehydrated skin condition. So, your skin type stays the same but seasons, environmental factors, hormones etc... can give you a skin condition.

Most people have skin conditions. Even an oily skin type can be dehydrated. Sounds confusing doesn't it? Well, once you establish what skin type you have, that stays a constant. Skin conditions vary so your beauty therapist can advise you on these.

Skin Care

Every day, home skin care should be simple. There is no need to complicate things - leave that to your beauty therapist during your facial! Many people use the WRONG product for their skin type. It is important to seek out professional advice to establish what skin type and/or condition you have. That way the correct skin care range can be developed for you.

Step 1 - Cleanse

Depending on your skin type, there are many different styles of cleansers. Foaming and gel cleansers are good for oily or combination skins, milk/lotions are good for normal to dry skins and cream cleansers work best on dry and mature skins (less drag).

Cleanse twice daily, morning and night. Use warm (not hot) water in the evening to remove traces of makeup and dirt. Cool or tepid water in the morning to refresh your skin and tighten pores.

Always make sure you remove your makeup at the end of the day - dirt, bacteria and makeup are very damaging at night. Your skin rejuvenates whilst you sleep. Ensuring thorough cleansing at bedtime will help your skin look after itself.

Step 2 - Tone/Mist

To tone or not to tone?... Some people love toners, others hate them. Toners (if chosen correctly) should never leave your skin feeling tight or dry (if it does, it probably contains alcohol and should be avoided). Toners remove the last traces of cleanser and makeup, tighten the pores and rebalance the skins pH.

Look for a toner that has natural ingredients and no alcohol. Some toners contain Witch Hazel which is good for oily/combination skins. Apply a small amount on a cotton round and sweep over your face (avoiding the delicate eye area). Allow to absorb before applying moisturiser.

Step 3 - Moisturise

There are so many different moisturisers on the market today, each claiming to do something different. As with cleansers, moisturisers are suited to different skin types, conditions, seasons and skin issues. Lotions are great for oilier skin types (as are certain oils, yes, oils! see Dr Hauschka Skin Care) and creams for dry/mature skins.

It's a good idea to invest in a good eye cream, avoid applying your facial moisturiser around your eyes as it is too rich for the delicate eye area and can cause milia (white bumps around the eyes - clogged pores). They are hard to get rid of!

If you should have any specific skin concerns (I have only touched on the basics here) please don't hesitate to contact me, skin is my world, it fascinates me and I love a challenge!

Fear not, I don't sell skin care products, I only advise on the best range for your skin and allow you to purchase it when and if you want to...