How to enjoy a great relationship with your skin

Considering how close your skin is to you, it may be a good idea to understand it really well. Its likes and dislikes. How it feels. How it responds to the things you do. Understand its true nature and you’re on to something beautiful. Determining your skin type is truly the first step in this relationship.

Do you know your skin type?

Normal, dry or oily… where does your skin fit in? Does it feel both dry and oily? Or does your skin get easily peeved? The skin you’re born with is often genetically determined. When you’ve determined your skin type, you can give it the best possible care with a customised regime and with the best-suited products and services. So, let’s discover where your skin truly belongs.

How fabulous does your skin feel on a scale of 1 to 10?

Does your skin feel smooth and supple? Does it look vibrant and vivacious? Do you rarely have breakouts? And do you often get told how fabulous your skin looks? If you do then you’re one lucky girl! Never too dry, never too oily, you possess normal skin. Yes, you’ve got that balanced complexion everybody desires. Hot summers and cool winters are no deterrent to your radiance. You probably just gave your skin a ten on ten.

While your skin looks great even with minimal care, a little maintenance can go a long way. Cleanse, tone and moisturise, and apply a generous dose of sunscreen every time you step outside the door.

Is your skin a playground for trouble?

Lightly dab a tissue against your cheek. Is it greasy? Most common in teenagers and young adults, oily skin is of the problematic kind. Your sebaceous glands work in overdrive and release excess oils which clog pores and make your skin susceptible to pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Now with acne, you tend to go pricking and popping all over your face (a big no-no), and this worsens the damage your skin’s already been through.

Take a step back. It’s time to show trouble the door. Use a salicylic acid face wash twice a day to cleanse away the impurities. But make sure you don’t go rubbing and scrubbing too hard, you might end up stripping your skin of its essential oils. Although yours is the kind of skin that would rather take cover than head to the beach, avoiding the sun altogether is hardly practical. And so you must use a sweat-proof, non-greasy sunscreen every time you step out. Also, keep rich creams at an arm’s length. Your skin won’t thank you for adding to the oiliness. A light moisturiser is all it needs.

Does it hurt when you smile?

Now we know what’s not one of the reasons behind your smile! With the tips of your fingers, lightly feel the surfaces around your eyes and your lips. Now proceed to your cheeks and your chin. Does it feel rough? If it does, you’re coming in contact with flakes of dead skin. High probability your skin feels tight from sunrise to sunset and tighter after you’ve stepped out of the shower. Blame it on dry skin. We’re certain winter is not your favourite time of the year.

The only good news about dry skin is that it makes acne a distant possibility. But this good news is not something that will take away the dullness your skin’s hiding behind. So how do you bring back that glow? Use a gentle cleanser, one that has the moisturising goodness of natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. Always choose a moisturising sunscreen. Sun damage can worsen the dryness and expedite ageing. Now wrinkles are something you simply don’t want to end up with. A generous layer of night cream will complete your daily skin care regime. Also, do avoid long, hot showers. Sure, they make you feel great but what your skin goes through after, brings the dryness running back.

Is your T zone in another zone?

If your forehead, nose and chin (T zone) seem oily while your temples, cheeks, and the area around your eyes and jaw are dry, you have combination skin. Breakouts around the oily zones and rough flakes over the rest of your face. Oh! What a dilemma! And what regime do you follow when your skin is asking for two different things? Treat the dry areas with rich night creams and use a mild face wash to thoroughly cleanse the oily zone. You could also use products specially formulated keeping the dual nature of your skin in mind.

The climate can also affect your skin by sending it into the oily zone during summer and making it sandpaper dry when winter hits! But don’t let these changes stress you out or else you might end up with fine lines as well. Simply deal with it as per its current type.

Do certain beauty products hurt your skin?

Your skin’s the sensitive type! Characterised by redness, itchiness, dryness and a burning sensation, your skin gets easily upset when you slather it with something that doesn’t suit you. The reaction that follows is your skin’s way of saying, “REJECTED”. But beneath all those emotional outbursts, your skin is only asking for special care.

Fortunately, there are specific treatments and products to help you deal with sensitive skin. Look for products labelled “hypoallergenic”. Your daily cleansing, toning and moisturising ritual will take care of the rest. If you cannot resist trying on something new, always do a patch test first by applying a small portion of the product over a tiny area of your skin. If an unpleasant reaction follows, discontinue its use immediately. If it doesn’t, you’ve found a new product to pamper your skin with.

Always go back to the basics.

Being born with great skin is one thing. Keeping it beautiful is another. A daily ritual of cleansing, toning and moisturising is a must for all skin types. Remember what goes inside shows on the outside. So drink adequate water and fresh juices, and eat up those veggies. They work wonders for your skin. When it comes to smoking, quit right away. Embrace the sun, it helps brighten up your mood, but do so with sunblock. And lastly, a Kaya dermatologist is only an appointment away when you need an extra dimension of care for your skin. Determining your skin type might take only a minute but it certainly goes a long way in helping you build a beautiful relationship with your skin.

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