When you develop a daily routine, use common sense.  If your skin doesn’t react well to a routine or product, change it! (See the Sensitive Skin section in 'Understanding Your Complexion Needs').  No one knows your skin better than you do, so use your own experience to develop a skincare routine.  Remember, when in doubt, consult a qualified medical doctor and always make sure to always read your product labels!

      When you develop a daily routine, use common sense.  If your skin doesn’t react well to a routine or product, change it! (See the Sensitive Skin section in 'Understanding Your Complexion Needs').  No one knows your skin better than you do, so use your own experience to develop a skincare routine.  Remember, when in doubt, consult a qualified medical doctor and always make sure to always read your product labels!

 

Product Picks

 

 

            Most of the products you buy for your routine care will be labeled for oily, normal, dry or a range like normal to dry or normal to oily.  Always start by choosing the product that best fits your type—the one your skin is closest to. 

 

A Word About Exfoliating Acids

 

Exfoliating acid products are extremely popular today; choices include alpha hydroxy, glycolic, salicylic (best for breakouts) and multi hydroxy acids. These acids can be found in many types of cosmetics including face cleansers, toner/astringents and moisturizers.  When used daily they melt dead skin, which is easily removed when cleansing.  These require a weekly scrub to just buff off the dead skin build up.  They can be very effective, but can also increase sun sensitivity by thinning the surface layer of your skin.  Always wear a sunscreen, but it’s a must when if you use these products.

 

Facial Cleansing

 

            For the oily skin type, start with products designed for oily skin, like anti-bacterial gel or lotion cleansers. Gels and products that foam up when you use them are good for removing excess oil, but hard to use on the go.  Lotion washes are more gentle and good for oily to normal skin types. Adjust to what works best for you.   If you are a dry skin type you may want to use a lotion or a cream cleanser.  These are gentle and contain moisturizers so dry skin feels more comfortable after cleansing.  Cleansers come in a variety of creams, gels, lotions, or bars.   Choose the one that is best for you and of course made for facial skin use.

 

 

Tip: The amount of product to use for the face is about the size of a nickel.

 

Make-up Remover

 

            An average facial cleanser can’t remove a lot of make-up.  If you are wearing a full face of make-up or heavy foundation, you may want to use a make-up remover prior to cleansing. A great make-up remover is almond oil massaged over face then removed with a cotton square moistened with warm water.  Never wipe away make-up with a tissue.  Tissues have fine wood shavings, which can scratch and irritate skin. Washing your face twice and following with a toner/astringent can work to remove most make-up. Use non-oily eye make-up remover pads to remove mascara and eye shadow.  Water-proof mascara will need an oily eye make-up remover.  Avoid baby oil and petroleum jelly, which are difficult to break down in washing and can leave a film on the eyes. Be sure to whisk away eye-make-up in downward strokes, not side to side, as product can be worked into eyes causing irritation.  Never use soap around eye area.

 

Toners/Astringents

 

            Toners and astringents are liquids that help condition, restore Ph levels and remove any left over debris from your skin.  Oily skin types may want to use astringents.  Many astringents contain alcohol, which can be drying to the surface of skin.  For healthier, natural ingredients, look for astringents that use strong herbs to kill bacteria and control oil. Dry skin types should choose products called toners or fresheners.   These are usually alcohol-free and less drying.   Use with a 100 percent cotton pad and don’t forget your hairline (the hairline can develop pimples and is often missed when cleansing).  Avoid the eye area, as this area is very sensitive and easily damaged.  Again, don’t forget to read your product labels!

 

 

Tip: Using too much toner can cause patchy dry areas on the skin, especially around the nose and mouth.  Saturate a cotton square in the center, to about the size of a quarter.

 

Moisturizers

 

            Oil-free moisturizers in gel or lotion formulations are best for oily to normal skin types.  For normal to dry skin types, use a lotion containing a little oil.  Dry skin types should use a cream formula.  Creams contain more oil, are richer, and feel more comfortable for dry skin types. Listen to your skin.  It is not uncommon to use a lighter formula in the summer and a heavier formula in the winter as needed.  All skin types should try oil-free formulas when performing, as perspiration increases the production of oil.

 

 

Tip: To avoid using too much product, apply cream in the amount size of a dime for the face and throat.

 

            Eye Moisturizers: these are creams, lotions, or gels specifically designed for the eye area.  They should not be used on the face, as they are too concentrated.  Use as needed.  Don’t forget your eye area, as it’s the first to get wrinkles.  Daytime is the most important time to use an eye treatment. Environmental exposure and squinting can damage the delicate eye area and cause premature aging. 

 

Tip:  Remember to gently pat the eye treatment on to the eye area with your ring finger.  Never rub the delicate eye tissue.  Aggressive treatment will encourage wrinkles and bags!  Be careful if using at night not to get too close to the eyes themselves as swelling and irritation can occur.

 

 

TLC Special Treatments and Products

 

 

Scrubs

 

            Scrubs can help exfoliate (remove dead skin) and are very beneficial for a healthy complexion.  Scrubs should be used as often as needed or as directed by the product instructions. Note that when you first start using a scrub your skin may actually breakout even more than usual.  Don’t panic!  When you gently remove dead skin with a scrub, the circulation improves.  Oil and toxins flow out as the skin cleanses from within.  The oilier feeling is only because the oil is now free to flow from the pores and is no longer blocked by the dead skin cells.  Breakouts that were brewing and have not yet reached the surface will occur all at once.  It takes two weeks to get on track, so be patient.

 

            The best scrubs for the skin should either be made from smooth non-abrasive grains or from the meat of nuts, like almond meal, not the shell of the nut or pit of a fruit that is jagged and abrasive.  The best scrubs are manmade refined grains.  A very gentle exfoliant is oatmeal.  A clean washcloth used daily with your facial cleanser is a great way to exfoliate, too. Some people enjoy using a Buf-Puf to exfoliate.  These can be harsh to the skin, so use them gently and not on an everyday basis.

            Do not scrub on open pimples as this can spread the infection.  Scrubs are great for blackheads and tiny bumps.  Remember to avoid the eye area.

 

Masks

 

            Masks should be used anywhere from once or twice a week to once a month.  It is up to you, the user, to be the judge of when you need a mask, and what type. Use masks according to the current condition of your skin.  For instance, if you have normally dry skin, yet feel especially oily, you may want to use a clay mask rather than a moisturizing one. 

 

Among the popular types of masks are:

 

Clay Mask.  Clay has long been loved for its earthy minerals and botanical benefits.  It absorbs oil, removes dead skin and helps with whiteheads and blackheads.  Some clay masks have camphor (an herb) to kill bacteria. Clay leaves your skin looking flushed after it’s removed, due to the increased circulation in the skin.  Clay masks are usually for oily skin because they remove oil.  Most oily skin types will probably want to use a clay mask twice a month.  Typically clay masks are non-irritating, but still should only be left on for 10 minutes at the most. It is best not to allow the clay to dry thoroughly.  Apply clay thickly, like frosting on a cake, so it will take longer to dry.  As with all products, if any irritation occurs, stop using it.

           

Moisturizing Mask. This mask is for dry to normal skin types; however, dehydrated oily skin can benefit from these as well. Moisture masks infuse moisture into the skin, as they soothe and help increase circulation.

 

Peel Off Mask.  This mask moisturizes and removes dead skin.  Those of you who are prone to breakouts should avoid the peel off mask, as they leave behind residues that can clog your pores.           

 

            When using a mask always make sure your face is clean and patted dry before application.  The mask should be applied smoothly, evenly, and fairly thickly, so that no skin can be seen beneath it and it won’t dry too fast.  Avoid the area around your eyes and lips!  Clay in the eyebrows is especially difficult to wash off.

 

            While wearing a mask, remember that you are pampering yourself. Take it easy, put your feet up, listen to some music, and relax—you deserve it.  One of the best times to wear a mask is when soaking in a luxurious bath. Add a hydrating and soothing bath treatment, then while you soak the steam will prevent your mask from drying out too fast. The time for yourself will do wonders for your body, as well as reduce stress.  And you know that reduced stress helps stops blemishes as well!

 

For more on skincare, at home spa body treatments with natural remedies and aromatherapy see Christine’s book 'High Performance Beauty' on www.modedion.com and sign up for the newsletter 'Mode Dion’s Makeup University' for more upcoming tips and podcasts from the Youtube Channel under the same name.