Why Hide Under Makeup When You Need To Fix Your Skin?

Hey, Lovelies!

Before people start saying, “what about burn victims and other medical conditions that affect the skin”, these are not the problems I am talking about. I am referring to dry skin, uneven skin tone, rough skin, acne, lackluster skin tone, and things of that nature. Are we clear? Good! I am not downing anyone who uses makeup to hide flaws. I've done it and still do it from time to time. However, I want to get people in the habit of caring for their skin first.

Figure Out What Is Causing Your Skin Issues

Knowing what causes your skin to breakout in acne, gives you dry patches, causes hyperpigmentation, etc., is the first step. The cause(s) could be anything from hormones, changes in season, skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, the medication you are taking, even an allergic reaction you are unaware of. You have to pay attention to your skin when it acts up to see what you did, used, and ingested that day or week. Pay attention to how your skin responds to the change in seasons, also.

Using myself as an example, I bruise and scar easily so just about any minor damage to my skin can leave a scar or cause hyperpigmentation with me. I also have melasma around my chin that can come back if I don't take precautions or if I have to take antibiotics. I started out with very oily skin in my teens and twenties that tapered off into combination skin in my thirties. Now in my forties, I have combination skin mid-spring through early fall and dry skin mid-fall through early spring. I found all this out by paying attention to when changes in my skin occurred and writing down what I did, ingested, and even weather conditions. This all takes patience and discipline.

Start Using Ingredients That Address Your Skin Concerns

This is trial and error. It never ends because as we age our skin changes. Instead of focusing on the product and brand, look to ingredients first. If you have multiple skin concerns like acne, blackheads, whiteheads, uneven skin tone, and rough skin, start looking at Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs). AHAs work primarily by gently exfoliating the skin gradually. AHAs dissolve the thinner surface layers of skin that result in dry patches, scaliness, minor acne scarring. BHAs work deeper to address skin concerns below the surface such as acne and blackheads. BHAs also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce redness and swelling. AHAs are water-loving while BHAs are oil-loving. If you have oily, combination, and/or acne-prone skin BHAs are for you.

Types of AHAs

Glycolic acid: derived from sugar cane
Lactic acid: derived from milk
Mandelic acid: derived from bitter almonds
Tartaric acid: derived from grapes
Malic acid: derived from apples and pears
Citric acid: derived from citrus fruits

Types of BHAs

Salicylic acid: derived from the Willow Bark Tree, aspirin, and others.
Citric acid: derived from citrus fruits and considered a cross over acid. It can be an AHA or a BHA depending on its formulation.

Product Types You Will Always Need

While the key ingredients your skin may need addresses your skin concerns, the type of products you need to maintain your skin health and appearance are pretty basic.

Facial Cleanser: You always need to wash your face. This is where AHAs can be most beneficial. You can gently exfoliate and begin to even out your tone and smooth out skin as you clean your face.

Moisturizer: Even oily skin needs to be moisturized. After cleansing, you need to add moisture back to your skin. If you strip away too much of your skin's natural oils, it will overproduce oil to compensate for the loss. If you want to reduce oily skin, moisturize.

Sunscreen: You have to protect your skin from the sun. Aside from the skin cancer danger, sun protection wards off aging. Sunscreen helps prevent sun spots and other photodamage to the skin. Also, AHAs and BHAs along with a few other skincare ingredients that address skin concerns, leave your skin sensitive to the sun, so sunscreen is a must any way you look at it.

Additional Skincare Products To Add

The three types of products mentioned above are basic, the bare minimum to maintain skin. Some people are blessed with skin that only needs those three products. Others like me, need more products in the arsenal.

Exfoliants: I exfoliate using a fruit enzyme or AHA-based liquid. At this point in my life, I steer clear of scrubs. Sometimes I might need a slight polish if my skin is too sensitive to the acids. So I use a fine powder like bamboo, rice, or baking soda paste to gently slough off dead skin. These fine powders often dissolve in water and rinse away clean.

Facial Masks: Clay, moisture, sheet, peel-off, charcoal, etc., masks help refine skin as well as address skin concerns like acne, loss of firmness, deep pore cleaning, etc..

Serums: I personally think all ages can benefit from using a hyaluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture. If used within two to three minutes of cleaning your face, you can retain a lot of moisture from the water used to rinse your skin. Other serums containing ingredients like vitamin C and retinol help to address things like fine lines, acne, reducing dark spots, and brightening the skin overall.

Facial Oils: Some feel that facial oils are better than moisturizers because our skin produces sebum, a natural oil that moisturizes our skin. The thought is our skin will respond better to replacing lost moisture (oil) with oil. I've found this to work for my skin at this stage in life.

Acne, wrinkle, fine line treatments: if you want to address specific concerns like acne, you may need an acne treatment lotion or gel. For wrinkles, you may need a product that helps reduce the depth of wrinkles and fine lines.

Eye Creams: If you have concerns like dark circles, crow's feet or any other concern you may need a separate eye cream.

Finding The Right Mix of Products for Your Skin

As I stated early on, this all takes trial and error. You have to try different products out to see what works. As you discover what works, you slowly begin to develop a skincare routine that will treat, heal, and maintain your skin so you won't need to rely so much on makeup to hide flaws.

Next week, I am going to post a list or glossary if you will of common skincare ingredients and how they help skin. This should help your search become a little easier as you will have some direction to guide you.

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