Happy 2019! This was a highly requested first post, so I am so excited to share it with you! First things first.. I am not a dermatologist. My knowledge on this subject is only from my experience in cosmetology & trial and error in my own skincare journey. If you have any major skin concerns, I would suggest consulting your dermatologist before implementing any major changes.
How to know what your skin type is: There are a few different kinds of skin types; oily, dry, or combination. If your face gets shiny throughout the day on your nose, forehead, or chin, then odds are you have oily or combination skin. Oily skin just means that your skin produces an excess amount of oil. Most people with oily skin suffer from clogged pores in their t zone (forehead & nose). Combination skin is merely a combination of oily and dry areas on your face (I think this is the most common). You most likely have dry skin if you are experiencing cracks or dryness on the majority of your face. This is simply the opposite of oily skin, your skin produces less oil, but the upside is that you most likely have less clogged pores.
How Chemistry Fits in: Skincare is all about the PH of products (a scale ranging from 0-14). To put it simply, products that are lower on the PH scale are more acidic, and products that are higher are more alkaline. The PH of our skin is between 4.5-5.5, but when you incorporate the oily or dryness factor, products with a PH that is lower or higher than 4.5-5.5 need to be integrated.
What to use for your skin type: If your skin is oily, then you want to gravitate towards products that have a higher PH because they will break down the oil. These are products like foam cleansers, toners & astringents. Have you ever noticed that products that are advertised to help acne are usually much stronger than all others? That is because acne is just a build up of oil that needs to be dried out. If your skin is dry, then you want to use products that are lower on the PH scale that are more hydrating. These products typically do not foam, and they have more of a milky consistency. In this case, you want to use milk cleansers and a non stripping toner that only brightens your skin & does not dry it out even more.
If you have combination skin, then things get a little trickier. I personally have combination skin, so I just do a combination of the two systems above. My t zone is oily, but my cheeks are very dry. To combat this when cleansing my face, I use a makeup wipe to gently remove the makeup from my whole face, then I use a milk cleanser on my cheeks, and just the slightest bit of a stronger soap on my cheeks and forehead to dry out that oil at the end of the day. Basically, use the kind of product that will help each issue (oily or dry) in that area of your face only.
The same rule is followed for moisturizers. If you have oily skin, then I highly recommend using an oil-free, water-based GEL moisturizer. Gel moisturizer is ideal for just about everyone. I personally think that cream based moisturizer should only be applied if your skin is severely dry.
My recomendations for oily skin: Makeup Wipes for Sensitive skin (these are good for all skin types!) Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash, Clinique Clarifying Toner, Neutrogena Water Gel Moisturizer, Deep Sea Mud Mask clay absorbs oil, so clay-based masks are your BFF if you have oily skin!
My recommendations for dry skin: Exfoliating Makeup Wipes, Fresh Soy Milk Cleanser, Rose Water Toner, Glam Glow Illuminating Moisturizer or Neutrogena Hydro Boost, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Mask