I think my skin is really fried from being outdoors during the summer. Is there a quick way to get it looking fresh now that cooler weather is coming?
No matter where you live, summer can cause your skin to go haywire. People spend more time outdoors and in the water, heightening the damage and irritation that UV exposure, chlorine, and saltwater can cause.
However, before you decide to start any major tune-ups, figure out what you need to fix first. Is your skin constantly shiny? Do you have patches of dry skin that feel tight? Are your cheeks flushed no matter how hot or cold it is? Paying attention to all of these factors can help you make the right choices regarding your skin care for fall.
Skin typically falls into four categories-oily, dry and damaged, sensitive, and combination. If you don't know which skin type you are, try this quick test: Wash your face with a non-greasy cleanser and pat your skin dry with a towel. Wait for ten minutes without applying any product. After ten minutes is up, swipe your forehead and cheek with two separate blotting papers. If both papers stick, you most likely have oily skin. If neither sticks, your skin tends to be dry. If the paper sticks on your forehead but not on your cheeks, then you have combination skin.
As for sensitive skin, you can figure out if you fall into this category by running through a checklist. If your skin is easily irritated by common cosmetic products such as shampoos and perfumes, if your doctor has diagnosed you with eczema, or if you show unusual sensitivity to "itchy" fabrics like wool, you may want to opt for a skin care regimen that uses a gentle approach.
Once you've figured out what kind of skin you have, here are some pointers to help you bounce back from the summer elements.
Don't go overboard and strip your skin of all its natural moisture. Instead, start with a kaolin clay mask that also incorporates a chemical exfoliant such as salicylic acid. Examples of these products include Kinerase Clear Skin Regulating Mask and Murad Clarifying Mask. When you've washed it off, moisturize with a gentle, oil-free lotion (not cream) like DDF Ultra-Lite Oil Free Moisturizing Dew or Clean & Clear Oxygenating Ultra-Light Moisturizer.
Dry skin can easily flow into the sensitive/irritated category, so it's crucial not to aggravate it. Instead of scrubbing, stick with a gentle cream-based cleanser such as Shiseido Gentle Cleansing Cream. If you want an extra hydrating boost, use a moisturizing mask specifically aimed at dry skin. After patting dry, apply a simple cream moisturizer like Olay Complete Plus Ultra Rich Moisture Lotion.
Rosacea is often mistaken for pimples and treated as such. However, this can cause further damage to the skin because harsh, drying acne treatments can aggravate the symptoms. If you think you have sensitive skin, err on the side of caution and avoid products that may dry your skin. Wash with a non-drying cleanser such as Clinique Extremely Gentle Cleansing Cream. Moisturize with a lotion that targets irritation like Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Moisture Lotion. If you suspect you may have rosacea, avoid using masks until you consult a dermatologist.
There's no rule that says you have to use a product all over your face. If you have both dry and oily patches on your skin, apply a moisturizing mask to dry areas and a clay mask to oily sections. You can use thicker moisturizers on flaky areas but stick to a lightweight one for the T-zone.
Published On: September 22, 2008