Please read the following descriptions to help determine your skin type and what products are best for you... (If you are still unsure, please feel free to email us, and Shelley Birnbaum will personally review your questions and respond with her advice.)
Combination Skin is a very common condition. Most of the time, the skin is oily or becomes oily in the T-zone area (nose, chin and forehead) while dry on the cheeks. Often the pores on the nose are enlarged and prone to blackheads. In this type of skin, the oil producing sebaceous glands are overactive and produce more oil than is needed. Typically, harsh products are used to combat the oily areas and those products strip your skin of oil and leave the less oily parts of your skin feeling taut, dehydrated and flaky. Using these harsh products can cause a reaction known as reactive seborrhea, where the oil glands work overtime to compensate for the loss of natural oils but the upper layers of the skin have shrunk due to the dehydration. This restricts oil flow through the pores leading to blockages and breakouts and dry patches. It is important to moisturize twice a day and drink plenty of water.
Dehydrated Skin is when the skin is lacking moisture whereas dry skin is when the skin is lacking oil. The skin can be both oily and dehydrated (see oily skin). However, most of the same conditions that dehydrate the skin also strip the oil and leave the skin dry. The skin is easily susceptible to dehydration. Year-round external sources such as harsh wind, winter weather, heating systems literally draw the moisture out of the skin. The same is true for hot summer weather where air conditioning removes humidity from the air robbing the skin of precious moisture. Lifestyle also plays a role in dehydration. Lack of sufficient fluid intake, excessive salt in the diet, alcohol, smoking, tanning and using the wrong skin care products can also dehydrate the skin. Medications and illness can also dry out your skin. These stressors on the skin are known to cause the formation of free radicals, which break down collagen and elastin in the skin, causing it to age. Dry and dehydrated skin can also lead to irritation and inflammation.
As the body ages, it is subject to countless environmental assaults, such as stress, pollution, sunlight, diet and more. These assaults damage cell walls and connective tissue, resulting in water loss that is essential for maintaining functionality. Drinking water is not enough. When connective tissue is well hydrated and full of essential nutrients the skin is strong, elastic and youthful. Without hydration and nutrients we loose elasticity. Therefore repairing the cell walls as well as preventing any further damage can be done both internally and externally. It is important to use topical products that keep the skin well hydrated and prevent the breakdown of collagen.
Oily skin is shiny, thick and sometimes can appear dull. Often the pores are enlarged and prone to blackheads. In this type of skin, the oil producing sebaceous glands are overactive and produce more oil than is needed. Avoid harsh products that strip your skin of oil and leave your skin feeling taut, dehydrated and flaky. This can cause a reaction known as reactive seborrhea, where the oil glands work overtime to compensate for the loss of natural oils but the upper layers of the skin have shrunk due to the dehydration. This restricts oil flow through the pores leading to blockages and breakouts. Moisturize twice a day. Even oily skin needs moisturizer.
Acne occurs when the pores become clogged. When only blackheads and whiteheads are present that is considered non inflammatory acne. A blackhead (closed comedo) occurs when the pore is open at the surface, and the sebum, oxidizes and turns black. It is not dirt and cannot be washed away. The plug in a closed comedo or whitehead is not exposed to the outside air, and no black color develops. The closed comedo simply appears as a tiny, sometimes pink bump in the skin. Inflammatory acne consists of papules which are closed comedones, that have become red, swollen, sometimes painful and inflamed. Pustules most commonly called pimples are also closed comedones, which become inflamed and begin to rupture into the skin forming “ heads” of various sizes. Unfortunately many acne products dry out the skin causing further inflammation and irritation. Therefore it is important to keep the skin hydrated while carrying for your skin. There are three goals in acne therapy. The first is to kill the bacteria; the second is to reduce inflammation and the third to prevent the oil glands from producing excess oil, which clogs the pores and creates an environment that allows the bacteria to thrive.
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that results in red, flaky patches primarily on the nose and cheeks. It can also cause pimple-like lesions on the skin. Some doctors suggest that many rosacea symptoms are the result of poor digestion and a lack of B Vitamins. Many doctors also believe rosacea is an inflammatory disorder. While there is no known cure for rosacea you can minimize appearance and symptoms by avoiding spicy foods, caffeine, vinegars, alcohol, and citrus fruits. Tomatoes, chocolate and dairy can also be problematic for some people. Smoking, hot showers, and sun exposure can exacerbate the condition. It is also advisable to avoid fragrance in skin care products and aggressive exfoliation especially the use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids with the exception of lactic acid.
Sensitivity is a condition that results in red, sometimes itchy or irritated skin. In many cases dehydration is the cause. Allergies, pollution, makeup or skin care products can also cause the skin to become over sensitive. Smoking, hot showers, and sun exposure can exacerbate the condition. It is also advisable to avoid fragrance in skin care products and aggressive exfoliation especially the use of Alpha Hydroxy Acids with the exception of lactic acid.