When it comes to skin care, there can be numerous questions ... here are the five most commonly asked:
1. What is my skin type and how is it determined? Most skin types fall into one of six categories: dry; somewhat dry; normal; somewhat oily; oily; or combination. Skin type, which is determined by the amount of oil secretion, is hereditary. Environmental influences can tend to exacerbate conditions, but the different areas in the skin that produce oil and the amounts of oil produced are based on genetics.
2. Why do seasonal changes affect my skin? Skin is remarkably resilient to damage and change, but it does become normalized to its environmental conditions. Therefore drastic changes often leave the skin lagging, requiring it to adjust to new conditions over time. For example, traveling to a dry climate or the sudden cold and windy conditions of winter often result in itchy, dry skin. As a result, the skin responds by increasing oil production to compensate for the weather's drying effects. Similarly, if you change the products you use in your skin care routine, your skin may have a reaction.
3. Why does stress affect my skin? Skin is the body's barrier to the outside world, both as a physical protector and as part of a complex immune defense system. Even today, all the interrelated biological systems supporting the skin aren't completely understood, nor are the causes and effects of stress on the body. However, the simple fact is that stress interferes with the body's systems that repair and regulate the skin. For example, a loss in the skin's natural antioxidant defenses due to stress can lead to accelerated aging. Also, hormones associated with stress can trigger a histamine release within the skin, causing it to erupt in tiny red bumps or, in some cases, hives.
4. Is there a magic product that will improve my skin or help me look younger? No, unfortunately. Not only do products affect individuals differently, but no product can provide the reversible effects of age and sun exposure. Generally, the fewer products you use on your skin and the more you stay out of the sun, the better your skin will look later. Skin care products such as sunscreen, moisturizers, hydrosols, and those with antioxidant properties can be beneficial for rehydrating and helping minimize the effect of aging.
5. Is cleansing good or bad for my skin? Cleansing is essential for your skin's long term health. It clears away dirt and bacteria, keeps pore ducts open and exfoliates surface skin cells. However, cleansing does change your skin's balance with the environment by stripping its protective oils that act as natural barriers to the elements. Additionally, overuse of skin care products may bring about 'sensitive skin' or cause skin to break out from time to time. To avoid this, use a gentle cleanser twice a day.