Clear skin is not easy to achieve (unless you got it like that) and throughout the process we can also be damaging our skin by DOING TOO MUCH!!! I've gotten a few questions recently and each would be followed by "I exfoliate everyday", "Then I put on my daily mask", or "How many times a week should I use...?" So, I'm going to be straight forward, you're doing too much and your skin does not like you for it. I know that everyone's skin is different and we all have our own routines, but sometimes we can do more harm than good. I know it's hard to not want to get rid of a bump as soon as it shows up, but scrubbing and throwing 4 masks on it isn't going to do anything but make that bump 10 times more angry.
Let's get scientific for a minute-- Our skin is our biggest organ and is constantly replacing itself. There are about 19 million skin cells on every square inch of our bodies, and 30,000-40,000 new skin cells replace the old ones daily. The top 18-23 layers of our skin are made up of dead skin cells. When cells are new they are large and square, but over time they become flat and move to the top of the epidermis (the top layer of skin we see) and then flake off to make room for the new skin. In one month we have completely new skin.
Age is also a factor in how quickly our skin "renews". Children and young adults see new skin cells every 21-28 days, skin cells for people ages 30-50 renew about every 28-42 days and those 50 and up renew every 42-84 days. So as you see, our skin has its own system and rhythm that you must respect and be aware of when using different products.
When we exfoliate, use face masks, or peels (which I do NOT recommend, unless prescribed by a dermatologist) we are speeding up the skin's process of getting rid of old skin and in turn your skin has to create new cells at double the rate that it's used to. I'm not saying scrubs, peels and masks are bad, what I am saying is that using these things several times a week is bad for your skin. Overdoing anything (even if it's good) can be harmful.
When you exfoliate and/or mask 3-5 times a week your skin can become dry, irritated and cause the exact opposite of beautiful skin-- that's right-- PIMPLES AND BREAKOUTS.
Over exfoliating is too abrasive to the skin cells, which can cause chronic inflammation and irritation and also age you faster (NO THANKS).
For normal and combination skin most dermatologists recommend exfoliating no more than twice a week, and once a week for sensitive skin.
Depending on your skin type, masks can either cause more oil, dryness or irritation.
Masks are concentrated and packed with strong and powerful ingredients which is why you don't keep them on your face for too long. Masks have the ability to deeply penetrate through the skin's layers and repair accordingly. When you use a mask 3 or 4 times a week you are putting your skin into shock almost. The skin needs time to repair and rejuvenate before being doused with another layer of powerful ingredients.
I personally use a clay mask once every 8-10 days and exfoliate once a week all while maintaining my regular face wash routine. Sometimes if I'm dealing with a breakout I'll use a mask or scrub twice in a week. To be completely honest though, the best thing you can do for your skin is to leave it alone and give it a break.
The most important thing I've learned is that your skin is forgiving and can repair itself, but you have to give it time. Being overzealous and impatient isn't worth it. Trust me, I've burned, damaged, and scarred my own enough for all of us.
Seasons are changing and with that comes changes in our skin.
In the summer time your skin may feel more supple and oily whereas in winter you may experience some dryness or dullness. Everyone's skin reacts to temperature changes and weather differently and most of the time you can notice subtle changes in your skin.
My skin is oily pretty much year round (ugh) but in the fall and winter I experience some dry patches here and there. To combat this I'll change my moisturizer or make face and body scrubs that are oil based instead of drying masks.
The key is to pay attention to the minor changes in YOUR skin so that you can keep skin looking 100 year round.
This does not mean that your entire routine needs to change, just swap out your face wash or moisturizer.
Check out this recipe for my fall/winter go to face mask. The Vitamin E oil will leave your skin feeling baby soft and supple.
1 tsp Bentonite Clay -(I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay)
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
2-3 drops vitamin E oil- (I use Radiance Platinum)
The four types of skin are Normal, Dry, Oily and Sensitive.
Each type is defined by specific characteristics and are pretty easy to identify.
You experience patches of both oily and dry skin. This is common and best solved by multi-masking to address dry and oily areas. Wash your face with a lightweight and fragrance free face wash and moisturize with a light oil like Vitamin E or jojoba oil to keep dry areas moisturized. These oils are lightweight enough to not clog your pores.
Lucky you! You have nearly perfect skin. You have little to few imperfections, no severe sensitivities and small pores. To maintain this skin type, avoid over-doing it with the products and keep your routine simple.
You have small pores, but experience dull, rough, or sensitive patches. Your skin may feel tight at times and have little elasticity. Stay away from drying products like benzoyl peroxide and fragranced face lotions. Use products like Cetaphil or CeraVe, which are made for sensitive skin.
Your forehead shines bright like a diamond and it's okay because I have this skin type too. You have enlarged pores and are prone to blackheads and pimples. To combat these symptoms wash your face at least twice a day and use lightweight, unscented moisturizers.
Your skin is sensitive and delicate as a flower. You are easily irritated by almost any product and may experience dryness, redness, burning or itching. This is usually triggered by using products that are fragranced or are made with harsh ingredients. Try a brand like CeraVe or Cetaphil, they are fragrance free, lightweight and made specifically for sensitive skin.