Sydney Shuler | Staff Writer
What’s one of the first things you notice when you meet someone new? Their skin. It’s the largest organ on the body and by far the most visible. Our skin’s unique structure can be enough to make or break our confidence. Much more goes into skin care than water and the most popular scrubs, cleansers and moisturizers mentioned on #ClearSkinTwitter.
The key to creating a successful skin routine is personalizing it to your skin type. Skin comes in a different types: normal, oily, dry, combination and sensitive. Understanding what type of skin you have can help you decide which products are best for you.
According to WebMD, normal skin isn’t too dry or too oily. Normal skin is characterized by barely visible pores and a radiant complexion. It is not severely sensitive; people with this type of skin do not have to rely on medicated or extra-hydrating products.
Combination skin is dry in some areas and oily in others, like the T-zone: the forehead, nose and chin area. Those with combination skin are prone to blackheads, large pores and shiny skin but are not particularly sensitive to one kind of cleanser or ingredient. People with this kind of skin can use a mixture of different types of products in different areas of the face depending on what type of skin each part has.
Dry skin produces less sebum, which is naturally produced by the human body to moisturize hair and skin. Because of this, it’s less elastic, more likely to crack and peel and feels itchy. Hydrate and protect your skin in times of high winds, intense sun and harsh cold. Gentle cleansers are your friend, but don’t scrub. Limit your showers to two a day and try not to soak in there too long.
WebMD identifies oily skin as skin with enlarged pores, a dull or shiny complexion and blemishes. This type of skin can change depending on the time of year, hormone imbalances and stress. Conquering oily skin doesn’t have to be the most stressful thing in the world. There are just a few things to remember: Wash your face twice every day and leave those zits alone unless you want a scar. You should also carry around facial wipes in your bag, so you can wipe away the excess oil you create throughout the day.
Sensitive skin is the most high-maintenance of the bunch. Redness, itching, burning and dryness are common. Find your triggers to learn which products and ingredients to avoid. Test products on a small part of your hand before you put them on your face. Simple, Clinique and Cetaphil are just some brands that have product lines catered to those with sensitive skin.
Short Hills Dermatology Center and WebMD have these universal skin care tips:
1. Use sunscreen
2. Drink plenty of water
3. Never wear makeup to bed
4. Kill two birds with one stone — use late night study sessions to do a face mask once or twice a week
5. Exercise consistently
Sometimes all you need is a little knowledge to tackle those seemingly insolvable problems.