I can’t tell you how often I speak with clients who are overwhelmed by all the products available for skin care today and further confused by massive marketing campaigns. Who wouldn’t be confused and exasperated! Our goal at Bee Naturals is to help you understand your skin, what it tells you every day, and how to understand, not only how to decipher ingredient labels, but how to discern which of these ingredients are best to help you achieve a healthy, glowing complexion. We want you to be educated, so you can make the best choices for you!
First, What Is My Skin Type?
It’s essential to understand your true skin type. It takes a bit more investigation than you might think, initially, but don’t worry, we have an easy tool to help make this easier. This step is vital to selecting the best, most effective products for you, which will ultimately save you money, waste, and deliver the results you want and deserve, minus surprises and disappointment. There are 4 key factors that must be taken into consideration besides the typical, Normal, Oily/Acneic, Combination, and Dry types scenarios. Ask yourself, or a professional esthetician these key questions:
Dehydration, Inflammation, Pigmentation and Wrinkles
Take dehydration, for example, did you know you can have extremely oily skin that is also dehydrated? Yes, it can absolutely be dehydrated and we see it frequently. Even the oiliest complexions need to:
Avoid drying, harsh cleansers and to hydrate (moisture, not oil)
Is your skin sensitive or does it tend to ‘react’ to products or ingredients? If you answered yes, you’re prone to inflammation. Your skin ‘reacts’ to ingredients. Fragrance is the #1 reason people react to products. (yes, this means you should use primarily fragrance-free facial care products) We know you love that good smell, but often your complexion doesn’t. Even natural essential oils are a potential threat, though many people don’t think so.
Do you have freckles or ‘age spots’, or perhaps areas of darker color or discoloration?
Unless your skin is uniformly colored overall, if you have fair hair, eyes, a history of tanning and/or sunburns, you may have pigmentation issues. And even if you don’t have any of the general characteristics mentioned above, you can still have pigmentation issues. An esthetician can look at your skin with a special light (Woods lamp) and actually see if you have pigmentation issues deep in your skin before they are visible to the naked eye. Genetics play a role in this issue as well as hormones.
Is your skin tight and firm, or are fines lines and/or wrinkles starting to show up?
Isn’t it frustrating to meet someone who is well into their 50’s, 60’s or even their 70’s and their skin is smooth and nearly free of lines, wrinkles and sagging? Some of us are just blessed with this skin type, genetically, but, keep in mind that poor lifestyle and skin care choices have an impact, so all is not lost. Not all skin ages the same way and if you’re not blessed with ‘ageless’ skin, then you have wrinkles or aging issues.
So what do these factors have to do with my skin type? Everything! These factors are critical subtypes to the basic Normal, Combination, Oily and Dry types. By knowing this information, in addition to your basic skin type, you can make much more accurate and informed choices of which products will best serve your needs and give you the healthy skin and results you want to see.
Second, Just a Bit of Science.
Our skin is our largest organ of the body. It protects us from external environmental assaults, pathogenic bacteria, and toxins. It regulates our temperature, serves as a waste disposal system and so much more, so it only makes sense to take good care of this organ that takes such good care of us.
Whether you’re an ‘I wash my face with soap’ person or an ‘I use multiple serums, elixirs, and trendy anti-aging creams and moisturizers’ type, we’re here for you to help demystify this complex topic by providing solid, science-based information that will empower you to save money while achieving glowing, healthy skin.
Building a Basic Skin Care Routine
Even the busiest of us can agree on this:
- Cleanse – keep your skin clean
- Moisturize- keep your skin supple and moist
- Protect – Use sunscreen to prevent UV damage
If your skin, both on both your face and body are healthy and not dry, excessively oily/acneic, or inflamed, the routine above may well be all you need or want, just keep these principles in mind when choosing the 3 products you will use to cleanse, moisturize and protect.
Step I: Cleansing
Although pure soap has been around for millennia, it is by nature, alkaline to some extent, and therefore drying to some degree, depending on the soap itself. We don’t recommend it if you are the least bit prone to dry skin. Alkaline cleansers, such as soap are inherently drying. If you choose to use a pure soap product, ask if it is enriched with oils and or humectants to help offset the dry effect. Look for added ingredients such as glycerin, honey, propanediol, or plant oils such as coconut, or avocado oils.
We prefer, especially for facial care, the newer generation surfactants (cleanser ingredients) such as decyl glucoside, sodium cocoyl isethionate, sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate and coco glucoside, to name a few. We avoid the use of sodium lauryl sulfate, as it is too harsh and drying. Many of these are derived from natural sources and clean well, but without over-cleaning, or cleaning too well. Squeaky clean is NOT good, especially for your face. You want to remove dirt, excess oil and debris- not turn your skin into the Sahara Desert.
How: AM & PM
So, after you have selected your cleanser based on our chart below with recommendations, using lukewarm water, wet your dedicated face cloth, apply cleanser to your face, or the cloth, (your preference) and gently, but thoroughly massage your cleanser over your entire face, jawline and neck, then rinse with tepid water, thoroughly. Gently and lightly pat (don’t rub) your face almost dry. Leave it just a bit damp and immediately proceed to Step II.
Step II: Moisturize
Select the most appropriate moisturizer for your skin type, based on our chart below. The choice of moisturizer based on the needs of your skin is imperative. If it’s too rich, your skin may feel greasy or looks shiny; conversely, if your skin is on the drier side, you will need a heavier or richer moisturizer to compensate for your skin’s lack of natural oils. If you find that your skin still feels too dry, you’ll likely want to select a richer moisturizer. It should make your skin feel and look good, Moist, and dewy.
How: AM & PM
While your skin is still slightly damp, apply your selected moisturizer to your skin and gently massage it in using upward movement. Your moisturizer, applied to damp skin, acts to help seal in the moisture and keeps your skin better hydrated throughout the day, or night. Moisturizer helps prevent what is technically called TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss). Too much TEWL causes dehydrated skin, not necessarily dry skin.
Step III: Protect
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun, (even on cloudy days) is the #1 cause of premature skin aging (sagging, coarse texture, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation)! This damage to the skin causes the breakdown of collagen, too, and is cumulative and irreversible! So, do we have your attention?
Select the sunscreen/protective product of your choice. We are advocates of non-chemical sunscreen products, such as zinc oxide (remember lifeguards at the pool?) Zinc oxide blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is well tolerated by most people. Look for a zinc oxide concentration of 25% for the best protection and apply it liberally. Reapply, if you’re perspiring during heavy physical activity or swimming.