If life was a game (and in a lot of ways it is), my screen would be flashing ‘Level One: Completed!’. Last week, I underwent my first level of assessment in which instructors evaluate your written and practical skills thus far in the program.  So along with many sleepless nights of studying and stressing (Lord, thank you for blessing me with a patient husband who understands the healing powers of chocolate), I learned a lot.  My makeup and waxing teacher Ms. Brooklyn says that a true artist shares, so here I am sharing some helpful tips on tending to that mass of epithelial cells known as your skin.

#1:  90% of people have combination skin, which means that you can be any combo of oily/normal/dry.  Understanding your skin type is the first step to determining what products are best to address skin conditions you may have.

#2:  There is a difference between skin type and skin condition.  Our skin type is what we are born with and what we stay with.  If you are oily, you will always be oily.  Dry skin will always be dry, combo skin will always be… well, you get the point.   Estheticians can help correct skin condition, but not skin type.  You need a trained professional to conduct an analysis and help you understand your skin conditions.

#3:  Some of the most common skin conditions are:  dehydration, hyperpigmentation, closed/open comedones (AKA whitehead and blackheads), and fine lines and wrinkles.  Virtually every person on this planet has some form of skin condition.  The ones that have perfect skin are mannequins and if you are bringing them in for a skin analysis….we’ve got bigger problems.  We all have imperfections in our skin that we wish weren’t there, so rest assured that there are solutions for virtually every skin issue.

#5:  There are certain key ingredients in cosmeceuticals that when potent enough, can target and correct skin conditions.  For example, bentonite is a clay that helps to draw out impurities and tighten skin.  Safflower oil and almond extract are great for hydration.  Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, otherwise known as a stable form of vitamin C, is excellent at brightening the skin and reducing signs of hyperpigmentation.  Betaglucan is great for improving fine lines, and if there was a warrior for fighting wrinkles, it would be our tireless friend, Vitamin A.

So our basic 1-2-3 steps here are: identifying skin type, identifying skin condition, and choosing products with key ingredients that will target and correct.  Let’s be honest, we have all grabbed the soaps, creams, and lotions that were either on sale, smelled good, or were at eye-level on the shelf.  Forget the old you (or the current you shamefully eyeing the products on your bathroom sink) and stick with me to learn how to keep your skin healthy from the inside out.

Priya Crumpton
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