by Amanda Mears
The biggest problem when trying to begin a skin care regimen can be sorting through the amount of skin care tips and products available. With so many skin care products and so many different types of skin care needs, it can be overwhelming trying to determine what is right for you. This article will break the process down into general guidelines that help you learn how to start a skin care regimen.
Determine your skin type. There are four basic facial skin types: normal, dry, oily and combination. Beyond that, you may want specialized care for certain problems, like aging or acne. Anti-aging and acne skin care products can be added on top of the standard skin care products for optimal results.
Pick out products based on your skin needs. Once you've determined which kind of skin type you have, begin gathering products.
Normal skin: If your skin is pretty balanced, all you need to keep it that way is a facial cleanser and lightweight moisturizer. Look for beauty products labeled non-comedogenic, which means they won't clog pores and cause blackheads.
Dry skin: Caring for dry skin begins with washing it properly. Hot water and chemicals like sodium laurel sulfate that are found in many common face washes can strip the moisture away from skin. To avoid over-drying your face, wash it with lukewarm water and an organic cleanser made for dry skin. To infuse moisture into your face, look for a heavy-duty moisturizer cream. Dry skin is often very sensitive to chemicals, so look for a hypoallergenic moisturizer made especially for dry skin.
Oily skin: Many people think that the key to stopping excess oil production is to skip the moisturizer; however, moisturizing is essential to keeping oil under control. If you have oily skin, first prep it by washing with a cleanser containing salicylic acid. Salicylic acid will dry out the skin a little bit to prevent breakouts caused by oil. For extremely oily skin, follow with a swipe of toner. Follow with a light gel moisturizer made for oily skin. You will also want to exfoliate once a week to prevent the dead skin-cell buildup that can be exacerbated by oily skin.
Combination skin: Cleanse first and then use both the routine for oily skin and the one for dry skin, applying a thick moisturizer to dry spots and using toner on spots that tend to get shiny throughout the day.
Stock up on miscellaneous tools. To keep your skin looking its best, you may also want to keep a few face care tools handy. An electronic exfoliating brush can help you slough off dead skin and pack some extra power into your daily cleanser. Blackhead extractors will aid in the removal of pore imperfections without leaving scars.
Decide on a time. Now that you're ready to go, pick a time that you can implement your skin care regimen. For dry skin, cleaning your face and applying moisturizer is best done right before bed so your skin can soak up the products you've applied. People with oily and combination skin may want to think about using skin care products twice a day -- once in the morning and once at night -- for perfectly clear skin that will feel fresh and look glowing all day long.