Woman showing how to keep skin looking young and healthy

You may be surprised to know that all skin types need the same essentials.

That’s right. Even with great genetics on your side, the skin becomes the result of lifestyle and good care.  And when followed regularly, a good skincare routine will Keep your skin looking young and healthy. So, what are the steps considered the golden rules for optimum skin care?

Either you are dry, oily, combination, normal etc. no matter what skin type you have, these fundamental steps are necessary to achieve a more youthful complexion.

-Cleansing

-Toning

-Exfoliation

-Stimulation

-Nourishment

-Protection

But let’s get to the heart of each of them to define their purpose and the benefits that they provide for the skin.

CLEANSING & EXFOLIATION

 

A woman cleansing her face a gloden rule in skin care

Finding the right cleanser is more important than you think but it can be a very difficult task.

The ideal cleanser helps remove oil, grime and makeup without causing excessive dryness or leaving the skin feeling greasy or sticky. It helps your face recover a more invigorated appearance and prepares it for the next steps of your skin regimen. But how to choose the correct one when they come in all shapes and forms; from creams and oils to soap bars and pads.

—Well, as you can see — this is not a one fits all kind of product.

But here are some good tips to sort out among the crowded options and select one that can benefit your skin.

  • First, look for a cleanser that is formulated for your skin type.
  • Preferably, select sulfate-free cleansers, specially sodium lauryl sulfate.

It is a harsh surfactant that strips the skin of essential lipids leaving it dry and dehydrated.

  • Avoid fragrances including some essential oils, drying alcohols, and mineral oil. These can have negative effects acting as skin sensitizers causing irritation, clogging pores and other problems.

Keep in mind that unless there is a special situation, there is no need to cleanse your skin more than twice a day. Over cleansing the skin can provoke more problems like exacerbating oil production in oily skin or producing flakiness or dry patches on dry skin.

Let’s now talk about exfoliation.

Exfoliating the skin is a must do step when you are looking for radiant skin.  It removes dead skin cells allowing better absorption and efficacy of your skin care. Also encourages the exposure of new cells which perform better and look healthier giving your skin a more youthful glow.

However, it is a skin care step that must be looked at carefully.

The skin contains a protective barrier that serves as a shield to guard it from harmful chemicals, bacteria, environmental factors and to maintain healthy levels of moisture and hydration.

Over-exfoliating the skin can cause many problems, including:

-Skin Sensitivities

-Inflammation

-Breakouts

-Distended blood vessels

-Over production of sebum (Skin natural oils)

-Dehydration

-Excessive Dryness

How often to exfoliate the skin, depends on your skin type. Oily and combination skin do well at exfoliating more often like three or even 4 times a week in some cases. While dry and sensitive skin types do better with just once or twice a week.

TONING

Toners have been considered a staple step in the skincare routine. They were created mainly to finish removing the residue that cleansers used to leave behind on the skin and to re-balance the skin’s pH because cleansers originally were very harsh and some, too heavy and greasy. But since cleansers have come a long way and do a better job at cleansing the skin and many more are found nowadays with a balanced pH; this step is considered many times: optional.

However, I find it to have many skin benefits when you choose the correct one.

Water is a great way to increase penetration and absorption of other ingredients, so toning the skin will better the performance of your other skincare products. However, avoid using toners that contain drying alcohols even when you have acne-prone skin. Those will only cause more harm than good to the skin.

Instead choose toners containing good ingredients. Take advantage of this step in your routine to introduce specific ingredients and target skin issues such as acne, hyperpigmentation, dull skin, sensitive, or dry skin etc.

Here are some examples of well-known ingredients you want to look for in toners, according to the skin concern:

Skin Dullness: Vitamin C, lactic acid, glycolic acid

Hyperpigmentation: Vitamin C, kojic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, mandelic acid

Sensitive skin, Rosacea: aloe, allantoin, rose, calendula, chamomile, comfrey, green tea

Acne: Salicylic acid is best. Glycolic also helps. A combination of both is optimum.

Dry skin: Sodium PCA, Panthenol, aloe, rose, marshmallow, vitamin E

STIMULATION

Stimulation is a golden rule of skin care

If there is a word that describes keeping your skin looking young is this one.

As we age, the skin becomes sluggish and its normal renewal processes slows down considerably. So, stimulating in different ways for example: a facial massage or utilizing technology like LED, Micro-current, rollers etc, increases circulation promoting better oxygenation and nourishment of the tissues and helping to remove toxins. Overall it makes the skin work more efficiently. It’s like a work out to keep it fit and healthy.

NOURISHMENT

 Good skincare with selected ingredients can transform the skin.

A woman applying zkin fix anti-aging serum

In this step, it is important to give the skin all the nutrients that it needs to fight daily challenges and to treat and repair cell damage.

Nourishment can be found in many forms in skincare products.

The common purpose of moisturizers is to hydrate the skin. Hydration is an important element in all skin types and you can provide it to the skin by means of creams, lotions, gels or serums, according to your skin type.

Be aware to find a moisturizer that is compatible with your skin type. Avoid using heavy creams if you have acne prone skin. And if you have dry skin, stay away from products containing drying alcohols or other drying ingredients that can aggravate dehydration.

If you are looking to correct a skin issue, intense nourishment or the most effective way to keep your skin looking young, serums are the way to go, they give you an in-depth form of treatment to achieve more accurate results. They are concentrated formulations aimed to target specific skin concerns such as: anti-aging, acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, flaccid skin, dehydration, dull skin etc.

The main purpose of serums is to deliver active ingredients deep into the skin. They have great absorption power providing fast results, which is why they are a fantastic addition to any anti-aging or corrective skincare routine.

PROTECTION

sun protection a golden rule in skin care

None of the above will make sense if you don’t protect your skin with a good SPF. The sun damages skin cells and speeds up the signs of aging like uneven pigmentation, poor elasticity, distended capillaries and lines and wrinkles needless to say the high risk of skin cancer.

Use a well formulated sunscreen daily rain or shine. This step will help you protect the skin and prevent future damage.

 

***ALWAYS CONSIDER that everyone’s skin is unique and the skin changes constantly, so changes in the skincare routine should also made as the skin shows different needs.

Thank you very much for being here,

Until next time.

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

A woman discovering her skin type

To clearly discover your skin type, it’s crucial to understand that your skin is as unique as your blueprint.

You are born with your skin type, it is in your genetic makeup but since the skin is an organ in constant evolution, it responds to changes in its surroundings, lifestyle and age factors which have a direct effect on the skin causing it to get out of balance and more prone to ageing.

Learning and understanding your skin type is very important because it will not only help you detect and adapt to the skin changes but also select the best treatment options and correct skincare.

Many skin problems arise from using the wrong products ending in skin imbalances and other skin issues like inflammation and breakouts.

I know, we are bombarded by the phrase “perfect skin” everywhere and although it sounds extremely appealing, the truth is that most people will have some concerns about their skin, specially as time passes by. But working with people daily for many years has allowed me to see that most of them look for the same goal not perfect but “healthy-looking skin.”

Skin types are determined by the amount and distribution of sebum the skin produces which influences texture, pore size and overall behavior of the skin. Too much oil can end up in acne or too little sebum can result in irritation and discomfort of the skin.

These elemental factors impact the skin dividing it into 4 main categories:

  • Normal
  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Combination.

However; as a professional, I believe that in order to have a more accurate analysis, other crucial factors should also be considered:

  • SKIN COLOR based on the Fitzpatrick scale which measures 6 skin types ranging from very white skin which burns very easily and never tans to the darkest skin which never burns and other shades in between. This helps you understand how vulnerable your skin is to sun damage.

 

  • SKIN DENSITY taking in consideration how thick or thin the skin is in function of the depth of the three layers of your skin will give you a good idea of how delicate or resilient your skin is.
  •  LAXITY how “firm” or “saggy” the skin is reflects its levels of elasticity caused by break down of collagen and elastin in the underlying structure. This factor helps to determine how the skin is aging at a deeper level.
  •  SKIN FRAGILITY how the skin will react and tolerate different treatments and skincare products helps you determine how sensitive your skin is.

Without any further due, let’s get into the details of each skin type:

NORMAL SKIN (well-balanced skin) meaning not too oily or too dry.

Sebum is distributed evenly throughout all facial areas. The complexion looks healthy with refined pores, smooth texture, even tone and no blemishes.

In many years of treating skin, I have come across this skin type may be four or five times, it is extremely rare to have skin that is completely balanced because as I discussed earlier, we are surrounded by internal and external elements that constantly affect the skin.

But if you have the blessing of having normal skin, lighter lotions and serums are ideal to maintain it and fight the signs of aging. Good ingredients are always beneficial even if your skin is in good health.

DRY SKIN (produces less sebum than normal skin) the medical term for dry skin is “Xerosis”.

It lacks essential lipids for proper barrier function like ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids along with deficiencies in urea, amino acids and lactic acid; Natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) necessary to maintain normal moisture levels in the skin.

This skin type usually presents very small pore size, tends to lack radiance and has an overall feeling of tightness. Often, it has more visible lines, less elasticity and could also experience flaking.

Moisture is vital to the care of dry skin. Use lotions and rich creams to nourish your skin cells and supply the skin what it lacks. One very important point is to identify if your skin is dry because of lack of lipids or water or both. There is a big difference between moisturization and dehydration.

Replenishing what the skin lacks will improve skin balance and restore its healthy state.

OILY SKIN (produces more sebum than normal skin) abundant sebum production known as “seborrhea”, pores appear larger and the skin looks shiny and has a thicker felling.

Oily skin tends to be more prone to blackheads and whiteheads and to various forms of acne.

Cleansing the face twice a day and avoiding heavy creams is recommended to minimize the appearance oily skin. Look for lighter texture products like serums, gels and oil-free sunscreens to prevent over saturation of oil within the follicle which can become a culprit for breakouts.

COMBINATION SKIN (presents a mix of skin types) normally oilier on the T Zone located across the forehead and on the nose and chin areas.

Enlarged pores are more visible in this region while the cheeks present characteristics of normal or dry skin.

This skin type is very common, and it is tricky to treat because you are dealing with different skin types at the same time. Blemishes can be present on oily areas and excessive dryness on the others.

People with combination skin should consider using different products for different areas of the face to keep the skin balanced. To keep it simple, a good idea is to opt for products that are not too heavy or too light.

Lotions make a great choice for combination skin.

Serums can be layered providing fantastic results also. Special attention must be placed on the cleanser and toner. Select cleansers that are not too rich or too harsh, preferably pH balanced, and be careful with toners containing alcohol, this can end up causing excessive dryness on those areas that are already dry.

SENSITIVE SKIN

Although not formally considered a skin type but more of a skin condition. I feel that sensitive skin needs its own description.

Many people suffer from this condition. It is skin that is over reactive, fragile and delicate and gets irritated very easily. You can have any skin type mentioned above and also have sensitive skin.

Having very sensitive skin myself, my personal experience is that it is a very difficult condition to have, many factors are involved, and it is such an extensive topic that deserves an entire article but for now I can tell you that “less is more” when treating this condition and ingredients do have a huge impact in this case.

Specially restoring healthy lipids like ceramides and fatty acids and staying away from skin sensitizers like fragrances, colorants, certain essential oils (not all oils are the same, there are some that can be very sensitizing for the skin), harmful chemicals etc.

With the correct ingredients and treatment, you can improve sensitive skin and make it more resilient. I compare it to a roller coaster ride, it constantly has its ups and downs, but again when you know what you are dealing with and what to use to improve it, you can accomplish very positive changes.

FOR ALL SKIN TYPES

SUN CARE IS A MUST FOR HEALTHY SKIN

Ultraviolet radiation harms the skin causing: 

Sunburn, breaking down collagen and elastin, damaging healthy cells and causing skin cancer.

It’s important to remember that all skin types should conscientiously apply sunscreen daily. Even if the weather is cloudy or rainy.

Protecting your skin from incidental sun exposure is vital to prevent skin cancer and photo ageing. Look for sunscreen formulas that suit your skin type.

Most dermatologists recommend using an SPF of 30 or higher to defend your skin and avoid premature ageing.

It is key to note that no sunscreen can block up to 100% of UV rays; therefore, it is essential to apply it in the correct amount and to reapply regularly.

Balanced skin is the healthiest and yes, it’s not easy to achieve but with the right knowledge you can manage what suits your skin best to bring it as close as possible to a balanced healthy state.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time.

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

 

 

A woman looking in the mirror worried about her enlarged pores

The pores that we see on the surface are actually the openings of hair follicles—

They are minute structures that the skin utilizes to release sweat and sebum (oil) produced by the sweat and sebaceous glands. In areas where there are more sebaceous glands and the production of sebum is more abundant, like the forehead and the nose, they tend to look larger.

That’s why oilier skin shows the pores more than dry skin because the pore size is closely related to the sebum production which is determined by hormonal activity. Another important cause of enlarged pores is the loss of skin density or volume. As the skin ages, the loss of collagen contributes to poor elasticity and loose skin makes the pores look more prominent.

There is not a whole lot we can do to change per say the size of the pore, but there are some things we can do to change and improve the appearance of the pores making them look more refined.

  • Exfoliating treatments such as:

microdermabrasion, chemical peels & laser; as well as home care acids like : glycolic, mandelic, salicylic, lactic etc., help remove dead skin cells making the skin and the pores look smoother. For your skincare routine, select the best exfoliating acid according to your skin type, be careful not to over use it because you can cause instead dryness and irritation.

  • Collagen stimulating ingredients and treatments like:

Retinoids, stem cells, peptides, lasers, LED therapy, microneedling etc. support collagen synthesis.

Newer cells look more plump and healthy, therefore giving the complexion a more refined appearance.

  • Active ingredients like:

a) Hyaluronic Acid a great hydrating ingredient 

b) Niacinamide which helps balance sebum production work wonderfully with other treatments to help improve the look of enlarged pores.

The key is to find what suits your skin best! remember that everyone’s skin is different and what is good for someone else might not be good for your skin.

Thank you very much for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare