Nourish your skin Normal to dry skin types produce the least amount of sebum, an oily secretion from the pore that helps to protect skin and keep it supple.
Someone with normal skin doesn’t usually notice excess sebum on their skin It’s easy to turn normal skin into dry skin by using products that are too harsh and strip the skin’s protective barrier. Dry skin, doesn’t produce enough sebum causing a tight feeling in the skin. It needs to be replenished with nourishing products.
Cleanse As the first step of your regimen, cleansing removes impurities, makeup, and debris that can build up and clog pores. It ensures you have a clean slate for the rest of your regimen. If your cleanser isn’t specified as a makeup remover, be sure to use one before cleansing.
Creamy or milky cleansers are great for dry skin because they add vital oils to the skin. The same can be used for normal skin types, but could also use a gentle foaming cleanser, if preferred, as long as it doesn’t leave the skin feeling tight after cleansing. Cleanse twice a day, morning and evening.
Tone Toning, an often overlooked step finishes the cleansing process by ensuring the pH of the skin is maintained and removing any remaining residue or makeup that you may have missed during cleansing. Your skin has an acidic mantle that is naturally a pH of 4.5 – 5.5, that protects your skin and reduces moisture loss.
Toners for normal to dry skin will also prep the skin by adding conditioning or anti-aging agents to keep the skin supple. Skip the toners that contain alcohol, which are likely to dry out these skin types. Use your toner after every time you cleanse. Exfoliate Exfoliation is the removal of dead skin cells from the top most layer of the skin. Your skin has a natural exfoliation process but certain circumstances, such as aging or sun damage, can slow the process and make it less effective. The simple solution is to exfoliate regularly at home to keep your pores clear, lines more refined, and skin looking radiant and more even toned.
Chemical exfoliants such as glycolic and lactic acids work well on normal to dry skin types. These help to dissolve the bond between skin cells so that they can be shed. Lactic acid is an especially good choice for skin types that are prone to dryness as it can help increase hydration levels in the skin. These acids can be used daily in the form of a cleanser or a serum. It is recommended that you use these every other day in the beginning to minimize any irritation or dryness, especially if your skin is sensitive. Even if you can’t move up to daily, the benefits of regular exfoliation will still be seen.
Weekly treatments can be a great option to accelerate results. These are frequently labeled as “at-home peels”, but can be a scrub or microdermabrasion, as well. It’s important that you don’t use the daily exfoliator for at least 24 hours before and after the weekly treatment. (Wait at least 48 hours for sensitive skin.) If you have acne, rosacea or another inflammatory skin condition, do not use scrubs as this may exacerbate it. Sensitive skin may opt for an enzyme based exfoliant. They tend to be genlter and won’t penetrate the epidermis as much as a chemical exfoliant can.
When using exfoliators, less is more. If you notice any signs of over-exfoliation like redness that doesn’t subside quickly, flakiness, or any irritation, decrease the usage to see if that helps. If not, it may be time to try something that is less aggressive.
Exfoliants can be used morning or evening, unless you are using a retinol based product in the evening. In that case, your exfoliant can not be used at the same time. It will have to be used in the morning.
Sunscreen needs to be worn daily since exfoliation can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Prevent This step addresses specific concerns you may have or want to prevent such as sun damage, dark spots, lines/wrinkles, acne, etc. Generally, you apply a targeted treatment before your moisturizer, but make sure to follow the directions listed on the product.
Every morning use an antioxidant serum under your moisturizer to help prevent free radical damage from occurring on the skin. Free radical damage comes from a number of factors such as UV exposure, pollution, smoking, not eating a perfect diet and even disease or illnesses. It can cause the skin to look prematurely aged.
Normal to dry skin can still be prone to congestion or acne. It’s common for someone over 30 to experience acne, but not have oily skin. When treating acne, be sure to use products that are targeted for acne AND dry or normal skin so you don’t deplete the skin of necessary oils. If you are using a spot treatment that dries your skin, such as benzoyl peroxide or sulfur, you can apply the spot treatment over your moisturizer, but under your SPF. (Spot treatments are generally made with an oily skin type in mind.)
There are many anti-aging treatments designed to prevent and repair aging skin. Exfoliation will help, but it’s wise to also use products containing repairing ingredients such as peptides and retinol to minimize lines and wrinkles and help with loss of elasticity. These are best used at night, which is when your skin goes through its reparative cycle. Note, that sunscreen must be worn daily when using a retinol based product.
Hyperpigmentation or dark spots can be hormonal, from past acne, or from sun damage. This can be treated with a product that is specifically labeled for lightening the skin. It’s important to note that if you use a product with hydroquinone, you must take a break from using the product after 3 months.
Masks are a great supplement for achieving specific skincare goals. They address anything from lightening and brightening to acne and anti-aging concerns. They can even help repair your skin’s barrier, if dehydrated or chronically dry skin is an issue. These targeted treatments are generally used 1–3 times a week, depending on the type of mask you choose.
Moisturize Moisturizers deliver essential oils, hydration and nutrients to the skin. Many are formulated with antioxidants to prevent and repair free radical damage and anti-aging ingredients.
Normal skin can benefit from a medium to lightweight moisturizer applied twice daily. Many people prefer a lighter lotion during the day and a cream at night. Since dry skin is lacking oil, it will need a more substantial cream moisturizer. If you feel like your skin is feeling tight later in the day, try a hydrating serum underneath your moisturizer to prevent this from happening.
The skin around your eyes is much thinner and prone to lines and wrinkles. Be sure to use an eye cream that provides enough moisture to protect that delicate area.
Protect It’s a myth that you only need sunscreen at the beach or when you’ll be outdoors for hours at a time. Unfortunately, sun damage in cumulative and 15 minutes of sun exposure here and there with no protection, easily adds up to a few hours a week. The sun’s ultraviolet rays are most known to contribute to skin cancer, but it can also be responsible for premature aging, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), loss of elasticity, rough skin texture, and even rosacea.
If you are going to be outside briefly or are mainly in an office environment, SPF 15 is fine for most. Fair skin should use SPF 20–30. If you will be exposed to the sun for longer than 15 minutes, it’s best to use SPF 30 or higher. This includes time spent in a car because windows, unless UV treated, do not block any UVA rays and only partially filter UVB rays.
While SPF is important, it only refers to how the sunscreen protects against the burning UVB rays. Be sure to choose a sunscreen that is labeled as “broad spectrum” to protect against both types of UV rays. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and damage cells, which can change the appearance of the skin. UVB rays are shorter, only reaching the epidermis or top layer of the skin and cause sunburns. Both rays can contribute to skin cancer.
Be sure to reapply sunscreen every 1–2 hours while exposed to the sun. With the myriad of sunscreen products on the market today, it’s easy to reapply every 1–2 hours as needed. Choose from a lotion, cream, or even sunscreen powder, which can be particularly useful when touching-up your face without disturbing makeup.