The right routine starts with knowing what kind of skin you have. Then you’ll know how to take care of it.
- Dry skin is flaky, scaly, or rough.
- Oily skin is shiny, greasy, and may have big pores.
- Combination skin is dry in some spots (cheeks) and oily in others (forehead, nose, and chin).
- Sensitive skin may sting, burn, or itch after you use some makeup or other products.
- Normal skin is balanced, clear, and not sensitive.
Steps to Proper Skin Maintenance
Cleaning Normal/Combo Skin
Don’t just grab whatever soap is in the shower or at the sink to wash your face. And don’t feel like you have to buy fancy, expensive products, either. Just find skin care that works for you. Apply a gentle cleanser or soap with your fingertips. Don’t scrub your face. Rinse with plenty of warm water, then pat dry. If your skin dries out or gets oily, try a different cleanser
Cleaning Dry Skin
For this skin type, use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t have alcohol or fragrances. Those ingredients can dry you out even more. Gently wash your skin, then rinse with plenty of warm water. Don’t use hot water — it removes the natural oils from your face faster. Try exfoliating once a week to get rid of flaky skin cells. It will make your skin look clearer and more even.
Cleaning Oily Skin
Use an oil-free foaming cleanser to wash your face. Rinse with plenty of warm water. You may want to use a toner or astringent after, but be careful because it might irritate your skin. These products can remove extra oil, which makes your face less shiny, and help keep skin clean.
Cleaning Sensitive Skin
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and rinse with warm water. Don’t rub your skin with a towel — gently pat it dry. Exfoliating may irritate sensitive skin. Try not to use products that have alcohol, soap, acid, or fragrance. Instead, look on the label for calming ingredients like aloe, chamomile, green tea polyphenols, and oats. The fewer ingredients in a product, the happier your face may be.
Other Useful Tips
You may think you’re too young to need moisturizer — or your skin is too oily — but all skin types need one every day. Apply it while your skin is still damp from washing or rinsing to help seal in moisture. If you have acne or your skin is oily, find a moisturizer that’s lightweight and oil-free, so it won’t block your pores.
When Should You Wash?
You can dry your skin by washing it too much, so once a day is fine for most people. In the morning, rinse your face with lukewarm water. Use a soft towel to pat it dry. At night, wash with a cleanser or gentle soap gets rid of the day’s dirt and makeup. If you exercise, play sports, or have PE, you may want to wash your face afterward with a gentle cleanser. Sweat can clog your pores and make acne worse.
Don’t Wear Makeup to Bed
When you’re tired, it can be tempting to go to bed without washing your face. But leaving makeup on your skin can clog your pores and cause acne. So wash it off with a gentle cleanser or makeup remover. Use a soft wash cloth or cotton pads. If you use acne medicine, now’s a good time to put it on — when your face is clean and you won’t be putting on makeup.
If you wear makeup, choose products that have “nonacnegenic” or “noncomedogenic” on the label. They should be less likely to cause acne or clog pores. Look for makeup that’s water-based and not oil-based. Some products have expiration dates, even though they aren’t required. Most of the time, you’ll need to replace eye makeup first. For example, don’t use mascara longer than 4 months
Makeup Safety Tips
Don’t share makeup or makeup tools. Use fresh applicators when you try on makeup in stores. Don’t apply eyeliner inside your lid, because it may irritate your eye. If you’ve had an eye infection, buy new makeup so you don’t reinfect yourself. Never put on makeup in a car or on the bus. A bump or swerve could make you scratch your eye or get makeup and germs in it.