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Know your skin

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Perhaps even more important than makeup is skincare. It’s not that we don’t love makeup, it’s just that having the best skin is the foundation for flawless makeup. So, the first step of looking more beautiful and perfecting your makeup all starts with taking good care of your skin with the right products. But there’s no one size fits all answer to skincare, it’s all about understanding what your skin needs by knowing your skin type.

Don’t hit the skincare aisle before you get the facts about your skin. Here’s Dr Nazirin’s breakdown of skin diagnostics and how to find the products that truly fit your skin.

Everyone’s skin is unique, and it’s constantly changing, but there are certain ‘skin type’ categories you can use as guidelines to help you find the best skincare that will work for you. The common skincare categories are sensitive, dry, normal, oily, acne-prone, and aging skin concerns. You might even be a couple of these; you could be both oily and acne-prone, aging and dry, or even sensitive and acne-prone.

Thick or Thin

The density of your skin affects how your skin looks as you age. Typically, those with thick skin experience more laxity or skin drooping, while people with thin skin are more prone to premature lines, wrinkles, and dilated capillaries. Although thicker skin is the most resilient, skin that falls somewhere in the middle is ideal.

How to tell: Using your thumb and forefinger, pinch your cheek in the fleshy part. If you have thin skin , the separation between your fingers will be .5 cm – 1 cm. Those with medium skin will feel a 1-1.5 cm separation and thick skinned people will pinch more than 1.5 cm of skin.

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What to do: For skin veering on the thin side, look for products with high levels of retinol-the most effective ingredient for skin plumping and strengthening the epidermis. Retinol also aids in improving thick skin because it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, which makes skin firmer and tighter.

Oily or dry

Excess sebum and oil can cause clogged pores, acne, inflammation, and blackheads. Lack of sebum, however, leads to skin dryness and accelerates wrinkle formation-that’s why it’s essential to keep your skin in proper balance.

How to tell: Wash and dry your face, then blot the skin with a tissue, pressing gently all over the face. If your skin is oily, the tissue will stick and sop up extra sebum. If the tissue doesn’t soak up any oil, your skin is dry.

What to do: Those with oily skin should cleanse with a face wash that contains salicylic acid for one full minute and finish with a splash of cool water. Follow with oil-free products and reduce the use of cosmetics as much as possible-even the non-comedogenic ones can promote excess oil.

For dry skin, increase hydration inside and out. Begin by upping your intake of liquids, and high water-content foods. As for topical care, there is a caution for patients against chronic use of moisturizers, which make your skin more dependent on superficial sources of water. Instead apply products fortified with retinol to stimulate dormant skin cells.

Strong or Weak/Sensitive

Healthy skin is strong skin. If your skin is weak or sensitive, you need to strengthen it.

How to Tell: Sensitive skin is easily irritated by certain products, environmental factors and is frequently inflamed, whereas strong skin is tolerant, even-toned and rarely feels dry or irritated.

What to do: If you have sensitive skin, avoid the use of unnecessary products and chemicals. Protect skin from daily damage with a physical sunblock made with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide instead of a chemical formula. Look for products with anti-inflammatory ingredients such as feverfew, aloe veraand chamomile and avoid the use of products with unnatural additives or fragrances that could further irritate sensitive skin. Once your skin adjusts to the new products you can introduce a retinol or retinoic acid, the most effective ingredient for strengthening weak skin. And remember, always test new products on your forearm to see how your skin reacts before applying to your face.

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Thirsty or Hydrated

Your skin age and your real age might be two very different numbers depending on how hydrated your skin is. Alcohol, sun-sessions and sleep deprivation all zap the body of moisture and accelerate skin’s aging process (surprise, surprise). Luckily hydrating thirsty skin is practically free.

How to Tell: Pinch the thin skin on your hand, and then release. Your skin should immediately revert to normal. If it takes even a second to recover, your skin is dehydrated.

What to do: Double your water consumption, cut out alcohol, avoid the use of astringent toners and protect your skin from ultra-drying air conditioning or overheated spaces with lotions that offer barrier protection.

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Lastly, if you are unsure of your skin condition or what is the right product, visit a board certified dermatologist like Dr Nazirin, for an informed recommendation on treatment and products.


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Skin health and wellness is our passion which is why we specialize in the treatment of skin conditions and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. Our dedicated team of aestheticians will take you through extensive medical grade treatments available at our clinic to help you achieve the clearer, healthier and younger looking skin you've always wanted.

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