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Choosing the Right Skin Care Regimen for You

Are you confused as to what would be the best approach to skin care? It's certainly true that skin types differ significantly, and what works for one person may not work for you. Here is a brief list of various approaches to skin care to help you sort out what might be right for you.

1. Daily Care

Regardless of what regimen you choose, applying it daily is important. This does not necessarily mean you have to do the exact same thing every day, but you need to pay attention to your skin daily. It's something to keep in mind as you go about your day and as you prepare for bed.

2. Masks

Masks are treatments that are intended to be applied to the skin and left on for a period of time, then rinsed off. There are many kinds of masks intended to address various skin types and problems. Generally, if you have acne-prone skin, dry skin, or oily skin, then a periodic mask treatment may help. You can make your own or purchase a mask.

For acne, a mask usually contains certain acids (such as salicylic acid, which is found in aspirin and some fruits). For oily skin, clay-containing masks may help. Dry skin may benefit from moisture-rich mask ingredients, such as avocado, honey, or banana.

3. Creams

There are a great many creams designed for use on the face. Deep moisturizing creams are thick and are probably a good choice for very dry or wrinkled skin. Other creams are said to be "lightening," which means they are intended to lighten freckles and other uneven coloration. If you have mildly dry skin, a light, daily cream under your make-up or alone may help get more even moisture.

4. Exfoliants

Exfoliants are intended to act like gentle sandpaper for your face, gently removing dead skin to reveal livelier, healthy skin beneath. Those with sensitive skin should probably not exfoliate more than once or twice a week, and when they do, it's a good idea to use a fine exfoliant, such as finely-ground oatmeal or sugar. For less sensitive skin that needs a bit more exfoliating, a more coarse grain of exfoliant (such as crushed nut shells or kosher salt) can be used.

5. Steam

Steam is said to be good for all skin types. You can buy a commercial device to steam your facial skin, or hold a washcloth to your face that has been soaked in steaming hot water and squeezed out. Steaming is purported to open pores and soften skin, making it ready for cleansing and moisturizing.

6. Cleansers

Like creams, there are many cleansers on the market. You can make your own, too. Generally, soap-based cleansers are appropriate for those with oily skin, whereas soap-free cleansers are recommended for those with sensitive or dry skin. If your skin is both sensitive and oily, there are cleansers and soaps formulated for this use as well, sometimes containing hydrogen peroxide or sulfur to treat the acne and help with the excess oil.

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