You may speak to a beauty advisor over the counter and they can conduct a basic skin analysis which will give you sufficient information for the purchase of skin products. The beauty advisor will not go into as much detail as the beauty therapist will as the therapist has more time and tools and can detect not only your skin type but also your skin conditions.
One is born with a skin type and it cannot be changed although menopause has been known to change some women’s skin types. A skin condition can be corrected or minimised.
All skin types can have any skin condition. Skin conditions are dehydration, pigmentation, acne or sensitivity. You could have oily skin that is sensitive as well or have dry skin that is dehydrated.
Skin conditions in detail:
l Dull complexion
l If skin is pushed up, it has lines across
l If skin is pinched it stays pinched instead of returning to normal instantly
l Some medications can dehydrate skin
l Drinking insufficient water
l Air conditioners can dry the skin
l Too much sun exposure
l Ultra violet lighting
l Heating (especially in the winter when heaters are used a lot)
l Alcohol — drinking it in excess can dehydrate the skin
l Drink lots of water
l Exfoliate regularly — increase to three times a week
l Use a hydrating serum
l Use a hydrating mask. You may sleep with it
l Take multi-vitamins
l Skin may itch
l It may swell
l Sore when touched
l It feels tight
l Hot (temperature wise) and uncomfortable
l Use of harsh products that contain too much alcohol
l Allergies to certain ingredients used in the production of the facial product e.g nuts, seaweed and sulphur. If you cannot eat it you cannot put it on your face. Always read the label on the product so you are aware of the ingredients used.
l Use a serum for sensitive skin
l Cut down on use of products that contain alcohol
l Use a desensitising mask, you may sleep in it
l Use an exfoliator that does not contain granules as they are too abrasive for sensitive skin. An exfoliator does not always have to contain granules and there are such exfoliators on the market e.g a clay exfoliator.
For each skin condition there is a serum that will treat it. Brands found in supermarkets may not have a serum but bigger brands do have. A serum is a treatment (facial) in a bottle. Most serums are supposed to be used for three months because seasons are usually three months long. However, if the same serum works on your skin all year round you may keep using it. In winter you may find that your skin becomes dry. So instead of changing your moisturiser, toner, etc you can maintain the same implements and just change your serum to a hydrating serum. Once your condition is sorted you can store your serum in a cool, dry, dark place and return to your regime or use serum that works for your skin.
l Pimples on the face, usually with whiteheads
l Hormonal (too much testosterone)
l Wrong foods — oily or spicy foods can aggravate the condition
l Over production of the sebaceous (oil) glands
l Using the wrong skin product. The skin is the body’s largest organ and it produces oil to protect itself against bacteria. It requires a balance of its water and oil combination. When we use the wrong products we strip the skin of its oils and because it is not accustomed to having no oil it then increases the production for oil.
l Using too much moisturiser. The excess goes back into the pores and comes out as pimples.
l Pimples on your forehead — indicate problems with your liver and kidney. For instance, if you drink too much alcohol regularly and not enough water you strain your kidneys and liver and they will not function as effectively as they could.
l Pimples on your jaw line and neck — these are caused by reproductive hormones, usually round about the time of your period.
l For severe cases visit your dermatologist who will assess your condition and prescribe accordingly
l This may be hard for most people but AVOID squeezing and picking your pimples
l Apply a spot treatment that contains a minute quantity of salicylic acid
l You can go for a salicylic peel; a qualified specialist can do this for you at a beauty spa. This peel contains high quantities of salicylic acid and should not be administered at home.
This condition is more prevalent in Asians and Africans because of our concentration of melanin which causes pigmentation to build up quickly.
l Brown marks or spots on skin
l Uneven skin tone
l Contraceptive, some of increase melanin production
l Skin lighteners that contain hydroquinone.
These are contraband in Zimbabwe. There a number of these available on the black market but their use has adverse effects on skin and should be avoided at all costs.
l Over-exposure to the sun without sun protection
l Skin peel
l Pigmentation cannot be cured but it can be controlled and minimised. The over-production of melanin can be controlled. It can be faded but not completely rid of.
l Sunscreen or sun block can be used to minimise the effects of sun exposure
l Exfoliate more if skin is not sensitive. You may need to change diet because some foods aggravate pigmentation
l If it is a result of a chemical peel — wear a wide brimmed hat, avoid being in the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its harshest, apply a SPF of 40. Zimbabwe is a very high sun protection zone.
l You may need to ask your doctor to tell you the causes of your pigmentation.
These are not a result of internal issues but they are produced externally. They are a result of too much oil that absorbed into the open pores and then as they combine with oxygen they are oxidised and begin to change colour or the oils are contaminated by external factors like pollution. When you squeeze them out they are white at the bottom and black on top. Use of lotion or Vaseline could cause blackheads.
l Good moisturiser
l Regular exfoliation
l Good toner
l Cleansing mask
l Good cleanser