Step 1: Know Your Skin Type
Start by knowing your skin type. That is the best way to know how to care for 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.
Step 2: Cleaning Normal/Combination Type Skin
Don’t just use whatever soap is at the sink to wash your face. It is not about buying fancy, expensive products. You just need to find skincare that works for you. Use a gentle cleanser or soap and wash — don’t scrub your face every day. Rinse with plenty of warm water, then pat dry. If you find your skin dries out or gets oily, try a different cleanser.
Cleaning Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t have alcohol or fragrance. Those ingredients can dry your skin out even more. Gently wash your skin, then rinse with plenty of warm water. Don’t use hot water because 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
If your skin is oily, 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 you’ve washed your face, but be careful because it might irritate your skin. They can remove extra oil, making your face less shiny, and help keep skin clean.
Cleaning Sensitive Skin
If your skin is sensitive, wash it with a very gentle cleanser and rinse with warm water. Be sure to pat — don’t rub — dry. Exfoliating may irritate sensitive skin. Try not to use products that have alcohol, soap, acid, or fragrance. The fewer ingredients in a skincare product, the happier your face may be.
Step 3: Moisturize
All skin needs moisture. Moisturizers help keep your skin from drying out. Use it every day, no matter what skin type you have. 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 is lightweight and oil-free, so it doesn’t block your pores.
Step 4: Put on Sunscreen
Your moisturizer may already have sunscreen in it. But it’s a good idea to use a separate sunscreen, too. The sun can damage your skin in only 15 minutes. Even though you’re young, you can get skin cancer. Look for sunscreen that works against both UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of at least 30. Wear it every day, even if it’s not sunny and even if it’s cold. The sun’s rays can reflect off water, sand, and snow. Reapply every two hours.
When Should You Wash?
Your skin can get very dry 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 — not rub it — dry. At night, washing with a cleanser or gentle soap helps get 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.