Top Skin Care Questions Answered

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Your Top Skin Care Questions Answered

Woman looking at cosmeceutical skin care product
Photo: Dan Dalton / Getty Images

Knowing how to properly care for your skin can be very confusing.  What's the best way to protect your skin from the sun and prevent skin aging?  Do you really need to exfoliate a few times a week?  Let's cut through all the confusion and learn what is best for your skin.  Keep reading to get the answers to your top skincare questions.

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Can I Mix Skin Care Products From Different Companies?

Skin care companies would have you believe that if you want beautiful skin you can only use products from one company at a time  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  You can safely use products from different skin care companies at the same time. What matters when it comes to your skincare routine is correctly assessing your skin care needs and finding the right skin care ingredients and formulations for your skin - not the name of the company on the product label.  

Even though skin care companies would have you believe that you cannot mix and match your skin care products, nothing could be further from the truth. Your skin doesn't know what company your product is from; your skin reacts to the ingredients in the product. And no, you won't harm your skin by using different products from different companies. When choosing skin care products look at the ingredient list not the name of the company on the label. Think about what ​your skin needs - more moisture maybe or facial acids to exfoliate - and then pick your product according to those criteria and not according to who made the product.

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How Can You Prevent Skin Aging?

In order to slow down the skin aging process, you need to do a few things for your skin on a regular basis. First and foremost, you need to use sunscreen every single day even if it cloudy outside. Even if you are only spending a short amount of time outside every day you still need sunscreen. The sun is responsible for a very large amount of our skin aging, not our genes as many people think, and the easiest and most effective way to protect our skin from the sun is with sunscreen.

Besides using sunscreen daily, if you want your skin to stay youthful for longer you need to use skin care products with antioxidants in them to protect your skin from inflammation and free radical damage.  In addition, your skin needs to be well moisturized in order to stay healthy.  You also should invest in a product that contains retinol since retinol can smooth fine lines and wrinkles while also rebuilding lost collagen. Lastly, in order to ensure that your skin looks younger for longer keep your skin healthy from the inside out by eating the right foods and following a healthy lifestyle.

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How Often Should I Exfoliate?

Pretty much everyone knows by now that regular skin exfoliation is the key to smooth, bright, and clear skin, but it can get downright confusing to know how often to exfoliate. A good rule is that you need to exfoliate at least twice a week - both your face and your body. Depending on your skin type and skin needs you can exfoliate more often.

For example, someone with oily, acne prone skin is going to want to use facial acids like salicylic acid pretty much every single day in order to prevent new pimples from forming and to clear up the ones they already have.  Someone with sensitive skin will want to exfoliate less often.  The stronger your chosen exfoliation product the less often you want to use it.  

The skin on our bodies is usually less sensitive than the skin on our faces so it can be exfoliated a few times a week without a problem. This is especially necessary in the summer when your expose more skin. If you want your skin to glow you need to exfoliate it a few times a week.

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How Do I Figure Out My Skin Type?

Skin care products are labeled for different skin types such as normal, oily, combination, or dry.  But figuring out what your skin type is can be a little confusing.  Let's simplify the process.  In order to figure out your skin type wash your face with a facial cleanser meant for normal skin.  Dry your skin off and then do nothing to your face for at least half an hour. When that half an hour is up, go to the mirror and assess your skin.  Does your skin look flaky or shiny?  Does your skin feel tight and dry or does it feel fine?  If you touch your face is it rough or smooth?

If your skin is flaky and tight you have dry skin.  If your skin is shiny you have oily skin. If your skin feels fine after half an hour you have normal skin.  Your skin might be dry in some areas and oily in others - this means you have combination skin.