How to Control the Way Your Skin Behaves

“Aging beautifully is one part mystery and nine parts maintenance” – Anonymous

The best way to maintain your skin and control its behaviour? Begin with knowing your skin “type” and skin “condition”.

Skin types are genetically inherited.  Dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi will tell us that there are two main skin types: OILY and DRY.  This is because your skin TYPE is determined by the presence of oil.  The following simple observations will help determine whether your skin is OILY or DRY:

Oily:

Oily skin produces oil or shine early in the day. If you wash your face before bed and do not apply additional products, then find that your skin has oil upon waking in the morning, your skin type is OILY.

Dry:

Dry skin lacks sebum and therefore does not produce oil. If you cleanse and leave skin free of additional products over night, and have no oil or shine upon waking, your skin type is DRY.

There are combinations where skin can have oily zones and dry zones, however, ANY presence of oil on the skin suggests you have an OILY skin type.

Your skin TYPE is genetically inherited, while Skin conditions are influenced by external factors such as environment and lifestyle. Take for example a healthy baby whose skin has not been subject to environmental challenges. A baby’s skin appears smooth, plump, free of pigment from sun damage, and free of wrinkles.

A few of the most common skin conditions are: ACNE, WRINKLES, DEHYDRATION, SENSITIVITY, and PIGMENTATION.

Acne:

A pimple is born when three culprits (bacteria, oil, and dead skin cells) get together and form a cocktail party on your skin. There are a variety of factors that can trigger this response, including hormonal imbalance, the use of bacteria-contaminated products or incorrect use of products, and poor skin hygiene.

What to do when your skin is acne prone:

Control acne by controlling the presence of oil on the skin’s surface. There are oil-control products containing ingredients with SALICYLIC ACID which help to degrease the skin, thus preventing growth of bacteria on the surface and in the pores.

I recommend OIL CONTROL wipes by Z.O. Skin Health and OIL CONTROL LOTION by Dermalogica.

Cleansing products and tools are essential for keeping skin free of cellular debris and bacteria. I recommend the HEXAM Antibacterial cleanser by Vivier and the Clarisonic Brush. Click to purchase HERE.

Skin PEELS are recommended for acne prone skin to exfoliate dead skin cells and prevent debris from building up. One of my recommendations is the “RED CARPET FACIAL”, a peel designed by Dr. Obagi a favourite of Hollywood celebrities because of results that allow you to look glowing immediately after the treatment and without irritating side effects.

Dehydrated:

This skin lacks moisture and can be experienced by either DRY or OILY skin types. Yes…. you can be OILY and DEHYDRATED.  Do not confuse “oil” with “hydration”!  Healthy functioning skin cells can produce hydration within the cell without the presence of oil.

Skin dehydration is influenced by lifestyle and environmental factors such as diet, weather, incorrect product use, and internal factors such as hormonal imbalance. Dehydrated skin can feel flaky, itchy, sensitive, and tight.  OILY skin that is dehydrated can be complicated with acne because when OILY skin is dehydrated, it sends the message to produce MORE oil, leading to a break out.

What to do when your skin is dehydrated:

Restore moisture to dehydrated skin by layering ingredients that encourage hydration.  After cleansing with a cream or oil-based cleanser, use a TONER to balance skin pH, such as Vivier Toner, then apply serums containing ingredients such as HYALURONIC ACID, like Vivier’s HYDRAGEL serum. Exfoliating 3 or more times a week reduces the dead cell build up which can block the penetration of hydrating ingredients into the skin. Exfoliation is the “key” to hydration. I recommend using the following products to encourage gentle exfoliation: GENTLE CREAM EXFOLIANT or DAILY MICROFOLIANT by Dermalogica and Vivier’s AHA/BHA MOISTURIZER.

Wrinkle Prone Skin: 

Wrinkles are a direct result of volume loss in our faces as we get older. Naturally, our skin’s ability to create collagen diminishes by 2% every year after the age of 30. However, because of lifestyle choices and environmental assaults, you can see wrinkles appear as early as in your twenties.  Though we cannot control natural aging, we can certainly slow it down by controlling these choices and manipulating how the environment affects us.

What to do when your skin is wrinkle prone:

Dr. Obagi states, “thick skin ages by folding downward, causing ‘jowling’. For thick skin, wrinkles come later in life because there is more collagen and elastin in thick skin.  Thick skin needs ingredients to tighten such as GROWTH FACTOR SERUM with RETINOL. Treatments such as the ENDYMED SKIN TIGHTENING procedure or SCULPTRA facial injectable filler are also great options for supporting the collagen and elastin in the skin.

Thin skin ages earlier in life and needs products that stimulate collagen to thicken the skin.  An ideal product for this is Vivier’s GRENZCINE SERUM.

Sensitized Skin: 

Everyone tells me their skin is “sensitive”.  I believe this condition is closely related to internal factors because our skin is a direct reflection of what is going on inside.   Sensitized skin is characterized by the following: “flare ups” caused by food intake, emotional states, redness to face, neck, and chest, itching and burning in response to contact to such things as fragrances or irritants.

What to do when your skin is sensitized: 

Prevent sensitivity by identifying and avoiding factors that irritate your skin.  Common irritants are artificial fragrance, SD alcohol, lanolin, and mineral oil.

Cleanse and treat sensitized skin with products such as Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser which does not require use of water.  Use a barrier cream such as Dermalogica Barrier Repair or Vivier Lexxel Moisturizer.

Pigmented Skin: 

Pigmentation in the form of sunspots (also known as age spots), and discoloured patches throughout the face are caused by sun exposure or hormonal imbalance. As our skin gets older sun damage from earlier years becomes more visible on the surface.  Melanocytes are responsible for the skin’s colour. These melanin cells can protect skin from discolouration, but can also become overactive due to excessive sun exposure and hormonal imbalances, thus causing increased pigmentation.

What to do when your skin is pigmented:

Sun protection is key to preventing and controlling pigmentation. Avoiding direct sun exposure during the hours of 12pm and 4pm, applying sunscreen 30 mins prior to sun exposure, then reapplying sunscreen every 90 minutes when outdoors, are the three best practices for sun protection.

Vivier’s SKIN TX program for hyperpigmentation is an excellent treatment regime for pigmented skin. It is a medical grade skin lightening and correcting program formulated with 4 % pharmaceutical grade Hydroquinone, antioxidants and Lactic Acid to gradually lighten discolouration and give skin a more even texture.

Accurately identifying both your skin’s type and condition will have you well on your way to controlling its behavior. Altering lifestyle and environmental factors along and utilizing the best skincare regimen for your unique needs will keep you well armed in maintaining and improving beautiful skin.

With Warm Regards,

Hannah Arcega

Founder of Thermae Centre for Advanced Aesthetics

Personally follow Hannah’s own beauty and health journey on Instagram here: @AgeSmarter

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