Thursday, August 20, 2009

"I Like the Combo Plate"

The most hilarious Chelsea Handler used the above quote to describe Jamie Lynn Sigler (famously known as 'Meadow' of the Sopranos) as a mix between Marisa Tomei and Angie Harmon. She kills me.

However, I'm not talking about food or hybrid celebrities. I'm addressing the issue of combination skin, which can often tease and torment many women with little relief.

This is a tricky problem; you know the feeling of dry skin in the morning, so you lather on the face lotion, then BAM! afternoon hits and you're as greasy as a new oil change? I hear this too many times; I even suffer from this back and forth. Combination skin is quite common; basic acne even affects 90% of America. Nonetheless, a combination of oily and sensitive skin is harder to master.

If you have the time and money; facials are key and I mean professional ones. Sugar Laboratories in NE Portland has a fantastic esthetician. But as we all know, most don't have the luxury like celebrities to get the routine facials. So here we are; the lowly peons looking for some relief!

Take this all with a grain of salt; every single person has a completely different skin balance of oil and dryness, so I am speaking from my own experience. Take into account any medications you are on, topical creams, diet and exercise, and all will play a part in the look and feel of your skin. In addition, if you have sensitive skin, this is an additional aspect I will try to address; but remember this; try not to switch up your regimen too much. Your skin will freak.

First: Face Wash

I have tried a variety of face cleansers; foamers, scrubbers, creams, washes, cloths etc. From the many I have experimented with, I found two I love that seem to give me the results for which I'm always looking.

These are; Biore Revitalize 4-in-1 Self Foaming Cleanser, $11.49 (which I have blogged about before) and Neutrogena's Oil Free Acne Wash Cleansing Cloths, around $7.99. Both products include Salicylic Acid, the vital ingredient to combat acne.

If the cloths are too harsh for your skin, try Neutrogena's Make-Up Remover Cleansing Towelettes, $7.99, which are perfect for sensitive skin (Dermo tested). If you want to follow-up the towelettes with something a little deeper, try any foaming cleanser for sensitive skin (which I believe Clean and Clear has as an option) that contains salicylic acid.

The key here is looking for salicylic acid; you don't want high percentages of the ingredient, but just a little will help fight the pimples and bumps. The extra perk with the towelettes and cloths, PERFECT for traveling!

*Note; washing your skin too much and too long will also cause your skin to dry out heavily (especially with hot water) causing your skin to think it needs to produce a lot of oil to balance your skin and then, your oil glands end up over-producing. Hence, the greasy face. I recommend in the morning, washing with only cold water. If this is weird for you, try a DAB of foaming cleanser with cold water and make it a quick wash.

Second: Day Cream

As I've said, always buy a lotion that contains SPF (15+). The real trick to finding your best beauty product for your skin is to try, try and try. It often takes a search to figure out what is perfect for your skin. But at the same time, give your skin time to get used to the products; don't switch and throw it all in the garbage after just a week.

Always looks for oil-free, non-comodegenic (won't clog pores). SPF lotions will create a bit of a thicker feeling, so don't be alarmed, just use a small amount, like half a dime size. Clean and Clear as well as Neutrogena (no surprise here) make a plethora of day creams that are oil-free and non-comodegenic.

Clean & Clear Advantage Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer Salicylic Acne Medication, $7.49

Use a very small amount, blend in your palm, and rub in circular motions upwards on your face, which will train your skin to remain tight and elastic. Never rub or pull down. I never use my fingertips to blend lotion; it can often go on heavy. Instead, by rubbing the lotion with your palms, your hands will absorb some of the lotion, so as not to go on too thick on your face. But this might also be my OCD.

Third: Night Cream

If you are using a topical cream, your skin is going to be very sensitive and dry. Depending on how often you use the topical cream, my advice is to lather on the night cream. This is the time when your skin truly regenerates and rests, where it will rebuild the most cells. So give it the nourishment it needs. I absolutely LOVE:

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Lotion (again, a previous blog item), $20 and Garnier Regenerating Night Cream, $10.99

Both are non-comodegenic, light but deeply moisturizing. And in the morning, rinse with cold water and slather on a tiny dab of day cream. Follow this with powder foundation if you are prone to get oily.

Now, after this entirely long blog, some of these may not work the best for your skin, but it's worth a try. And if not, search for yourself. Neutrogena is my go-to for almost everything. However, if you want to spend a little more, Mario Badescu and DDF--Doctor's Dermatologic are two great brands to fight acne and oil. {DDF can be found at Sephora stores}

In addition, remember that your skin is constantly transforming. Some years you will notice you are oiler than usual, and some years very dry. The climate you live in makes a difference; mountain air versus humidity (*cough, Portland in the summer). Hormones cause changes as well as EXERCISE. Researches have found the more you exercise, the less acne you have. So put on those running shoes and go sweat!

I hope this shed a little light on your skin regimen. The perfect balance is a hard line to walk, but I wish you the best of luck. Onward and upward!

{all products found at most drugstores; Walgreens, Target and Rite Aid}

Best xo,

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