How To Do Your Own Skin Analysis
I really, honestly believe that our skin plays a huge role in how we function as individuals. A pimple can prevent a female from going on a date. Acne can make a boy very withdrawn and remain a virgin for a long time. Ooops...I hope I didn't violate any rules by saying that, but it's true, don't you believe me? But having a skin analysis can help you avoid certain social problems.
Knowing how your skin is doing will help you make a decision about the products you should be using and what treatments are needed. This is quite easy to do and can save you time and money. I am going to share with you a way to help save money on a professional skin assessment by doing your own skin analysis.
Doing an assessment should be a part of your skin regime and done at least once per month. Performing this can help you avoid or treat many skin problems that may arise.
Items You Will Need
Option 1 - Take a large handheld mirror. A magnifying mirror or a 12 - 15 inch mirror will do. Go somewhere where there is bright sunlight (not in the direct sun of course). There is no better lighting than natural light to be able to see your skin's details.
Option 2 - Wall mirror that can be moved (you may need to put it in an area that is lighted by sunlight), a handheld magnifying glass. Make sure the mirror is on the wall because you will need to keep one hand free. Stand in front of the mirror. Hold the magnifying glass close enough to the skin where you can get a clear view of the skin.
Option 3 - A very good digital camera and you computer. This is kinda different from the first two. All you need to do is stand in good outdoor lighting, take close up pictures of your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin. Transfer them to your computer and magnify.
Do you know your skin type?
Which one are you?
Your Skin Analysis
Texture - Run your freehand along your face starting at the forehead, then the nose, the cheeks and then the chin. Make a note of whether it's smooth, soft or coarse.
Firmness - Use your free hand and check the firmness. Is the skin soft or floppy? Are your cheeks sagging? Look closely for fine lines and wrinkles. Make a note.
Fluid retention - Yes, fluid can be retained under the eyes. Puffiness often happens after a long time at the computer or upon awakening in the morning.
Moisture level - Does your skin feel dry, itchy and taut. When you run your hand on your face do your fingers look oily? Are some places dry and others oily. This determines whether you have oily, dry or combination skin.
Tone - Some places on the face may look darker or lighter than others.
Pores - Are your pores visibly open? Are they closed?
The capillaries - There might be areas of redness or sensitivity.
Make a note over everything you encounter about your skin.
Take care of your skin
You have to wear your skin all the time so take care of it. Just like your garments you need to dry clean at times or do a complete wash. There are times you need to just air them while other times you sun them for a bit. If you have a sensitive sweater you don't wash it with the other garments, use the same detergent, wash in the machine, or put it in the dryer for it may shrink or be damaged become damaged.
The point is, don't wash your face in the shower. Wash your face at the sink. Consciously think about it and realize that washing your face in the shower means using the stuff you use on your body, you won't be able to wash your face properly (forehead, cheeks, nose and chin, never soap, scrub or foam the eyes) or you may over wash.
Here is how you wash your face (men this goes for you too)
Wet face, squirt your cleanser on your fingers and foam it with a little water. Start from the nose bridge (with fingers) up to the forehead, come around in a circular motion around the eyes and up the nose. From the side of the nose out on the cheek and up over the cheek and down towards the jawline. Run the fingers across the chin crosswise. Rinse the hands, cup hands and splash the water over the face, don't rub. Splash as many times as needed to get rid of the soap/foam.. Leave to air dry or pat dry, never rub.
Take snapshots of your skin then upload them to your computer
Solution for Skin Types
Roughness - this may be caused by dead skin cells, pimples caused from clogged pores or extra dryness. Roughness could also be a sign of acne. If you suspect acne you need to get acne treatment. You need to do a slough and or a mask. Do the slough first and then the mask two days later. But first determine your skin type.
Puffy eyes - pretty easy to treat, usually caused from stress or tired eyes. A couple of slices of cucumber placed over the eyes at 20 minute intervals should reduce the puffiness. Any darkness under the eyes will be reduced after a couple of days rest.
Oily Skin - Use an astringent to reduce oiliness. An oil absorbing mask is also good. Your moisturizer should be oil free. You should also have a reduced fat diet as this also plays an important role in the health of our skin. Vinegar is a good astringent when diluted. It is safe and does not dry out the skin the way alcohol does.
Dry Skin - Dry skin causes fine line and wrinkles. Reduce this by reducing the amount of times you wash your face, try not to use soap too many times per day. I generally use my foaming cleanser in the afternoon and plain water in the morning. Your skin attract dirt and debris throughout the day so I do a thorough cleansing at night, I do my scrub two nights per week, and I go to bed knowing my face is clean. When you wake from sleep, your skin is usually renewed because rest renews and rejuvenates the skin. So in the morning you need not aggravate the skin so much. Plain water is best at this point. The oils that your skin produced throughout the night will keep the skin supple for a few hours. You may wash the face in the afternoon, maybe with a cleanser. I just wet a piece of paper towel and pat the face. I leave it to air dry. You may spritz the face with rose water or other moisturizing toners to keep moisture in.
Combination Skin - A light moisturizing slough does the trick. The above therapy should also work.
Pores - If you can see your pores then something is wrong. If they are open and visible then maybe you are able to see sebum. Sebum is secreted by the sebaceous gland in the skin. It keeps the hair and skin from drying out but an excess can lead to oily skin or will look like tiny white heads when magnified. A deep cleansing mask or whitehead removal treatment should work fine.
Tone - discoloration, an uneven tone or blemishes can be caused by acne, sun damage and aging. First you need a sloughing to remove dead skin cells. Follow up with always wearing sunscreen even when indoors or during the winter months. You also want to use a toner. Rose water and witch hazel are two natural toners which agree with most skin types, even sensitive skin.
Redness and sensitivity can be caused through exposure to chemicals, the environment and allergic reactions. Stop everything you use on your face for a couple of days. If the redness is still there then maybe consider that your cleaning agent might be causing some skin reactions. If you are unsure see your doctor/dermatologist.
Carolee Samuda holds certification in Skin Care and Make-up Application.
© 2011 Carolee Samuda