Skin types are often separated into three basic categories: oily, dry and combination. Your skin type determines pretty much every aspect of your skin care routine, so it’s essential to know what it is before you start buying products.
- Skin types can change with time—especially as people grow out of adolescence. If your skin used to be oily or acne-prone, for example, you might consider reevaluating it for changes now.
- Seasons also affect skin type: Many people experience dryness in the winter months, for example, or oiliness after getting a tan. If your skin is doing things out of the ordinary, you may need to alter your regimen based on the time of year.
- The three main skin type distinctions can be limiting; many people have skin that lies somewhere in between. The sites in this section take into account the fact that not everyone fits exactly into one type.
Some skin conditions are unique to ethnic skin. The Web sites below detail what these conditions are, and how you can develop a routine based on your skin’s particular needs. You’ll also find information on products designed specifically for ethnic skin.
- One major myth about dark skin is that it's not as susceptible to sun damage as lighter skin. Many of these sites explore the misconception that more melanoma means less skin damage.
- To find skin care products made especially for ethnic skin, see this guide's "Skin Care Products" section. Or, for even more resources, visit findingDulcinea’s Makeup Web Guide.
- Although certain skin conditions are more common in ethnic skin, care basics are similar. Visit the “Skin Care Routines” section of this guide to learn the first steps in caring for your skin.
In order to keep skin healthy, it’s a good idea to develop a regular skin care routine for cleansing and protecting skin. Use these Web sites to learn what your skin needs, and what routine will serve it best.
- Sometimes when you use a product for a long time, its effectiveness wears out. Consider revamping your routine to keep your skin looking its best. You can always return to your favorite products after a hiatus.
- A good place to get hands-on advice about skin care is from the makeup counter at a department store. Sales people often offer free consultations; just be mindful that they will also try hard to send you home with pricey items. Find out which products work best for you, and then compare prices online. See this guide's “Skin Care Products” section.
- If you do a simple search for “skin care routine” using a regular search engine you’ll find several products promising to make you younger, healthier and more beautiful … for a price. Be wary of these products; research them carefully, and try to purchase only items that come with a satisfaction guarantee.
If you're experiencing skin irritation but aren't sure if your situation is serious enough to warrant a dermatologist visit, use these sites to do some research. Many skin conditions are normal and treatable from home. These sites can help you identify and deal with your problem.
- Some of the sites below may contain graphic images. Be prepared to see some detailed pictures of skin conditions, infections and scars.
- If your condition persists after you’ve tried treating it yourself, or if you suspect something serious, don’t hesitate to contact a dermatologist.
- Be careful when treating skin conditions yourself; even over-the-counter products can be potent, so be mindful of how your skin reacts. Always check warning labels before using a product. Many products will advise you to test the product on a less sensitive patch of skin such as your arm or leg.
Skin treatments can be purely cosmetic, or for medical purposes. You may have heard of options like botox or microdermabrasions but are unsure of what those processes entail. The sites below provide definitions and detailed information about professional skin care treatments.
- If you're considering a complicated skin procedure, it's wise to go through a certified professional or dermatologist. Although some salons and spas offer treatments at lower prices, the risk might not be worth taking. Visit this guide's “Dermatologists” section to find one nearby.
- If you choose to have a treatment done at a salon or spa, be sure that it's sanitary. One good way to do this is to inquire about sterilization processes.
- Don’t get any treatments done if you have a big event planned or are going to be spending time in the sun. Many dermatological processes can irritate skin or make it light sensitive.
Although many skin care treatments can be done without visiting a dermatologist's office, there are a number of reasons why visiting a trained medical professional can be essential. Use the sites in this section to find a dermatologist near you.
- One good way to find a dermatologist is through your insurance provider. Check to see which skin doctors accept your insurance plan before scheduling an appointment.
- If you have any suspicious moles or lesions, or experience a persistent skin condition that you have not been able to treat yourself, don’t hesitate to call a dermatologist.
Not only can you buy skin care products online, but most sites that deal in skin care products also offer valuable information about them. The following sites point you to some of the most reliable resources to buy skin care products of all kinds, including natural and organic items.
- If you're buying makeup online, be advised that it is often difficult to match your skin tone to the colors on the screen. You might consider testing your shades in a store before purchasing them online.
- If you experience allergic reactions or irritations from skin care products, you may find the natural and organic Web sites listed below to be helpful. “Natural” and “organic” aren't the same thing, however. The USDA's organic guidelines outline the differences.
Get information on the health risks and benefits of tanning.
- Be mindful of the arguments against tanning. It can be an unhealthy process, especially in excess. We suggest consulting your physician or dermatologist, or at least doing thorough research before you begin to tan.
- There are many sunless tanning options. Most salons offer these alternatives. You can also use lotions at home, available at drugstores.
These sites go beyond the basics of recommending sunscreen. Learn how to identify skin damage and protect yourself from it.
- Many of the images that appear in these Web sites are of a somewhat graphic medical nature and may not be appropriate for all audiences.
- Although the following sites will help you identify dangerous moles and skin problems through images and explanations, there is no substitute for visiting a medical professional if you suspect that a skin discoloration or mole may be dangerous.
- Intensify your research into skin damage with the findingDulcinea Skin Cancer Web Guide.