Simple and Affordable Basics for a Great Complexion

by Gina Blitstein · 1 comment

Skin care – it’s frighteningly easy to justify and spend a fortune at the drugstore or cosmetics counter, in search of the secrets to a healthy and attractive complexion. Skin care choices in the marketplace are overwhelming and the claims made by the products’ advertisers can be both overblown and confusing. Being knowledgeable about our skin’s needs is really the only way to make sensible choices when shopping for products to care for our complexions.

Know thy skin type

The skin on our faces holds the distinction of being that which is most exposed to the elements while also being the skin that’s most visible to others. For that reason, we tend to want to take special pains to ensure that it’s as healthy and attractive as possible.

Skin comes in four basic types: dry, oily, combination (including oily areas and dry patches) and sensitive. Taking our skin type into consideration when evaluating products considerably simplifies and economizes our skincare choices.

All skin, regardless of type, has three basic needs: cleansing, moisturizing and sunscreen.


Cleansers loosen dirt, excess oil and remnants of products so they can be easily removed from the skin.

Follow these guidelines when choosing cleanser for your skin type:

  • Dry – cleanse with a gentle cleanser as needed, up to twice a day
  • Oily – cleanse with an oil-free, non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) cleanser as needed, up to twice a day
  • Combination – cleanse with a mild cleanser that’s not too drying as needed, up to twice a day
  • Sensitive – cleanse with a mild cleanser that’s free of alcohol, soap and fragrance once a day

To help you choose the right type of cleanser, be aware that they’re available as:

  • Bar soaps – These work best for removing dirt but may be irritating to skin
  • Liquid cleansers – These work for all skin types except for the oiliest and are generally non-irritating
  • Facial cleansers – These tend to be less effective at removing dirt but are the mildest to skin

Your goal should be to find the mildest product possible that effectively cleans your skin without causing dryness.


Moisturizer replenishes elements needed to maintain skin’s structure, avoid damage from free-radicals and enhance cell function.

Follow these guidelines when choosing moisturizer for your skin type:

  • Dry – use a creamy moisturizer right after cleansing; re-apply when skin feels tight
  • Oily and Combination  – use a lightweight, oil free product
  • Sensitive – use a creamy moisturizer

Know what you’re buying! Some common moisturizer ingredients and their functions are:

  • Glycerol – helps water and other moisturizer ingredients penetrate skin
  • Ceramides – help replenish skin’s natural oils
  • Hydroxy Acids – help with exfoliation of dead skin cells
  • Niacinamide – helps skin produce more natural oils; may also help reverse signs of sun-damaged skin, like brown spots and blotchiness


Protecting your skin from sun exposure is crucial to its health and appearance. The sun ages and dries skin, causes age spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. Even minute amounts of sun exposure every day can cumulatively have a negative effect on skin. Protect your skin with a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 everyday, even when it’s overcast. Some daytime moisturizers conveniently include sunscreen in their formulation.

Live Smart for Healthy Skin

Beyond products you put on it, adopting these healthy habits will also help your skin look its best, including:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat a healthy and varied diet
  • Exercise to increase blood flow and sweat flushes out impurities from skin
  • Lessen stress

Know what you need for your skin type and you’ll find that the basics to a great complexion are actually affordable, sensible and effective.

Remember to check out the newest beauty coupons that we found online for the latest discounts in cosmetics and skin care products. What are your complexion basics?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TB at BlueCollarWorkman May 16, 2012 at 11:48 am

This is going directly to my wife’s inbox, she’ll love it, thanks!

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