You can probably recall quite a few occasions when you have applied a supposedly awesome skincare product to your skin, only to wait and find that... it doesn't work. Well, maybe you don't see anything materialising, anyway. Why does this kind of situation keep happening?
It's probably because you aren't aware of your specific skin type - and, for that reason, have kept selecting the wrong skincare products for it. How can you get yourself back on course?
Decide what type of skin you have
Discerning your own skin type can be a taxing endeavour; however, once you have solved this particular riddle, you will be in a better position to buy the right products for your skin.
Dermatologist Neal Schultz, MD, advises in a Glamour article that you ask yourself two particular questions. These are the questions of whether your forehead and nose become shiny just a few hours after you wash them and whether your cheeks are dry and tight.
Saying "no" to each question means that you have normal skin, which WebMD describes as "balanced, clear, not sensitive." However, answering yes to the first question but no to the second would mean that your skin is oily - and, hence, could be described as shiny and greasy.
So, what if you respectively answer "no" and "yes" to these questions? You would have dry skin, which could feel scaly or rough to the touch. Meanwhile, answering "yes" to both questions would be an indicator of combination skin, with some spots dry and others oily.
I could throw yet another spanner into the works here by mentioning another skin type: sensitive skin. If you have such skin, it could burn, sting or itch when certain skincare products are used on it.
Select products suited to your skin type
If your skin is of the normal or combination type, try experimenting with different skincare products. Once you have found a gentle cleanser, use your fingertips to apply it; don't scrub. After you use warm water to rinse skin which you pat dry, it could dry out or oil up, proving the cleanser unfitting.
Dry skin would also call for a gentle cleanser - while, in the case of oily skin, look for a foaming cleanser that doesn't contain oil. Sensitive skin could respond best to products with such soothing ingredients as chamomile, aloe, oats and green tea polyphenols.
What shouldn't you do?
Knowing what skincare products to opt for can also largely be a matter of knowing which ones to avoid. As a general rule, think twice about plumping for DIY hacks the effectiveness of which seems largely anecdotal. For example, give a wide berth to lemon juice, which is way too high in acidity, says Healthline. Baking soda - despite actress Emma Stone advocating it - can stress the skin.
It's a safer bet to go for products that are specially formulated for the skin. The Tropic Skincare site is one reputable online outlet of such products which comprise reassuringly natural ingredients.