Acne, Amazing Ingredients, Dark Spots, Dry Skin, Exfoliate, Eye Care, Hydration, Masks, Oily Skin, Pampering, Pores, Sensitive Skin, Signs of Aging, Skin Care, Skin Care Routine, Sun Care, Supplements, Uneven Skin Tone

Skin Care Essentials Part 4: Special Skin Concerns

Sun Care

Sun care is not actually a special concern, but an important part of your daily routine (protect). As you go through this post you will see that many special concerns are caused or exasperated by sun exposure. Look for products recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation for DAILY use, year round, to protect from brief direct or incidental exposure.

Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin can make finding the right skin care difficult. Not everyone is sensitive to the same things, so what works for your friend may not work for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add on any serums or masks to get the healthy skin benefits you are looking for. Here are a few tips:

  • Give it time: If you are experiencing some slight sensitivity or irritation try giving it two weeks to let your skin adjust. Think of it this way, running is good for you, but if you get up off the couch with no experience and go for a 10 mile run you will hurt yourself. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from starting a running routine. Sometimes you need to work up to it, and it’s the same with skin care. So, especially if a skin care routine is new to you, give yourself a little time to adjust.
  • Make changes slowly: Add supplements one at a time to avoid overwhelming your skin. This will also help to pinpoint what types of ingredients are irritating to you.
  • Experiment: If sensitivity or irritation is severe or continues past a couple weeks try something new, with fewer ingredients. Again this is especially important if you are new to skin care. After you have a well established routine you can try the product again if it offers benefits you are looking for.
  • Use more simple products instead of combined products: Sometimes it better to layer ingredients instead of mix them. A great example for this would be to use a moisturizer without spf and layer a product with spf on top of it.


Contrary to what you may have be told, acne is not caused by poor diet or poor hygiene (although poor hygiene may exasperate the problem). Acne occurs when the canals that bring oil to the surface of your skin become blocked with a naturally occurring protein, keratin. If your oil glans become overactive, say because of hormonal changes, while the canals are blocked then the bacteria that naturally occurs on your skin and in the oils becomes trapped and multiply, causing irritation and inflammation.

So what should you do about it? It’s important to wash your face twice a day, and only twice a day. Over washing can lead to further irritation. Also keep your hair clean and off your face as much as possible. Use water based, non-comedogenic, or oil-free skin care and cosmetics to avoid further clogging pores.

Ingredients to look for

  • Alpha hydroxy acids
  • Bentonite Clay
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid

What to add to your daily routine:

  • Toner: a facial toner helps to remove excess dirt, traces of oil and makeup, correct and balance the pH of your skin, and helps control acne. It should be used after cleansing but before moisturizing.
  • Consider adding a serum to help to clear out pores with salicylic acid and ingredients to sooth the skin. Serums can be used after cleansing but before moisturizing.

What to add for occasional use:

  • Charcoal masks: A charcoal mask will pull impurities from deep in your pores to help keep them clear. It can be used 2-3 times a week. I would recommend this for everyone, except those with very dry skin. Follow it with a pore minimizer serum for even better results! Use for 20 minutes after cleansing, then follow with toner or serums and moisturizer.
  • The use an acne treatment gel with benzoyl peroxide for flare-ups. I use this when pimples pop up because of hormones or stress. Use once or twice a day after cleansing and toner as needed.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Acne care products can be very drying, so start with the mildest formula you can find and work your way up from there. It’s possible that if your skin gets too dry it will start producing even more oil. Continue reading to learn about how to treat dry skin below.
  • The AOCD does not recommend exfoliation for chronic acne, because it can inflame the skin further. But if you have cyclical acne from your period, exfoliating prior to when you would normally breakout can help keep your pores clear and inflammation to a minimum.
  • Because many of these ingredients may increase your sensitivity to the sun it is especially important to protect your skin from further damage by using sunscreen and staying in the shade or wearing hat as much as possible.

Large Pores

Large pores may be primarily genetic, but they can also be caused by oily skin, sun damage, and a lack of skin elasticity as you age. Their appearance may be exaggerated by dry skin. So the first step in improving the appearance of is to establish a strong healthy routine of cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting appropriate for your skin type. But there are things you can do to keep your pores clean and appearing smaller if problems persist.

What to add to your daily routine:

  • Pore minimizing or pore purifying serums can be used daily to help keep pore clear of excess sebum and improve elasticity.

What to add for occasional use:

  • Exfoliate 2-3 times a week on non-consecutive days. Use exfoliators as the step immediately following cleansing, before applying any serums or moisturizers.
  • A Charcoal Mask to the rescue again. Because this does such a fantastic job keeping pores cleaned out it does wonders to help lessen their appearance.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • An exfoliator and the charcoal mask should only be used 2-3 times a week each, but because they work in very different ways they may be used on alternating days giving your skin a boost daily. Space their use out more if you experience sensitivity to the routine
  • Exfoliating may aggravate inflamed skin, avoid using an exfoliator around active acne sights during occasional breakouts.
  • Look for products that meet European Union production standards, so you can avoid exfoliators that contain no plastic microbeads which are harmful to the environment. Plastic microbeads may be listed as polyethylene, polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polymethyl methacrylate, polylactic acid, or nylon in the ingredient list

Sign of Aging

Signs of aging affect everyone. As we age we experience decreased collagen production, decreased skin elasticity, and decreased production of our natural oils and hydration of your skin. Dry skin and age spots will be addressed specifically, but you will notice a lot of overlap in the types of skin care ingredients that help to minimize both those conditions and general signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging skin. Always start with a cleanser and moisturizer formulated with anti-aging benefits in mind and add on supplements from there.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Arbutin: found in Bearberry and cultures of Mongolian berry (Schisandra Chinesis)
  • Ellagic acid: antioxidant found in Raspberries (Rubus Idaeus)
  • Hydroxy acids
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Grape extracts (vitis vinifera): Grape Seed Oil and/or Resveratrol (from grape skins)
  • Niacinamide/Niacin/Vitamin B3
  • Peptides
  • Tea extracts (Camellia sinensis)
  • Vitamin A/Retinol
  • Vitamin C

What to add to your daily routine:

  • Eye Cream. Because the skin around your eyes is the most delicate, it is often the first place to show signs of aging. Using a moisturizer specifically made to target your eyes will help minimize those first signs of aging. Use twice a day at the same time as your facial moisturizer.
  • Vitamin C is a miracle vitamin. It’s full of antioxidants to fight off skin damaging free radicals and increases collage product to help fill out and firm skin and smooth out wrinkles. Freshness is a key factor in applying Vitamin C, so it is not included in typical cleansers and moisturizers. Because it may cause sensitivity to UV rays I recommend only using it at night.
  • Anti aging serums can improve skins elasticity and volume, smooth, wrinkles and lift sagging skin. Look for the ingredients listed above

What to add for occasional use:

  • Anti-aging masks. A mask allows a more potent dose of powerful ingredients to be absorbed by your skin. Keep in mind that your skin is rebuilding itself at night and many anti-aging ingredients may increase your sensitivity to the sun, so anti-aging masks may be best used in the evening.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • For anti-aging an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so the best thing you can do is protect your skin from the sun, live a healthy lifestyle, and start a healthy skin care regimen young. But it is never too late to start taking care of your skin.
  • Environmental damage and aging takes time to heal. Do not expect lasting results overnight. Give your skin at least 35 days to refresh itself and build up its reserves of vitamins and minerals from a daily anti-aging routine.
  • Add additional supplements as needed to combat specific skin care concerns as part of your anti aging routine

Dark Spots or Uneven Skin Tone

Dark spots, age spots, liver spots–they are all forms of hyper pigmentation and can occur on any skin type. Hyper pigmentation can be caused by inflammation, sun exposure, or other environmental exposure, which causes the skin to replicate its self at a higher rate than normal. New spots, especially those with irregular boarders or textures, or that are growing quickly, should be checked out by your doctor to rule out cancer. But there are many options to treat the appearance of dark spots. So what do you want to see in skin care to treat dark spots?

Ingredients to look for:

  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra)
  • Niacinamide/Vitamin B3
  • Navy Bean Extract
  • Retinoids/Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C

What to add to your daily routine:

  • A Tone Correcting Serum will even and brighten overall skin tone and improve the appearance of dark spots and scars on your skin. Use up to twice daily after cleansing, before moisturizing.
  • Vitamin C is good for so many aspects of skin care, including lightening dark spots. It may increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so it is best used at night after cleansing. before moisturizing.

What to add for occasional use:

  • Exfoliators: Hyper-pigmentation occurs deep within the skin, so using an exfoliator 2-3 times a week (on non-consecutive days) will help to rid your face of dry, dead, and damaged upper layers revealing healthy skin faster.

Things to keep in mind:

  • The important thing to remember with dark spots is that the damage is done very deep in your skin, so you will not see results overnight.
  • Because dark spots are caused/worsen by UV damage and many of these ingredients may increase your sensitivity to the sun it is especially important to protect your skin from further damage by using sunscreen and staying in the shade or wearing hat as much as possible. Avoid being out during mid-day when sunlight is harshest if possible

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be caused by a number of environmental elements, like harsh cleansers, over cleansing, sun exposure, or wind damage. Our skin also tends to become drier as we age because our body produces fewer of our natural oils. Start with a gentle cleanser appropriate for your skin type and always finish with a moisturizer that addresses any other skin concerns. Consider layering moisturizers for additional hydration. Apply your moisturizer to slightly damp skin to lock in that moisture.

Ingredients to look for:

  • Antioxidants
  • Aquaporins
  • Ceramides
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Glycerin
  • Petroleum
  • Plant butters and oils
  • Squalene
  • Urea/Carbamide

What to add to your daily routine:

  • A moisturizer formulated for dry or extra dry skin. You may choose to add a heavier moisturizer before bed in addition to your regular moisturizer.

What to add for occasional use:

  • Exfoliators: Dead skin on the surface of your face can prevent moisturizers from reaching the healthy skin in lower layers. Use these with caution because over exfoliating can irritate dry skin.
  • Look for moisturizing masks packed with antioxidants, vitamins B3 and E, and squalene to nourish your skin and improve it’s appearance and hydration. Use it 2-3 times a week for at least 10 minutes, some may be worn overnight to increased moisturization.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Try not to use very hot water when washing and gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing.
  • Applying a moisturizer to slightly damp skin can help lock in that moisture.
  • Your skin may benefit from using more intense moisturizer at night when it is resting and restoring itself.
  • You may require more intense moisturizers in the winter or when the air is dry than in humid conditions.

To get the most out of your skin care, speak with someone trained to help you take care of your skin. Your local Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant has an abundance of products to specialize your skin care to meet your specific needs. Don’t have an Independent Beauty Consultant? Learn more!

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