Ask Dija: How often should I exfoliate, steam and mask?

There is not a one size fits all answer as everyone has a different skin type with differing concerns. So I followed the question with my own question, as you do.

How would you describe your skin type and what age group do you fall into?

Answer: Combination skin, early 20’s.

Combination skin tends to have an oily T zone – forehead, nose and chin – and dry/normal areas on the cheeks. The pores tend to be larger on the T zone which produce more oil and shine on the surface of the skin. Early 20’s would fall into the young skin bracket, so we’d expect supple, plump and firm skin.

In addition to your CTM routine I would recommend the following.

Steam

A steam will warm up your face to open pores and dislodge dry skin and you can do this on a daily basis whilst cleansing with a flannel. Simply run hot water over the flannel (as hot as your hand can stand without scalding, we don’t want any burns!), wring and lay on your face. (make sure its not too hot, again I worry about scalding!) This is a an extremely gentle steaming method, but highly effective. Leave super-duper steams to your facialist who by the way you should be seeing on a monthly basis. If you aren’t, start now because all skin types benefits from a deep clean!

Exfoliate

You need to exfoliation to remove dead skin cells that have been dislodged through your gentle steam and are just hanging on. Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant is perfect for combination skin and all time favourite. Its rice based enzyme scrub so its gentle enough to use everyday. Gritty exfoliators are a big no-no as they’ll only vex your skin.

Masks

When it comes to masks,  I don’t subscribe to a one size fits all mantra. I truly believe with combination skin you have to tackle the different areas in isolation and there’s nothing strange or extravagant about using two different types of masks.

On the T zone a clay based mask is best. This will soak up oil straight up out of the pores to purify and help mattify the skin. Depending on how oily your T zone is every 2 – 3 days should suffice. One of the best for general day-to-day maintenance is Garnier Pure 3 in 1 Wash-Scrub-Mask which contains kaolin – the oil absorber.

On dry cheeks or other generally dry areas, you want something that’s going to moisturise and hydrate your skin deep within. 1 or 2 times a week should be fine. I would recommend something along the lines of Weleda Wild Rose Intensive Facial Masque. It will brighten any dull skin and balance moisture levels.

See products here.

Having said this, it really very important to pay close attention to your skin and listen to it. Feed your skin what it needs and set your own standard for your personal skin care.

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