by team
Looking for answers to specific beauty-related questions, or curious about how to establish an effective skincare routine? Want to update your beauty products or treat skin conditions like psoriasis? Our Beauty & Skincare Guide can help! Peruse the following FAQs to get tips on finding the right products for your skin type and maintaining healthy skin year-round, in every season.


“There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

Ever wonder why the same product that delivers miracle results for some people just doesn’t work for your skin? The answer might be simpler than you think. Before you can create an effective skincare regimen, you first have to know your skin type. Do you battle dry, flaky skin, or does excess oil keep you reaching for the blotting papers? Maybe your challenge is finding a cleanser that doesn’t cause rash and irritation. Whether your skin type is dry, oily, acne-prone, combination or sensitive, the key is using the right products and ingredients. Read on for helpful FAQs on how to determine your skin type and what to look for in a skincare routine.

Sensitive & combination skin

» Q. How can I determine my skin type?

A: There are countless factors that influence skin type including weather, genetics, age and health. If you’re unsure about your skin type, consult a dermatologist or an esthetician for a skin evaluation. Also, consider checking out The Skin Type Solution by dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D. In it, Dr. Baumann helps you identify your skin type and find the best products for you. Remember that understanding your skin type is important for determining proper products to use in your skin care and makeup routine.

» Q: When choosing skincare products, what should I consider?

A: Although a mild cleanser and moisturizer are ideal for everyone, it’s important to consider your skin type. Creams are typically too heavy for oily skin types, whereas they’re perfect for a dry complexion. Also, keep in mind that your skin type can change according to “season, diet and age,” notes the Web site, Smart Skin Care. So when shopping for skincare products, look for formulas specifically made for your skin type. You can also see a dermatologist to get recommendations based on your skin’s needs.

» Q: Is it true that certain fabrics irritate sensitive skin?

A: Yes, it is. Wool is a well-known culprit, along with many synthetic fabrics. If you have really itchy, sensitive skin, try wearing cotton clothing to keep irritation to a minimum. Also, avoid tight-fitting clothes; they don’t allow skin to breathe, and might rub or chafe the skin.

» Q: My skin has become sensitive lately. What should I do for my everyday routine?

The key is to really pare down your routine for two to four weeks, and use a gentle cleanser, chemical-free sunblock (look for ingredients like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) and a mild, fragrance-free moisturizer, suggests Marie Claire. Then, after several weeks, start using your old products one by one. Watch for reactions when adding each product so you’ll know if one of your old products was the culprit.

» Q: I have sensitive skin. Will a toner irritate my complexion?

A: In The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beautiful Skin, author Marsha Gordon explains that toners are great for removing greasy residue left behind by makeup and cleansers. But people with sensitive skin should avoid toners that contain alcohol, which can irritate the skin. For a gentle toner, try Avene Gentle Toner.

» Q: Do people with sensitive skin still need to exfoliate?

A: Unless your skin is seriously sensitive — and in that case, see a dermatologist — you should definitely be exfoliating. Sloughing off dead skin cells has many benefits, including revealing newer, more radiant skin and letting products penetrate deeper into the skin. Not exfoliating creates a dull, dry complexion and contributes to clogged pores. The key is to look for a gentle scrub that’s specifically designed for sensitive skin. Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive contains a 10 percent complex with certified organic apple, lemon, grape juices and raw cane sugar. It leaves skin radiant, nourished and healthy. To exfoliate the body, try NUXE Reve de Miel Fondant Exfoliating Shower Cream, which features spherical beads to smooth away dead skin.

» Q: What should I avoid if I have combination skin?

A: Avoid using products that can be too harsh on your skin, such as those that contain alcohol or high levels of active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid, all of which can strip the skin. Also, don't use rich creamy products on oily areas, since this can make skin greasy and clog pores.

»  Q: Because I have sensitive skin, should I avoid certain ingredients in eye creams?

A: On her Yahoo! Health blog, dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D., indicates that active ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids and retinol can aggravate sensitive skin. In these cases, it’s best to avoid them and opt for gentler antioxidants "like vitamins C and E and green tea," writes Dr. Baumann.

» Q: What type of salicylic acid formula is best for those with sensitive skin?

A: As a general rule, gel formulas will be more drying, so look for a cream or lotion. Additionally, many salicylic acid products also contain ingredients like chamomile or witch hazel to soothe sensitive skin. Always follow with a moisturizer to prevent uncomfortable dryness while keeping acne at bay.

» Q: My face is dry and sensitive. What types of cleansers and moisturizers work best for my skin type?

A: Using hydrating formulas will be key for you. In Advance magazine, New York dermatologist Francesca Fusco, M.D., says that emollient-rich creams are better than gels or lotions, and that products should be labeled “hypoallergenic, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, or for sensitive/rosacea skin.” Dr. Fusco also recommends non-abrasive milky cleansers and moisturizers formulated with moisture-retaining ingredients like “lipids, hyaluronic acid – and ceramides.”

Dry skin

» Q: In addition to using the right moisturizer, how else can I treat my dry skin?

A: Skip harsh soaps, which strip away skin’s natural moisture. Instead, look for gentle, creamy cleansers. Avoid alcohol-based toners. If your skin is dry and sensitive, stay away from heavily fragranced, perfumed or artificially dyed products, which can cause irritation. Dress in warm layers to protect skin from cold, dry weather. Use a humidifier to replace moisture in the air. Keep showers short, and don’t use hot water, which will dry out your skin.

» Q: I have dry skin, but I’m also prone to breakouts. What can I use that won’t dry out my skin even more?

A: You’ll want to avoid anti-acne cleansers and formulas that contain high concentrations of benzoyl peroxide, which can be incredibly drying. Try using a spot treatment with salicylic acid, a gentler ingredient. For a closer look at your options, check out our article on acne treatments for dry and sensitive skin. If you’ve already tried various products and nothing seems to work, consult a dermatologist.

» Q: How do I know if I need a different kind of moisturizer for my dry skin?

A: If your face flakes, itches or feels tight or dry just several hours after moisturizing, then you probably need a thicker, creamier formula. Or look for “long-lasting” moisturizers, which typically contain a mix of occlusives and humectants. As a general rule, creams, oils and ointments work best on drier skin, whereas lighter lotions or serums are ideal for oily skin, according to dermatologist Cameron Rokhsar, M.D., on iVillage.

»  Q: I have very dry skin. Is mineral makeup a good choice for me?

A: Probably not, but if you want to give it a go, be sure to use a very hydrating moisturizer, and try applying the powder with a brush for the most natural-looking coverage. This will also minimize dryness on the skin.

Oily & acne-prone skin

» Q: How can I hydrate my oily skin in the warm months?

A: Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D., on her Yahoo! Health blog, The Skin Guru, suggests that individuals with very oily complexions use serums, which are lightweight and deliver concentrated nutrients to the skin. She recommends using Celazome Serum Vitae because of its high antioxidant content and various skin-boosting benefits, such as neutralizing free radicals and minimizing inflammation.

» Q: Do I need to use a toner?

A: You don’t need a toner, but it can be helpful if you have oily skin. A toner picks up any leftover residue after cleansing and dries excess oil. Some toners also have a matte effect on the skin, reducing shine.

»  Q. My skin is incredibly oily, and I’m worried about my makeup running — any suggestions?

A. Touch-ups and blotting papers will be your best bet. Keep a small beauty bag around with some of your cosmetic necessities along with Philosophy Supernatural Blotting Papers, which are perfect in a pinch to eliminate excess oil and shine.

»  Q: If I have super oily skin, do I still have to use a moisturizer? Won’t it make me break out?

A: Despite common misconceptions, all skin types, including oily or acne-prone, need a moisturizer. Drying out your skin with harsh treatments only increases the opportunity for blemishes to appear. Make sure to choose an oil-free, noncomedogenic (doesn't clog pores) moisturizer that balances skin’s moisture levels.

» Q: I’ve had oily and acne-prone skin ever since I hit puberty, but now that I’m in my mid-30s my skin seems to be getting drier by the day. What is going on?

Many women are surprised to find that as they age their skin completely changes skin types from oily to normal, or from normal to dry. As we age, we lose some of the fat padding and connective tissues that are designed to support skin from sagging. Skin becomes more dry and less elastic. Try switching to a product line meant for those with combination skin types rather than oily skin, and start using a hydrating acne spot treatment for those occasional breakouts. Some great products to try include Murad Moisturizing Acne Treatment Gel.

Remember, most products are not one-size-fits-all, so tailoring your skincare routine to your specific needs is essential to creating and maintaining healthy skin. Before you stock up on products that may not work for your skin, learn what to look for and what to avoid for your skin type.


“The fruition of beauty is no chance of hit or miss... it is inevitable as life.” - Walt Whitman

Skincare isn’t a static routine—when the weather changes, our skin often changes as well. Fluctuating temperatures and humidity means that our skin responds by changing its chemistry, which requires that we make adaptations to our skincare regimen. Dry skin may become oily in the summer, and cooler temps can bring on dry, flaky skin. Learn how to adjust your skincare routine to fit seasonal changes with these FAQs.

Spring/Summer skincare

» Q: What are some tips for applying makeup in the spring?

A: Though temps don’t make your makeup slip and slide just yet — unless you live in a tropical place – it’s best to go for a lighter look, so you don’t appear overdone. Consider skipping lip liner and lipstick in favor of lip gloss — or if you’re wearing lipstick, layer on gloss. Skip dark eye liners and choose browns and grays. And add bronzer and a bright blush to your beauty routine.

» Q: What’s a good exfoliator to use in the spring?

A: Because skin is still pretty sensitive from the wintertime, ease into spring with a gentle exfoliating cleanser or moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acids, dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, M.D., tells WebMD. Exfoliating is a great way to slough off dead skin cells that accumulate during the cold winter months. She also suggests avoiding mechanical exfoliants. That’s because “Scrubs that contain walnut shells or apricot pits, for example, can cause microscopic tears in the skin that can ultimately make dry winter skin look and feel much worse, especially on your face,” Dr. Waldorf says on WebMD.

» Q: What’s a good way to prepare skin for the spring and summer?

A: According to beauty expert Claudia Spagnolo on WebMD, the best way to transition your skin into spring or summer is to consistently cleanse, tone and moisturize twice a day. Also, once a week, incorporate a facial steam. You can do this with or without a mask. In the same article, Heidi Waldorf, M.D., director of dermatologic laser surgery at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City, says that it’s important to find the mildest cleanser for your skin type.

» Q: How can I hydrate my oily skin in the warm months?

A: Dermatologist Leslie Baumann, M.D., on her Yahoo! Health blog, The Skin Guru, suggests that individuals with very oily complexions use serums, which are lightweight and deliver concentrated nutrients to the skin. She recommends using Celazome Serum Vitae because of its high antioxidant content and various skin-boosting benefits, such as neutralizing free radicals and minimizing inflammation.

» Q: How can I touch up oily skin in the heat without making my skin cakey?

A: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a twofold solution to oily-prone skin: After applying SPF moisturizer and/or foundation, apply compressed powder with a sponge. The tiny pigmented talc particles in makeup powder will provide some sun protection, plus help sunscreen and moisturizer from slipping off in the heat. For oil relief throughout the day, use blotting papers like Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets.

Fall/winter skincare & seasonal changes

» Q: My entire body has been especially dry during these winter months. What kinds of ingredients should I look for in a moisturizer?

A: Look for shea butter, ceramides, stearic acid, collagen, dimethicone, cyclomethicone or glycerin. Also, don’t forget to exfoliate your body with a gentle scrub, so you’re removing dead skin cells, allowing products to sink into the skin. Here’s more on caring for skin in the winter.

» Q: I love any kind of snow sport, but I’ve heard that hitting the slopes can damage my skin. What can I do to protect my skin?

A: One of the most important things you can do to shield your skin is to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapply it every two hours (or sooner if you’re sweating). Most people associate sun damage with summer but that’s a dangerous assumption. Snow reflects UV rays, making you even more vulnerable to damage. Here’s more on how to care for your skin when skiing, snowboarding or doing other winter activities. Also, be aware that UV rays can be seriously damaging to your eyes, so always wear sun-protective glasses or goggles.

» Q: My skin changes with the seasons so it’s typically dry in the winter months and much oilier in the summer. What kind of moisturizer should I be using?

A: Don’t restrict yourself to using an oil-free moisturizer year-round, writes dermatologist, Leslie Baumann, M.D., on her Yahoo! Health blog, The Skin Guru. When your skin is oily, use a lotion or serum, she suggests. When skin is dry, opt for a richer cream. She recommends trying Topix Replenix Serum CF in the summer and Topix Replenix Cream CF during colder weather.

» Q: Do the seasons matter when it comes to how skin behaves?

A: Yes, for instance, body hair and dead skin cells can irritate skin in the summer months, according to WebMD. To prevent irritation, exfoliate to get rid of flaky skin, use moisturizer and shave or wax body hair to prevent bumps, rashes and trapped sweat that can irritate skin. As for winter, cold temperatures can leave skin dry and uncomfortable, so a rich moisturizer is important to prevent cracked, chapped skin.

» Q: Do I need to adjust my skin care routine for each season?

A: Be flexible with your skin regimen and adjust accordingly depending on how your skin feels in the coming months. For instance, if your skin becomes even drier in cooler weather, choose an ultra-moisturizing cream. Also, opt for a mild cleanser. If you have oily skin, summer may be the time to apply an oil-free moisturizer and exfoliate more often. If you’re prone to acne as the humidity and temperatures rise, use a cleanser with an acne-fighting formula.

» Q: I always wear sunscreen in the summer, but should I wear it all year round?

A: It’s crucial to wear sunscreen all year round. In fact, you can get just as bad of a sunburn in the winter as you can in the summer. This is especially true if you live in a snowy area or participate in snow sports — the snow reflects the sun, like water does, giving you a painful sunburn. And remember that a tan also signals sun damage.


Flexibility in your skincare routine is essential to keeping skin healthy from season to season. Whether it’s switching up your moisturizer in the oily summer months or finding an effective sunscreen to wear year-round, learn how to respond to your skin’s needs with season-appropriate skincare.

Stay tuned for more installments of our complete Skincare & Beauty FAQ Handbook.

See also:

Skincare & Beauty FAQ Handbook – Part 2: Acne

Skincare & Beauty FAQ Handbook – Part 3: Anti-Aging

Skincare & Beauty FAQ Handbook – Part 4: Pregnancy, Babies & Kids


Topix Replenix Cream CF Replenix is ideal as an anti-aging treatment, for rosacea & sensitive skin patients, or for post procedure. It truly sets the gold standard for antioxidant and green tea skin treatments."
Philosophy Supernatural Blotting Papers target pesky shine throughout the day without caking on additional makeup. philosophy's new supernatural blotting papers take aim at unwanted shine by absorbing excess oil without stripping the skin of natural moisture. these convenient, purse-size blotting papers are perfect for on-the-go touch ups as they reduce shine with virtually no disruption of your makeup."
NUXE Reve de Miel Fondant Exfoliating Shower Cream This shower cream uses spherical beads to gently exfoliate skin, leaving your body looking toned and feeling velvety like a peach."
Murad Acne Gentle Treatment Gel Bring helpful hydration to troubled skin. This oil-free gel is clinically proven to significantly increase moisture content while decreasing breakouts by 45% in just 2 weeks. "
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive Designed for sensitive skin, a powerful 10% alpha-hydroxy acid complex of certified organic apple, lemon, grape juices and raw cane sugar dissolve and free dull, lifeless skin for visibly improved skin tone and texture. Vitamin antioxidants and essential nutrients hydrate and nourish fresh skin for a healthy, beautiful complexion."
Celazome Serum Vitae High potency antioxidant moisturizer designed to counterbalance free radical damage while stimulating dermal repair and cell renewal."
Avene Gentle Toner An alcohol-free, oil-free toner with softening silicates to protect the skin against external aggressions."

"The information provided on is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical question or concern regarding any news item or article on this news magazine, please consult your physician..."