Fri | Dec 8, 2023

How to clean and moisturise your skin

Published:Wednesday | August 16, 2023 | 12:08 AMKeisha Hill/Senior Gleaner Writer

WHY IS skin care important? Skin care plays an important role in your overall health and appearance. After all, your skin is the largest organ of your body. Skin care primarily focuses on the delicate areas on your face, neck, and chest, with regimens focused on cleansing, moisturising, and treating specific conditions.

Your skin acts as a barrier to your internal systems that are imperative to your health and well-being. Taking steps to properly care for your skin helps to ensure this important barrier is strong. When the skin is dry or irritated, cracks can occur, which make you more prone to infection.

Your skin also plays a vital role in protecting you from the sun and it is harmful rays. That is why sunscreen is recommended for adults and children to wear daily. After all, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and can occur in people of all ages.


According to Treacha Reid, cosmetologist and trichologist, taking preventive measures with a well-thought-out skin care routine is essential to long-term skin health. This can help you avoid the development of certain conditions and signs of ageing, as well as reduce the severity of problems you may already be dealing with.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there are five primary types of skin: oily, dry, normal, combination, and sensitive. Each skin type has its own set of unique characteristics and needs that can affect the look and feel of your complexion.

According to Reid, by first understanding what type of skin you have, you can begin to make informed decisions, giving your skin the customised care and protection, it needs now and for years to come.


“As your body’s largest organ, your skin performs a variety of important and complex functions, from regulating your body temperature to protecting against germs. This is especially true of your skin’s outermost layer, also known as the skin barrier. Composed mostly of lipids such as ceramides, this protective barrier acts as the primary gatekeeper between your skin and external environment, keeping water in and harmful substances out,” Reid said.

“Although a healthy skin barrier is essential for all skin types, it is also important to remember that each individual’s skin is unique in many ways. This means that there is no one size fits all approach to achieving radiant, healthy-looking skin,” she added.

The best way to think about normal skin is that it ends up being a subtle matter of degree, preferences, and expectations. In other words, even those with seemingly flawless skin still can feel a bit of dryness or a bit of oiliness or see signs of combination skin with occasional clogged pores. Think about it as mostly normal skin plus a little bit of other minor, barely detectable issues. It also always depends on the skin care products you are currently using.


“Normal skin is neither too oily nor too dry. It has balanced sebum production and good blood circulation. To care for normal skin, persons can use a regimen of cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin. Natural home remedies including lime and citric acid can be used, along with moisturising cleansers and humetants,” Reid said.


Oily skin is primarily a result of excessive sebum production. This type of skin has excess oil secretion and is mostly shiny, sweaty, and more prone to suffer from acne, and blackheads.

“Moisturising regularly will keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from overproducing sebum. Choosing the right moisturiser is important. A lotion-based, lightweight moisturiser is advised for oily skin types. Stay hydrated and drink enough water to keep your skin moist. This will prevent your skin from producing excess oil,” Reid said.


A lack of moisture in the skin can result in a flaky and rough appearance. This is called dry skin. Dry skin tends to produce less oil and lacks vitality. This type of skin is exposed to dryness and is vulnerable to weather changes.


“Combination skin is a mixture of two skin types – dry skin and oily skin. This type of skin needs to be well protected from sunlight as it is oilier than other types of skin and sensitive to sun damage,” Reid said.

If you have combination skin, the pores in your T-zone are larger than the rest of your face. Harsh products may clog your pores so using a gentle cleanser is recommended.

“Exfoliate gently and once per month. Exfoliating every day is not recommended for any skin type. It can remove necessary oils from your skin. When you exfoliate, do not scrub your T-zone too much as scrubbing too hard can damage your skin.

Sunscreen is a must-have skin care product. Choose an oil-free sunscreen if you have combination skin,” Reid said.


Skin that is easily irritated and is more reactive than normal skin is referred to as sensitive skin. This type of skin is fragile, usually prone to heat, redness, itching and loses its barrier, thus allowing microorganisms and irritants to easily enter and leading to infections and allergic reactions.

“Buy a mild cleanser, moisturiser and sunscreen. Do not apply too many products to your face. You can start with a mild, sulfate-free cleanser that does not form lather on your skin. Choose products formulated with ingredients that have soothing properties like green tea extracts and chamomile,” Reid said.

The needs of our skin changes over time, hence, taking necessary steps to identify its needs is crucial for it to function properly and look the best. Knowing your skin is important to determine what products to use on it and how to address your skin concerns and issues like acne and dark spots. So, take some time to develop a suitable skin care routine. Consult a dermatologist in case you are not sure about the products and their effects on your skin.