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The golden rules of skin care

Jessica Padykula is a freelance writer and editor in Toronto, Canada covering a wide range of  topics for several online lifestyle publications. She is a regular contributor for SheKnows, covering travel, style, relationships, health and...

Show off your fabulous face

Among the many creams, serums and other products aimed at getting us gorgeous lie the golden rules of glowing skin -- the steps that always seem to get the job done and ensure the fewest breakouts and other skin issues. Before you shell out the big bucks, we're here to make sure you have the basics down pat.

Woman washing face


1Know your skin type

Knowing your skin type helps you buy products that will help -- rather than hinder -- your skin's health. It ensures that you're treating what needs to be treated, instead of making problems worse (like breakouts or dry patches). A good rule is to think about how your face feels after you wash and dry it. If it feels tight everywhere, you probably have dry skin, whereas if it's shiny within a few minutes, you're on the oily side. Tight in the cheeks and shiny down the center? That's combination skin. If you skin tends to turn red easily, either though irritation or from heat or cold, you may have sensitive skin.

2Wash your face before bed

This is probably the most important skin care rule to follow. No matter how tired you are and how much you'd rather fall into bed without taking your makeup off, do your face a favor and wash up. Keep a box of facial wipes by your bed for nights where you just can't be bothered to turn on the tap. Makeup left on your skin can clog pores, irritate your skin and make a mess of your pillow. No thank you!

3Exfoliate

To remove buildup of dead skin cells and reveal fresh new skin, regular exfoliation has to be part of your routine. Aim for one to three times a week -- less if you have sensitive skin. Keep an exfoliator in the shower so you remember to give your skin a scrub every week to improve its texture and tone. Not only will your skin look smoother, you'll be getting rid of pore-clogging debris that can cause blemishes and other skin problems.

Check out our guide to choosing the best exfoliator for your skin type >>

4Moisturize

Skin needs moisture. Even if you have an oily T-zone, you may have dry patches on your cheeks. Because skin is always losing moisture (dry air, central heating and air conditioning all dry out your skin), it's important to keep it supple with a moisturizer. A gel is better for oily skin, while a rich cream is best for drier complexions. Don't forget to always wear sunscreen under your moisturizer to protect your face from the sun's harmful rays.

Find out how to pick the perfect moisturizer >>

A few more great skin rules to follow:

  • Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated is important for overall health and helps skin look supple and fresh. Not getting enough H20 can leave skin looking taut and dry.
  • Get regular facials. It's a great way to give skin a boost when you're tired or stressed and can help keep skin healthy, smooth and clear.
  • Change things up if you need to. Don't be afraid to tweak your skin care routine if you feel like what you've been doing is no longer working for you.
  • Make time for a mask. Give your skin some extra attention by applying a mask suited to your skin type. The power-packed complexion-savers will give your skin some extra glow and help remedy various skin issues such as blemishes and irritation.

More skincare tips

Spring clean your beauty routine
Juice your way to a flawless face

Beauty tips for freezing weather

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