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Forget everything you thought you knew about your “skin type”

(Photo: Flickr/SilentMind8)
(Photo: Flickr/SilentMind8)

If you took a magazine quiz as a teenager and determined your shiny T-zone and breakouts meant you had “oily skin,” chances are you’ve been avoiding face oils and heavy moisturizers ever since.

But it may be time to free yourself from what you think is your “skin type,” says natural beauty guru Adina Grigore, founder of S.W. Basics of Brooklyn.

That’s just one of the many myth-busting skin-care ideas she offers in her new book, Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin, which came out yesterday.

Adina Grigore
Adina Grigore (Photo: S.W. Basics)

Before creating her cult-favorite brand, now sold everywhere from indie boutiques to Target, Grigore was a holistic skin-care counselor who helped people get at the roots of their beauty issues by looking at how factors like diet and environment affect skin’s day-to-day appearance.

“People don’t think about their skin in a holistic way,” she says. “You’re not born with dry skin. Your skin may be going through a dry period. You’re doing a disservice to it if you treat it like it’s one way all the time.”

So if you weren’t actually born with an oily T-zone or a flaky complexion, how the heck are you supposed to figure out which products will work for you? Grigore recommends taking the time to understand your skin in a deeper way and adopting holistic habits that will balance it, starting with these simple steps.

skin cleanse1. Take a break. “Do an elimination diet with your products,” says Grigore. “Even if it’s just for one day, try not to use anything.” Once you’ve gone cold turkey, re-introduce things one at a time, paying attention to how your skin reacts. “Your skin will respond instantly to things as if they were brand new,” she says. “Problematic products will reveal themselves faster.” And you can ditch them just as fast.

2. Figure out ingredients that work for you. When you’re reincorporating products, pay attention to single ingredients that seem to give you results. “Some people love coconut oil,” for example, Grigore says. “Others have bad reactions to it.” Once you know a few ingredients that get along with your skin’s unique blueprint, you can find products that include them, like a face wash with argan oil at the top of the ingredient list, rather than one simply “for dry skin.”

3. Mix it up. “Your skin changes every few decades,” Grigore explains. That means that your holy grail product from your high school days might not be cutting it anymore. Your best best is to pay attention to the changes, roll with them, and continue trying new things to see if they work for you.” As if you needed an excuse to buy new beauty products. —Lisa Elaine Held

For more information, check out Skin Cleanse: The Simple, All-Natural Program for Clear, Calm, Happy Skin and