Everyone has their own individual skin that is unique to them. Even if your skin is unique, you’d still fall into one of five major categories or skin types. Skin can be normal, dry, oily, combination, or sensitive.
Knowing your specific skin type and how it adapts to certain circumstances or seasonality is vital if you want to care for it properly. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and just complex, intelligent, and vital as your heart, lungs, liver, and other vital organs. Understanding what is beneficial for your skin and what isn’t heavily depends on what skin type you have.
For instance, if you use cleansers are treatments that might be recommended for excessive oiliness, they may be too harsh and could signal to your skin that it needs to produce more oil. On the other hand, if you use moisturizers that are too thick or heavy may lead to decreased natural oil production, resulting in even drier skin.
Know that your skin type can change over time. In general, younger people are more likely than older persons to have normal to oily skin.
Several factors can change the skin, like
- how much water is in your skin; this affects its comfort and elasticity
- how oily it is; affects its softness
- how sensitive it is
- stress level
- hormonal fluctuations
Even things like sleep cycles and major life changes can also affect your skin, so just because a skincare professional told you had one type of skin in the past doesn’t mean it will be the same forever.
Prep Your Skin
Double-cleanse your skin. In the first step, remove your makeup with an oil-based cleanser, then follow up with a gentle foam or cream cleanser. Don’t apply any products and choose one of the following ways to determine your skin type.
This approach takes longer but doesn’t need anything special other than a mirror. After cleansing, wait 30 minutes. Examine your skin and check cheeks, chin, nose, and forehead for any shine. Wait another 30 minutes and notice how your skin feels. Determine if your skin feels uncomfortable, especially when you make any facial expressions. Should your skin feel tight, most likely you have dry skin. Should you see that your nose and forehead are glossy, your skin is most likely normal/combination. If your cheeks are also glossy in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin. Sensitive skin will react to certain cleansers and may result in itchy skin or a rash. You can also try to pinch your skin. Should your skin easily wrinkle when you apply pressure, you have dry or combination skin. Oily skin will feel smooth.
Sticky Tape Method
Cut 3 pieces of clear, sticky tape about 3 centimeters (about 1.2 inches) long. Place gently the first onto your forehead, the second on your cheek and the last on the bridge of your nose. Gently rub and smooth the tape pieces to make sure it lies flat and to get rid of air bubbles. Be careful to not hurt yourself when you remove the first tape. Check its sticky side. If you see dry flakes, tiny drops of oil or a combination of both. If you notice dry flakes, you likely have dry skin. If you see droplets, then your skin is probably oily. A little bit of both means you’ve got combination skin. Proceed to remove and check the other two strips and examine them.
People with a normal skin type don’t often complain about dry or oily skin. They usually have a few fine lines and wrinkles here and there. This skin type is blessed with medium pore size, a smooth and even texture, good circulation, and a healthy color.
Normal skin does not mean it does not need care. People with this skin type will want to avoid products that are overly greasy or cause excessive dryness. Even if normal skin types may need less maintenance than other skin types, it’s still important adhere to a consistent skin care routine.
Daily essentials are a gentle cleanser, balancing toner and moisturizer. You will want to apply a daily antioxidant serum and include a gentle exfoliation once or twice a week.
Dry skin can feel parched and uncomfortable during the day. You may also see flaking. Dry skin can have several causes, for some, it may be genetics. It can be environmental factors such as lifestyle & diet, hormonal changes, and climate. Dehydration can also contribute to a dry skin. So, you will want to drink lots of water and avoiding diuretics like alcohol and caffeine to improve how your skin looks and feels.
Moisture is of the utmost importance to caring for dry skin. To nourish and replenish your skin, apply rich creams. Select creams instead of lotions, as they contain more oil and thus are thicker and more moisturizing. Also avoid harsh cleansers that can strip away the skin’s natural oils.
Note that dry skin and dehydrated skin are not the same thing. Dry skin is the skin type. With this skin type, your skin looks and feels dry through-out the year, no matter what the season is. Dehydration on the other hand is temporary and can be caused by many things such as a too strong cleanser, hard water, dry air and more. These things can affect all skin types and cause dehydrated skin. A face mist will help hydrate your skin all through the day (keep one in your purse).
Oily skin types can be more prone to breakouts and blemishes. But the happy news is that oily skin ages better than dry skin. It looks younger and more supple as the oils keep the skin plump and this allows fewer wrinkles to form.
You will want to use a gentle cleanser instead of a harsh cleanser as this can trigger your skin to produce even more oil to compensate. Exfoliate twice a week with a gentle chemical exfoliant, because the buildup of oil can lead to acne and blemishes, as the dead skin cells can become trapped in the pores. Do not avoid moisturizers. Oily skin also needs to be moisturized. You can opt for a light, oil-freemoisturizer.
Combination skin can be dry or normal in some areas like the cheeks and oily in others (mostly nose, forehead and chin). Many people have this skin type. Taking care of your skin that is both dry and oily can be a bit tricky. It is important to find a moisturizer that is not too heavy yet nourishing enough to retain moisture where needed most. Or you may want to use two different moisturizers: heavier one on your cheek area, or any skin that’s excessively dry, and lighter one on the oily parts of your face.
Taking care of sensitive skin can be challenging, because it you need to determine which ingredients are causing inflammation or irritation. It takes time and effort to find out which ingredient or even combination of ingredients are the cause. You can make this process easier by introding only one new product at a time. Always use this approach with skincare, makeup and any cosmetics. You can patch test a new product on your inner forearm and if your arm show no sign of irritation, try it next on the are behind one of your ears. Lastly use it on your face.
Select products that are labelled with non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Look in the product labels for terms like free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA or TEA, as these ingredients can result in redness and itchiness. Avoid physical exfoliants and use lukewarm water.
Basics Of Skincare
No matter what skin type you have, adhere to this 5 basic rules to keep your skin looking its best:
- Always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Don’t smoke
- Always double-cleanse before going to bed
- Always moisturize
Let us know what skin type you have and what your skin care regimen is.