When it comes to treating your skin with cleansers, moisturizers, or even putting on scents, it is important to know what skin type you have. If you don’t, you risk having a reaction, or worse, damaging your skin.
Try to understand your skin type in order to determine how it adapts to certain circumstances and even seasons. You might be surprised that it is not the same year-round!
There are four basic skin types: normal, dry, oily, and combination. Let’s break each one down and then try to determine which category you belong in.
This type is widely referred to as well-balanced skin (or in scientific terms, eudermic), since the water and oil content remain relatively balanced. If you have normal skin, it is not too oily or too dry thanks to the overall sebum and moisture balance, giving your face a porcelain-like appearance. The colour of normal skin (the skin tone) is even and without noticeable blemishes. If you have normal skin, you rarely have problems. But with every advantage, there is a cost: because of the lack of problems, people with this type tend to become negligent of taking care of their skin, and therefore it can become dry around the neck and eyes where the skin is thinner. Remember that skin care requires regular maintenance!
Dry skin usually feels tight throughout the day, and can even produce visible flakes. It is caused by a lack in sebum or moisture or both.
If you have dry skin, your pores are tight and the texture of your skin is thin with some flaky patches.
This dryness leads to a lot of broken capillaries.
Unfortunately, a person with dry skin has premature aging, fine lines, and deep wrinkles.
Dry skin can have discoloured patches that are brown, grey, or pink, often accompanied by a burning sensation.
Another common issue is the presence of Milia: small white bumps that appear on the skin and usually grouped together on the nose, cheeks, and chin.
If you have dry skin, I am sure that you want to use thick or heavy moisturizers to help.
Beware: by doing so, your skin may decrease its already low sebum production giving you even dryer skin. Your dry skin is like a finicky cat – difficult to please!
The opposite of dry skin, oily skin is thicker, courser and has larger pores.
Oily skin tends to be sallow, meaning that it has lost its natural complexion, appearing yellow or brown.
Oily skin is typically caused by overactive sebaceous glands due to an increase in sebum production.
As you would expect, oily skin tends to be shiny. If you have oily skin, you are prone to pimples or acne due to the increase in sebum production.
Many people make the mistake of using harsh, drying, astringent products designed for oily skin. BUT Beware: some are very harsh, making your skin very dry, sending a signal that your skin must produce more sebum to counteract the dryness.
WATCH MY TOP TIP FOR OILY SKIN BELOW OR HERE ON YOUTUBE
FABULOUS FACT: you have an advantage: oily skin looks younger, more supple and is even less prone to wrinkles! So embrace it and treat it right.
Combination skin is a combination of both oily and partly dry skin.
The T-zone (across the forehead and down the nose and sides of the nose) tends to be oily with enlarged pores.
The skin is course in these oily areas yet thin in the dry areas. If you have combination skin, you may have uneven pigmentation, combined with Milia around the eyes and the cheeks.
But never fear, there is an advantage to combination skin: you will appear to age less quickly than your friends with dry skin since you are far less likely to have fine lines and wrinkles on your forehead.
I’m sure that many of you suffer from sensitive skin.
Did you notice that it is not on the list of skin types at the start of this blog?
That is because sensitive skin is a condition not a type.
If you suffer from this, you usually have dry skin, with high colouring, visible flakes, and warmness to the touch. You may be extra sensitive after cleansing, with redness and a feeling of tightness.
You may find relief by using warm water rather than hot, using a gentle soap (or better yet, jojoba oil), removing exfoliants from your cleansing routine, and using fragrance free products.
WATCH THE OIL CLEANSING VIDEO BELOW OR HERE ON YOUTUBE
How can you determine your own skin type?
Wash your face thoroughly with a mild cleanser and gently pat dry.
Leave your face alone for thirty minutes. Afterwards, examine your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin for any shine.
After another thirty minutes, note whether your skin feels parched or tight, especially if you make any facial expressions (if so, you most likely have dry skin).
If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is mostly likely normal/combination. If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin. Simple, right?
Lesson du jour: Be aware of your skin throughout the entire year. As I always say, knowing your skin type is the first step in making yourself look fabulous!