Determining your skin type can be tricky. Not only does our skin change daily and from season to season, but as we age and as our hormones change. Different skin types will react differently to all of these factors, and once you know which skin type you have, you can cater your skincare routine to result in the perfect complexion.
Your skin is unique, and can’t be pigeon holed into a list. However, there are 5 main skin type groups that typically work for most people. Keep reading to see which best suits you, and what the best practices are to make it glow.
If your skin is neither particularly oily or dry, with few blemishes (if you have any at all), then you have normal skin. The fine pores and even complexion mean you’re either lucky enough to be born with near perfect skin, or you’ve got your skincare routine down to a T. Congratulations!
Even normal skin types need some TLC to keep them healthy and looking flawless. It’s important to cleanse and moisturize every day and night to keep your skin looking fresh. You can boost circulation by gently massaging in your face cream, and remember to take care of the delicate eye area with an eye cream. Also make sure you exfoliate once or twice a week to remove any dirt and dead skin cells that threaten to clog your pores. If you’re looking for an easy skincare routine to boost your balanced skin, we’ve got a simple one for you right here!
If your skin jumps between being normal or dry in some places (usually the cheeks) and oily elsewhere, such as the T-zone, then you have combination skin. Combination skin tends to shine and easily form blemishes around the oily areas, while the cheeks stay normal to dry with smaller pores than in the T-zone. In this case, the T-zone areas are producing too much sebum while the cheeks are not. This can make your skincare routine more difficult, as you need to find products that cater to the different areas of your face.
Although the word ‘normal’ may suggest otherwise, combination skin is actually the most common skin type, with 80% of people aged 11-30 having acne breakouts from time to time. So what’s the best way to tackle this combo?
The trick is to cleanse your skin, while making sure oily areas are cleansed of oil, while the dry areas do not become even drier. To help, ensure your skincare routine begins with a delicate cleanser, and ends with an oil free moisturiser. A hazelnut sized amount of moisturiser is enough. If you are unsure, choose a product that is especially suited for combination skin.
"Try to avoid over-cleansing, which is a common mistake with combination skin." says Katie Rodan, M.D., dermatologist and Proactiv co-founder. Instead, wash your face twice daily and only apply a light, oil-free moisturizer in the areas where your skin tends to be driest." Also be mindful of the pH balance in your cleanser. "A more acidic pH level is better for balancing the oil in your skin."
If your skin looks flaky and feels rough in patches on the face and/or body, you have dry skin. Dry skin lacks moisture and lipids (fats), meaning it’s therefore less elastic and so feels tighter. As your skin produces less sebum, you will be less prone to acne. However, this lack of oil makes the skin more susceptible to irritation and environmental influences like sun and wind.
There are many ways to alleviate the unwanted symptoms of dry skin. Firstly, your skincare routine should be optimized to help relieve dry skin. Avoid harsh cleansers and use deeply hydrating moisturisers. A serum is a perfect addition to your moisturising care. Day creams with a sun protection factor will help protect your skin from UV radiation, which could further dry skin out. Finally, dehydration is a huge cause of dry skin, and an easy fix. Try to drink at least 2 litres of still water a day and see the benefits!
Oily Acne Prone Skin
If your skin looks shiny or you notice big, cystic bumps every so often, you have oily acne prone skin. Oily skin happens when the skin produces more sebum or natural oil, than your skin needs.The cause can be due to genetics, stress, medications, and/or hormonal factors. With oily skin, your complexion may look shiny and dewy. The texture is usually slick to the touch. Your pores will be enlarged and congested, which causes breakouts to happen more frequently. Makeup and skincare products also don’t tend to last very long with oily skin.
Another giveaway that you have oily skin is if you've got an oily scalp or dandruff, says Katie Rodan, M.D. "Those are two surprising indicators of acne, as your skin and your scalp go hand in hand.” Studies show between 40-55% of adults from age 20-40 have diagnosed low grade, persistent acne and oily skin.
To make your skin look better and reduce the signs of acne prone oily skin, it is important to follow a demanding routine and not use products with overly aggressive ingredients. It is essential to cleanse the skin before bed, particularly for those with blemished skin or acne prone skin. Makeup should also be removed in the evening, as it can block your pores overnight which will only increase issues with blemished skin. Treat your skin to a gentle scrub and a face mask once a week. Keep your hands off: do not squeeze blackheads or spots! This can lead to acne scars or spread bacteria across the face. To help reduce any shining on the face, try a mattifying day cream.
If your skin stings after washing or applying other skincare products, feels tight, itchy and dry or develops redness, you might have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin may be caused by both external and internal factors. External factors include temperature, ingredients of product used and sun exposure, while internal factors include hormones fluctuation and allergies...Individuals with sensitive Skin are more prone to irritation and inflammation and may have an overreaction reaction to certain ingredients. Skin is often red or rashy. 62% of women say they have reactive, sensitive, or irritable skin.
Although it is a challenge to manage sensitive skin, an easier way to determine which ingredients are suitable for you will be to introduce only one new formula or product at a time. It is also best to prevent using products that have alcohol content, exfoliators that are abrasive, cleansing devices that are rough on the skin and products that contain fragrance.
The Right Skincare For Your Skin Type
Whether your skin is oily, dry, combination, or even normal…the most important thing is to identify the products with which your skin feels comfortable. The use of suitable skincare products together with protection against the sun, a balanced diet rich in vitamins and physical exercise, will help your skin look radiant.