You know how it goes, everyone is using “that brand”, “that product” and you feel you need to as well!
If you don't, you might just be missing out? Right, absolutely! For the very least, make sure you know your skin type, a product that works for a million people, does not necessarily mean it will work for you. Knowing your specific skin type is essential to your skincare routine.
It can be especially tricky to figure out your true skin type because it can change over time and can be affected by climate, hormones and diet. Each skin type has a specific set of characteristics and symptoms, and requires special attention. Keep reading to find out about your personal skin type and how to best care for it.
Those with oily skin tend to notice a great deal of shine on their face, and may deal with acne breakouts. Oily skin is the result of both genetic factors and hormonal changes experienced in an individual’s lifetime. Those with a genetic predisposition to active oil glands produce a higher amount of sebum. Sebum is an oily substance created to help keep the skin soft and hydrated. Sebum flows from inside the epidermis to the surface of the skin through pores and hair follicles. When the body experiences a fluctuation in hormone levels, it signals the production of androgen's, a male hormone present in both men and women.
Characteristics Of Oily Skin
What causes Oily Skin
- Genetics - We all know that genetics play's a huge part of who we are, and the skin we are in. So, its fair to say, having one or both parents with oily skin, means you are highly likely to have inherited extra sebaceous glands.
- Hormones - As we come into puberty, roaring hormone levels brings on the onset of oily skin.
- Climate - If you live in a humid or hot environment, it is highly likely that this will result in oily skin.
- Large Pores - Having large pores can also produce more sebum.
- Exfoliating - Too much or too hard exfoliation can stimulate sebum production.
- Products - Using products not suitable for your skin type can also contribute to oily skin.
Tips for Oily Skin
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, this will ensure you keep skin hydrated to prevent the production of excess sebum.
- Wash your face twice a day to prevent pores from clogging.
- Exfoliate at least once a week Sunscreen, always use an oil free sunscreen as this will surprisingly help control oil and shine.
Combination skin is simply having oily skin in some areas of your face and dry skin in other areas. Typically, there’s a mix of oily and dry areas on different parts of your face, with the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) being slight to very oily. Whether you have oily areas only around the nose and center of the forehead and dry areas over the cheeks, jaw area, and along the hairline, what you do to lessen those problems is the same.
Characteristics of Combination Skin
- Oily T-zone and dry cheeks
- Breakouts only on forehead, chin and nose
- Sensitive cheeks
What Causes Combination Skin
- Genetics - A variety of factors can contribute to combination skin, but more often than not, it just comes down to the luck of the draw in terms of what you inherited from your parents.
- Products - The types of skincare products you’re using can absolutely make it worse or even cause the problem.
- Climate - You may see a change in your skin type depending on the change in the climate. For example, summers may make your skin oily. Your skin may feel dry during the winter months.
Tips for Combination
- Treat both - The key thing to keep in mind with combination skin is there’s no "one-size-fits all" solution. It depends on how dry your dry areas are naturally and how oily your oily areas are. It comes down to this: You’ll have to divide and conquer by caring for different parts of your face differently. Try to maintain two separate skincare routines for the T-zone and the cheeks and jaw area by using two different skincare products.
- Use cleansers that are not too harsh to prevent clogging your pores in the T-zone area. Pores in this area are larger than the rest of your face.
- Exfoliating - Go gentle on your T-zone area to avoid over striping this area of the necessary oils. Adversely, over exfoliating can lead to sensitive skin.
- Sunscreen - As with all skin types this step in your routine should never be disregarded. For combination skin ensure you always use an oil free sunscreen.
A lack of moisture in the skin can result in flaky and rough appearance, showing up as dry skin.
Characteristics of Dry Skin
- Flaky and rough skin
- Uneven texture
- Skin feels tight
What Causes Dry Skin
- Genetics - As with the other skin types, genetics plays a major role in determining if you have dry skin.
- Climate - Living in a dry climate that is cold can also contribute to dry skin, depriving skin of its moisture.
- Age - The older we get, the less active our sebaceous glands become.
- Hot Water - Long showers, as good as they are, is not good for the skin as it strips away the necessary oils.
Tips for Dry Skin
- Moisturize your skin regularly to keep it soft and hydrated
- Don’t spend too much time in the shower
- Pat your skin gently while drying yourself up
- Use a humidifier to retain your skin’s natural moisture
- Use sunscreen to prevent your skin from getting dehydrated
Scientifically, sensitive skin is not a skin type but rather a skin condition prone to itching and irritation.
Characteristics of Sensitive Skin
- Skin feels itchy and tight
- Uneven skin texture
- Becomes oily in summers
- Gets dry in winters
- Reacts to skincare
- Becomes red after a hot water bath
What Causes Sensitive Skin
Irritation - sensitive skin is caused by nerve endings in the top layer of skin becoming irritated. This occurs because your skin’s natural barrier function is weakened and has broken down due to a trigger. Common causes of sensitive skin can include:
- Sun exposure
- Exposure to air pollution
- Frequent changes in temperature
- Hard water (water with higher mineral content)
- Very hot water
- Lack of sleep
- Hormonal changes during your menstrual cycle or pregnancy
- Stress and late nights
- Chlorine in swimming pools
- Dry skin
Tips for Dry Skin
Patch Test - Always patch test when starting to use new skincare products and whatever you do keep your skincare routine simple.
Characteristics of Normal Skin
- Smooth texture
- Fine pores
- No sensitivity
- No blemishes
- Few or no breakouts
Normal skin type is also dependent on your genes and although you might be lucky enough to have skin that requires little maintenance, it will still require you to have a good skincare routine to ensure you keep it looking as good as it does for as long as possible.
Even when your skin is truly normal, a brilliant skincare routine is still fundamental to keeping your skin staying the way it is for as long as possible.
Tips for Normal Skin
- SPF - sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater that also includes antioxidants, and a beautifully formulated moisturizer with skin-restoring and skin-soothing ingredients.
- Products - It can also help to add an antioxidant serum to your skin care routine as even normal skin still needs a robust amount of antioxidants to nourish and help keep it defended against the environment.
I am sure you've noticed several common threads, on what causes us to have the skin type we do as well as the skincare routine we should follow. Ultimately having a skincare routine is fundamental to maintaining and achieving clear, smooth trouble-free skin. So it's worth elaborating; never, ever go to bed with make-up on, always stay hydrated, follow a skincare routine, however complicated or simple, as long as it works for your skin and your lifestyle.
Cheers to glowing skin!
If you are still unsure as to your skin type and what products you should be using, do not hesitate to make contact with us.