I truly believe that understanding your skin type is the best way to keep your skin happy and healthy. By knowing what skin type you have will help you understand what products will work best for you. Perfect example of why it is important to understand your skin type: If someone with acne/oily skin uses a product that is designed for dry/mature skin, the product will most likely be to heavy causing clogged pores resulting in even more acne. Same goes for normal/combo skin types, using a product designed for acne/oily skin can cause skin dryness leading to acne or by using a product designed for dry/mature skin can be too heavy causing yet again unwanted acne. Each of our faces are unique in our own way making it important to listen to what our skin needs and design a skin care routine for you. In order to understand your skin type we should first discuss what each skin type.
Oily and Acne Prone Skin Types
Oily skin looks shiny or greasy, with bigger pores and is caused by genetics and/or hormonal changes. When genetics are to blame, your oil glands produce an excessive amount of sebum (an oil layer keeping your skin soft and hydrated) leaving you with oily skin. If hormones are to blame, the production of extra hormones stimulate the sebum to over produce resulting in excessive oil. Both lead to your pores becoming easily clogged creating blackheads, whitehead, and acne.
Tips for Caring for Skin Oily and Acne Prone Skin
- Avoid using harsh cleaners. You may think if you use a product to dry out your skin, that will decrease your oil but unfortunately it will cause more damage. When using harsh cleansers you can strip the protective layer of oil causing your skin to produce excess sebum leading to yet again acne.
- Add a toner to your skin care routine. Keeping bacteria at bay is critical to keeping acne under control.
- Gently exfoliate your face once a week. Stay clear of harsh scrubs and loofah's as they can be too harsh stripping the protective layer away leaving your skin exposed to irritation and acne.
- Detox Mask once a week. Detoxing you skin helps remove toxins, dead skin, reduces oil production and helps keep acne bacteria at bay.
- Keep your skin moisturized! Yes you read that right, keeping your skin moisturized is important no matter your skin type. Look for serums that are designed for oily and acne skin. Avoid oils that have a high comedogenic rating (scale from 0-5 rating the likely hood for oils that will clog pores)
- Keep your hands away from your face!
Normal Skin Type
Normal skin will not be dry or oily and if you were to become dry or oily you will be able to resolve the issue rather quickly. Your pores will be smaller and will have an even skin tone.
Tips for Caring for Normal Skin
- Avoid harsh cleaners. If you use a cleanser that is to drying stripping the layer of protective skin you will send your skin into freak out mode causing more oil production resulting in acne.
- Avoid using heavy moisturizers.
Combination Skin Type
Combo skin is a mix of dry and oily skin. You may get oily on you T-Zone forehead, nose and chin and become dry throughout your nose and cheeks.
Tips for Caring for Combination Skin
- Avoid harsh cleaners. As stated above you do not want to dry your skin out stripping the protective layer causing your skin to become unhappy.
- Gently exfoliate your skin once a week. Removing the layer build up of dry and dead skins keeping your pores from becoming clogged resulting in unwanted acne.
- Detox your T-Zone and hydrate you cheeks, jaw and neck.
- Add a toner to your skin care routine. Look for a toner that will hydrate and keep bacteria at bay but not be over drying.
- Keep your skin moisturized!
Sensitive Skin Type
Sensitive Skin is red and very easily irritated.
Tips for Caring for Sensitive Skin
- Avoid harsh cleansers.
- Use lukewarm water even in the shower.
- Avoid harsh exfoliates and astringents.
- Use fragrance free and organic laundry soap.
Dry & Mature Skin Type
Dry skin will feel very tight, have scaly patches, invisible pores and be flaky. Dry skin is usually caused by genetics. In this case the gland that produces too much sebum for oily and acne prone skin doesn't create enough sebum for you causing dry skin.
Tips for Caring for Dry & Mature Skin
- Avoid harsh cleansers. That would cause more drying worsening your already dry and irritated skin.
- Avoid long showers and use lukewarm water. Hot water strips away the protective layer of oils causing more dryness.
- Use more oil based moisturizers as the oils absorb and penetrate your skin better keeping your skin hydrated.
- Use a rose toner to keep your face hydrated and nourished.
When Dry Skin is More then Dry Skin
It is important to understand that dry skin may be cause by an underlying issue. If you are suffering from dry skin and have been unable to find any sort of relief it might be time to make an appointment to be sure you know what your dealing with. Some skin issues that may need to be seen by a doctor are:
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Common skin condition that mostly effects your scalp that causes scaly patches, dandruff and redness. May also effect parts of your body with excessive oil production such as your chest, eyelids, ears, sides of nose, face and eyebrows.
- Allergic Contact Dermatitis
- Can be caused from many things such as fragrances, soap, jewelry, skin care products, cosmetics and or plants such as poison oak or ivy). May happen on any part of your body that was exposed. Seek medical attention right away if you are experience a life threatening allergic reaction.
- Athletes Foot
- Caused by a fungus usually located on your feet in between your toes. It causes a red scaly rash that burns, stings and itchy's.
- Atopic dermatitis
- Also known as eczema a skin condition that makes your skin red and itchy. It is a chronic life long battle and will flare up and become worse from time to time. Usually when you are under extra stress. So try to breath and allow stress to melt away.
- Common skin condition that speeds up the skin cells life causing an abundance of skin cell build up on top of your skin resulting in scaly, red patches that may become itchy and painful.
One last thing to remember in all of this is that just because you have one skin type doesn't mean your skin type may not change from time to time depending on hormones, environmental factors, diet or even the seasons. Listening to your skin is the best way to not accidentally cause harm to your skin by using harsh products as well as using products not designed for your skin type. Did you discover your skin type, if so I would love to hear what your type is and if there is anything that causes you skin problems?