When building your skin care routines, understanding your skin type and how your skin naturally performs can help you pick better products for your skin. For instance, should your cleanser be an intense oil-pulling formulation or something gentle and hydrating? By understanding your skin type, you can be a little more selective in your purchases and pick products that work with your skin.
Skin types are a way to describe the genetic attributes of your skin. It is largely determined by your genes, but it can also be influenced by your environment and seasonal changes, age, stress and even medication. For this reason, it is recommended that you evaluate your skin type about twice a year and be mindful of lifestyle changes; they could cause big changes in your skin.
There are 4 basic skin types that are used in the skincare industry: dry/mature, oily, combination, normal.Dry:
The scientific name for dry skin is xerosis and is a result of lack of moisture in your skin and a disruption in your moisture barrier. While dry skin can happen at any age (and often will), as you get older, dry skin will become more prevalent. Dry/Aging skin will produce little oil, leading to skin that gets dehydrated quickly. This interrupts your skin’s process for shedding dead skin, leading skin to appear flaky, uneven, and dull. Dry skin may also feel itchy, or have fine lines and wrinkles. When treating dry skin, use lots of moisture and occlusives to help supplement your moisture barrier.Oily:
Oily skin types are the result of an overactive gland in the pores, causes your skin to produce too much oil/sebum.While sebum plays a critical role in your barrier and acid mantle, an an excess can cause problems like to pores appearing enlarged, white heads and blackheads. However, this skin type is still in need of moisture and can experience dehydration. (oil does not moisturize!).Combination:
Combination skin can show up in different ways. It can be slightly oily in the t-zone (with larger appearing pores), but normal in other areas of the face. It could also be normal in the tzone, but drier in other places. There’s usually little uniformity and can be a little high maintenance to properly manage. Experts recommend using water based products to keep the skin moisturized and reduce oil production, and possibly spot treating really dry spots.Normal:
Normal skin has a natural balance between hydration and oil production in the skin. Typically pores are small and there are few breakouts. Skin will usually appear even and smooth. This skin type may experience skin concerns less often than other skin types, but is in need of proper care and routine.Sensitive:
There is another special category for certain skin (sensitive) and is a broad term used for skin that is prone to react to products. Everyone with sensitive skin might react to completely different ingredients, If you have sensitive skin, it is important to pay close attention to what triggers your skin to build a routine that works for you. While there are some people who deal with sensitive skin as their norm, a change in health, environment and lifestyle can trigger reactions in the skin. Please note, that any skin type can become sensitized from over exfoliation or the use of any product that damages the barrier.
Curious to check your skin type? Here are some quick instructions.
Step one: Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and add no additional products after you rinse. Let your skin sit for 30 minutes. Then, check your skin.
If your skin feels balanced and hydrated after cleansing, your skin type is normal.
If your skin feels tight/taut, you have a dry skin type.
If your skin feels dry in some places and oilier in others, your skin is likely combination.
If you can see and feel oil (shine) on your skin, you have oily skin.