Do You Know Your Skin Type?
Knowing our skin type is absolutely necessary in order to make a right decision about proper skin care or treatment, which is suitable for our particular skin needs. The initial quality, or type, of our skin is genetically determined – meaning that we are born with it. However, the health and beauty of our skin later in life depends a lot on what we eat and how 23 take care of yourself. A popular Russian saying states that, after the age of 30, a woman looks the way she deserves. I don’t know about you, but I am way past 30 and hoping it’s not too late to get started. So….
Let’s Get Started!
The first step in having Healthy Skin is to determine your skin type so that you can match it with the best recommended methods to improve your look and slow the aging process. Yes! Let’s slow that aging process.
Generally, we can single out five basic skin types with each having particular characteristics and requiring specific care and/or treatment. It’s also important to remember that your skin type can change over time. For example, younger people are more likely than older people to have a normal skin type. So, the basic skin types are:
Normal Skin Type Is this you?
It may be if your skin is smooth and radiant because it reflects light evenly. Your complexion is balanced (not too oily or too dry), and you rarely have breakouts. You don’t notice any changes in your skin throughout the day and can try many kinds of products without having a reaction. Normal skin is not too dry and not too oily. It has no or few imperfections, no severe sensitivity, barely visible pores, a radiant complexion.
Dry Skin Type Is this you?
It may be if you flush easily or have red patches or eczema (a dry, rashlike condition). Your skin often feels rough, tight, or dry in the afternoon or evening—even two hours after applying moisturizer. Skin products, sunblocks, and cosmetics sometimes sting or cause redness. Dry skin can produce almost invisible pores, dull or rough complexion, red patches, less elasticity, more visible lines, burning and, of course, dryness.
When exposed to drying factors, skin can crack, peel, or become itchy, irritated, or inflamed. If your skin is very dry, it can become rough and scaly, especially on the backs of your hands, arms, and legs. Dry skin may be caused or made worse by genetic factors, aging or hormonal changes, weather such as wind, sun, or cold and Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds. Additional problems can be indoor heating, taking long, hot baths and showers, ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, or cleansers and medications.
Here are some tips for taking better care of dry skin. Take shorter showers and baths, no more than once daily. Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid deodorant soaps. Don’t scrub while bathing or drying. Apply a rich moisturizer right after bathing. Ointments and creams may work better than lotions for dry skin but are often messier. Reapply as needed throughout the day. Use a humidifier and don’t let indoor temperatures get too hot. Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents, or household detergents.
Oily Skin Type Is this you?
It may be if your face feels and looks moist and shiny (especially at midday when oil is at its peak). You tend to have clogged pores, and your skin is prone to both noninflammatory acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and inflammatory acne (pimples and cystic zits), which pop up all over. Oily skin can produce enlarged pores, dull or shiny and thick complexion, blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes. Oiliness can change depending upon the time of year or the weather. Oily skin can be caused or made worse by puberty or other hormonal imbalances, stress and exposure to heat or too much humidity. To take care of oily skin, wash your skin no more than twice a day and after you perspire heavily. Use a gentle cleanser and don’t scrub. Don’t pick, pop or squeeze pimples because this prolongs healing time. Use products labeled as “noncomedogenic.” They tend not to clog pores.
Combination Skin Type Is this you?
It may be if your forehead, nose, and chin are oily and tend to break out, while your temples, eye area, and cheeks are really dry. You also fall into the combination category if your skin changes according to the climate or season—sometimes it’s completely oily, other times it’s sandpaper dry. A combination skin type can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Many people have combination skin, which may benefit from slightly different types of skin care in different areas. Combination skin can produce overly dilated pores, blackheads and shiny skin.
Sensitive Skin Type Is this you?
It may be if you reach the beginning description under the Dry Skin Type. There are a lot of similarities here. If your skin is sensitive, try to find out what your triggers are so you can avoid them. You may have sensitive skin for a variety of reasons, but often it’s in response to particular skin care products. Sensitive skin can show up as redness, itching, burning or dryness.
Hopefully, you can get some ideas about your skin type from the information in this post. If you feel confused about which category—combination, oily, normal, or dry/sensitive—you fall into, remember that you’re not alone. Most women misdiagnose themselves and, as a result, wind up using the wrong care regimen and products. Caring for the wrong skin type can aggravate skin, lead to acne, or even make your skin look older than it really is.
If you feel pretty certain about your skin care type, you can begin to follow the recommendations for that type. Or you can seek out some guidance from the experts as I am doing. I’ve scheduled a consultation with an esthetician at a local dermatology practice and am excited to learn and begin doing all I can for my skin. I am assuming it’s never too late to get started. So, I am, and I will share later. One last thing before we go – something for all of us no matter what skin type we were born with.
The Basics of Skin Care Apply to Everybody
These tips will help your skin stay healthier no matter its type.
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays.
- Avoid direct sunlight and wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Don’t smoke.
- Stay hydrated.
- Wash your skin thoroughly every day and never wear makeup to bed.
- Moisturize your skin.