Do you know your skin type?
Do you know what skin types there are and the difference between a skin type and a skin concern/condition?
If the answer is no, you have come to the right place. We are here to help clear up the confusion.
Knowing your skin type is extremely important to selecting skincare for yourself. If you are using products that aren't suited to your skin type you can end up creating issues for your skin, instead of helping and improving your skin.
First let's look at the difference between a skin type and a skin condition/concern.
Your skin type is predetermined by your genetics and will typically stay the same throughout your life with minimal changes.
There are 4 skin types and you will fall into one of these categories - dry, normal, combination or oily.
Combination can technically be divided into 2 categories itself, normal - oily & normal - dry.
You cannot do anything to change your skin type, it's a part of your genetic makeup and what makes you unique, you have to learn to work with your skin type and select products that are designed for your skin type.
Skin concerns or conditions (these terms are used interchangeably) can be caused by both internal and/or external factors. Skin conditions/concerns can be treated and improved with skincare and other changes.
You can have multiple concerns at once and they can change over time.
"To keep it simple you want to work with your skin type to choose products for your skin concerns/conditions."
Now that we have established the difference between a type and a concern, let's have a deep dive into the different skin types to help you determine your skin type. We will cover skin conditions in a future article.
Dry skin is lacking in oil, it produces less sebum (oil) than a 'normal' skin. Due to the lack of oil production, dry skin tends to have an impaired barrier and has trouble retaining moisture.
Dry skin tends to have a rough, flaky appearance, small pores and feel tight. It can also appear red and irritated due to the lack of oil protecting the skin.
'Normal' Balanced Skin
Normal skin is well-balanced, with a light oil production that never feels too oily or too dry.
Normal skin is characterised has having an even texture, few imperfections, soft appearance and a healthy glow.
*Normal skin really shouldn't be called 'normal', as all skin types are perfectly normal skins to have. Technically we feel it should be called Balanced Skin, but as it is referred to as normal in the industry we will continue to use that term to save confusion.
Oily skin is the complete opposite of dry skin, where as it produces more than a normal skin type amount of oil.
The skin typically can appear greasy and thick, with enlarged pores and a rough texture and is the skin type most commonly to appear with acne (although all skin types can experience breakouts).
The most common skin type, combination skin is a combination of the other 3 skin types. Usually oily t-zone and normal cheeks or normal t-zone and dry cheeks.
You can typically see and feel a difference between the centre of your face and the cheek areas.
This skin type should technically be divided into two different categories, as how you treat an oily combination skin type and a dry combination skin type will differ. (Note most products aimed at combination skin are geared towards the oily/normal skin type).
How can you tell your skin type?
If you don't already know your skin type there are a few ways you can find out. You can choose to go to a professional, whether that be a Beauty Therapist or Dermatologist to diagnose your skin type.
Alternatively there is a very easy way you can work this out yourself at home.
DETERMINING YOUR SKIN TYPE
To do this you want to wash your face with a gentle cleanser, dry the skin and then leave it for 30 minutes with no products on the skin.
After 30 minutes look in the mirror and observe what you see and feel.
Using the above descriptions of skin types, work out where you feel you fall in the categories.
Now that you have a pretty good idea what your skin type is, you can use this to better help determine what skin care products are right for you.