When it comes to taking care of your skin, identifying your skin type is the first step. Before buying cleansers, moisturizers or foundations, you should understand how your skin behaves and why. Here are five general skin type categories that most skin products are designed for. Do you recognize yours? Find out what it means for your daily skincare routine.
What affects your skin type?
Skin types are complex and ever-changing. Many factors influence your skin type, including your environment, hormones, genetic inclinations, diet, stress, and sun exposure. When determining where your skin falls in the skin type spectrum, it’s important to keep these factors in mind.
The problem ingredients for different skin types
It’s also important to remember that some of your products could be causing a lot of the symptoms that you consider the qualities of your skin. Certain products can aggravate the skin, causing reactions or oil to form. These are some ingredients that could be at the root of your skin problems:
· Thick Emollients
· Pore-Clogging Waxes
· Fragrance (even those derived from essential oils)
· Abrasive Scrubbing Agents
· Harsh/Drying Cleansing Agents
· Irritants (organic & synthetic)
To discover your skin’s true nature, try to take a break from the products you are currently using for a few days and see how your skin reacts without them. This will allow you to see which characteristics are a result of the products and which ones are inherent to your skin.
Normal Skin Type
What it is: Normal skin is not too dry or oily; it falls in that desirable in-between place.
How do you know if you have it? Your skin usually has an even tone and a soft texture with little flakiness. It doesn’t mean you never have a bit of oil or dryness on your face, but when you do, it is easily resolved and not a major issue. Your skin is generally blemish-free, except for the occasional outbreak, and doesn’t feel too dry or too shiny at the end of the day.
How to take care of normal skin: Light lotions and serums are ideal for your skin type because you don’t need much to keep your skin balanced and hydrated. Use gentle, water-soluble cleansers and look for a toner containing antioxidants to be proactive in helping your skin age well.
Dry Skin Type
What it is: Skin that is tight, flaky and lacking in moisture.
How do you know if you have it? Small pores and an overall feeling of tightness characterize dry skin. Your skin often has more visible lines, less elasticity, and a duller complexion. Sometimes people with dry skin also experience flaking, but this isn’t always the case.
How to take care of dry skin: Moisturizing is key to caring for the dry skin. Use lotions and rich creams to nourish your skin cells. If your skin feels dry, but you still get breakouts, then your issue may not be dry skin. Instead, your skin may be feeling dry because of the products you use. Try not using them for a few days and see if your skin improves. If it does, then you should use more gentle products, free of sulfates and other harsh ingredients, to avoid irritation.
Oily Skin Type
What it is: Oily skin is shiny and prone to breakouts and acne.
How do you know if you have it? People with oily skin tend to have larger pores, and a shiny, thicker complexion. This skin produces more than enough oil so hydration isn’t your issue. Rather, blackheads and pimples are a common problem with this skin type. If you still aren’t sure if you have oily skin, blot your face with a tissue and see if oil stays behind.
How to take care of oily skin: To minimize the appearance of oil, cleanse your face often with liquid and gel formulas and stay away from heavy creams and emollients. Also, be sure to look for oil-free sunscreens and lotions so that you don’t inadvertently add more oil to your skin.
Combination Skin Type
What it is: Combination skin exhibits multiple skin types at once.
How do you know if you have it? While most of us have combination skin to some degree, since there are more oil-producing glands around our nose than other areas of our face, this skin type experiences oiliness in this area much more than other skin types. Combination skin is typically marked by a consistently oily T-zone with dryness in other areas of the face.
How to take care of combination skin: This is the most common skin type, and people with combination skin should consider using different products for different areas of the face to keep their skin in balance. Use mild, gel cleansers and alcohol-free toners on oily areas and hydrate dry areas with light serums and moisturizers.
Sensitive Skin Type
What it is: Sensitive skin is skin that is easily aggravated by harsh products or the weather, resulting in rashes, stinging and/or blotchy patches.
How do you know if you have it? Your skin often breaks out and develops rashes and red spots. You may experience stinging, swelling, flakiness, and itching. Your skin tends to flush red from the wind, cleansing or sun exposure.
How to take care of sensitive skin: This is the most delicate skin type to handle. Find a skincare routine that works for you by doing patch tests before using a product to see if they aggravate your skin. Avoid harsh ingredients, and don’t use too many active ingredients at once. Active ingredients are the ingredients in the product that enact change and affect your skin. These ingredients have been scientifically proven to have medical effects and benefits. Other ingredients are used as a medium to deliver the active ingredient. Also, be sure to avoid rough scrubbing mitts and use lukewarm water — nothing too hot or too cold for this skin type.