Here’s a basic guide to finding out your skin type. Your skin can be affected by a variety of environmental and hormonal factors and you may find that your skin care needs vary accordingly.
The main skin types are Oily, Combination, Normal, Dry, Sensitive and Mature. By understanding your skin type, you will know which products to choose for your skin to keep it looking fresh and healthy.
Oily skin is caused by over activity in the sebaceous glands, which gives the skin a shiny, greasy looking surface. The pores of this skin type are large and it is prone to blackheads and spot outbreaks/acne. Oily skin requires a good skincare routine to keep the pores unclogged and skin free from dirt and blemishes. Preventative care through cleansing, gentle exfoliation and use of skin toners will benefit oily skin types. It is important not to use harsh cleansing agents as these can over strip the skin causing the oil glands to produce more oil. Oily skin will still benefit from moisturising but choose one designed specifically for oily skin types.
Combination skin is very common (with around 70% of people having this skin type) It is typically oily in the T Zone area (forehead, nose and chin) and dryer on the cheeks. This type of skin requires separate treatment for each area ,with attention focused on cleansing and toning the oily patches in the T Zone, which may be prone to spots and blackheads. The dryer patches on the cheeks will benefit from deeper moisturising.
This skin type is least problematic. It is smooth in texture and even toned with tiny pores. The skin has a balanced water and oil content, it has a healthy glow and feels smooth and soft. This type of skin is ideally what we would all choose! Although normal skin needs minimal care, it is still important to look after it. A simple 3 step daily routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising is usually enough for this skin type.
Dry skin does not produce enough sebum and lacks moisture. It is fine in texture, without visible pores. This type of skin is sometimes patchy and fragile with a tendency towards fine lines/wrinkles. Dry skin is exacerbated by extremes of temperature and cold weather. It is prone to flaking and chapped skin. A skin care routine with an emphasis on moisturising will help improve this skin type.
Sensitive skin is very fragile and tends to become inflamed and irritated easily. It is prone to allergic reactions and blotchy or itchy areas. It tends to be thin with fine pores and is often reactive to skin care products and cosmetics. Do not use too many products for this skin type, it is better to use only what is really needed to avoid further disruption to the skin. Broken capillaries are common with sensitive skin, as are reddened/ rashy areas. Natural products with gentle natural ingredients often benefit sensitive skin types. If your condition is severe, consult a dermatologist.
The skin may be beginning to lose its elasticity and showing signs of ageing. You may also find that the skin is becoming less firm, with development of fine lines or wrinkles. Many factors can contribute to maturing skin including effects from sun damage, stress, smoking and alcohol, so it isn’t unique to the over forties, people in their mid twenties or thirties may find themselves with this skin type too. A good daily cleansing routine and weekly use of a gentle exfoliating scrub will help remove dead skin cells and give radiance to the complexion. Richly hydrating moisturisers, night creams and serums will replenish and help nourish this skin type.
And finally…Remember that the most important factor in maintaining healthy, radiant skin is a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet, rich in wholegrain, seeds and pulses, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water (8-10 glasses per day) and exercising regularly will help to keep the skin in prime condition. Cutting out smoking and keeping alcohol consumption to within the recommended daily units will really help to keep the skin looking fresh.