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Our skin is our body’s window to the outside world! We all desire radiant and healthy skin, don’t we? It’s just that in the hustle and bustle of our daily routines, skin care sometimes takes a back seat. Skin is like a baby, requiring constant attention and care to nurture its beauty. To be able to take care of our skin, it’s important we understand it well, because just like no two kids are alike, we all have distinct skin types.
The Common Skin Types
Your skin type can be influenced by various factors like the weather you live in, your genes, age, hormones, UV exposure, your diet and more. In a broad spectrum, skin can be classified into the following basic types –
Normal Skin: A normal skin is one that is not too oily nor too dry. With few imperfections, barely visible pores, no severe sensitivity and a radiant complexion, it’s probably the ideal skin type.
Dry Skin: Do you find your skin to be rough and scaly and your complexion, dull? You might just belong to the dry skin camp. This skin type is less elastic than others, with more visible lines and almost invisible pores.
Oily Skin: Oily skin is characterized by a shiny complexion, enlarged pores and blackheads. It could be prone to pimples. Most of us experience oily skin in our lifetime during puberty, while exposed to heat or too much humidity and at times when undergoing stress.
Combination Skin: Some of you might be thinking, I have a little bit of everything talked about above. Welcome to the combination skin type. Your skin can be normal or dry in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone which is the forehead, nose and chin. Shiny skin, blackheads and pores that look larger than normal are common characteristics found in a combination skin type.
Sensitive Skin: If you experience redness or irritation in the form of itching, burning or dryness on mere exposure to certain substances or conditions, it is most likely you have a sensitive skin type.
Acne Prone: For the most part, acne prone skin is usually related to more oily skin. The excess sebum interferes with the skin’s process of shedding skin cells and it creates build up and inflammation. This isn’t to say that other skin types can’t also experience acne, because they can.
Know your type!
Knowing your skin type is crucial in determining which products would work the best for you. Using the wrong product can sometimes bring more harm than good.
Have you ever used a moisturizer and felt all greasy? Or used a moisturizer and still have dry scales?
Every skin type requires a different care regime. Some products may be too harsh for your skin while others may be too mild or have no effect. For instance, certain cleansers contain drying ingredients which may benefit a person with oily skin but might dehydrate an already dry skin. On the other hand, moisturizing is favorable to treat dry skin, but it can further harm an oily one. So, you need to choose your skin care product based on the skin type you have.
The most distinctive skin types are oily and dry, on the two extreme ends of the spectrum, with normal and combination falling in the middle. If you are not quite sure what your skin type is you could try one or both of the below simple tests from the comfort of your home.
- Blotting Paper Test:Wash your face with a mild cleanser and pat it dry. Do not apply any additional product and be sure to not touch your face at all after washing it. After a couple hours, examine your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead. Remember that each area of the face can yield a different result, so take note of your results for each area. Gently pat a blotting paper on different parts of your face. Hold the sheet across light to see how much oil is visible. If there is little to no oil, your skin is more than likely to be dry. If you see just a few dots of oil, but nothing in excess or maybe just a few areas of the face have a bit more oil showing up, then you have normal or combination skin. And if the blotting paper is soaked in oil, you have oily skin.If the skin looks almost poreless, a bit dull and maybe rough and flakey, then that area is dry. If there’s excess shine and enlarged pores, then these areas are most likely oily. If you can’t make out whether your skin looks dull and dry or has excess shine with enlarged pores, then you’re probably experiencing normal skin. Finally, if you’re experiencing varying results in different areas of the face, then your skin type is combination.
- Examine Skin Texture:After removing the excess oil with the blotting sheets and taking note of your results from that test, you can now move on to the skin exam test. Take a mirror and examine each area of the face carefully. You’ll be looking at your skin texture, pore size and the finish of your skin. If the skin looks almost pore-less, a bit dull and maybe rough and flakey, then that area is dry. If there are enlarged pores and no sign of dull looking skin, then these areas are most likely oily. If your pores are small, without much congestion, and your skin looks generally radiant, then that area will most likely be considered normal. Finally, if you’re experiencing varying results in different areas of the face, then your skin type is combination.
Taking note of the results for each area of the face, for both of these tests, you’ll have a pretty good understanding of the skin type you’re experiencing and if it’s the same on all areas of the face or if it varies.
Your skin type can be quite dynamic in the sense that it may change with time. The same person could have an oily skin at teenage but develop dryness later on. So, it’s important to keep tab on your skin type and shift your skin care routine accordingly to suit the need of your skin at the time.
On that note, it’s also important to understand that not everyone who falls into the same skin type category will have the same success using the same products. It’s up to you to be in-tune with your skin and to understand the types of products that work for you and which ones you generally don’t respond well to. This is a more holistic approach to skin care and it can benefit you more than simply categorizing yourself into the type of skin you’re experiencing.
With skin care done right, every skin type can be groomed to be radiant and healthy. So take that little extra care and keep shining!