The skin is incredibly complex, and it is often tricky to find the perfect balance to achieve a natural, healthy glow. Understanding your skin type is vital for identifying your skins individual needs, learning how to adapt your routine to maintain blemish-free skin and tracking down what products you should invest into to gain the most effective results.
Understanding Your Skin Type
The term ‘skin type’ relates to the appearance of your skin along with the way it behaves in different conditions. The main skin types are:
- Normal Skin
- Dry Skin
- Oily Skin
- Combination Skin
- Sensitive Skin
There are multiple different factors that contribute to your skin type and many people’s skin type changes over the years depending on things such as their diet, skincare routine and medication. One of the most significant contributors to your skin type which cannot be changed is genetics. Genetics most commonly relates to oily skin as if an individual suffers from glands that overproduce sebum, therefore form acne; it is incredibly likely their children will also suffer from similar skin conditions.
How To Find Your Skin Type
Identifying your skin type is actually relatively easy and can be done from the comfort of your home, it just takes a little patience and research. There are two main methods of tracking down your skin type, through a quick blotting method or through cleansing your skin and waiting to see its reaction.
Although the blotting method can give you a rough idea on the skin type you have, it is very vague and is only effective for oily or dry skin. However, either way, it will give you an indication of the skincare products to take into consideration from now on.
Gently press a piece of blotting paper onto clean skin, focusing on the ‘T Zone’ which includes the forehead, nose and area around the mouth. Once blotted onto the skin, hold the paper up to the light and take a look at how much oil is on the paper. If there is no oil, or very little oil, then you have dry skin. If there is a lot of oil on the paper, then you have oily skin.
The cleansing method is super easy and can be done whenever you have a spare 30 minutes makeup-free. Thoroughly clean your face with only a gentle cleanser using no moisturisers or serums. Leave your skin bare for around 30 minutes and then examine your ‘T Zone’. If the skin appears shiny and hydrated, then you have oily skin. On the other hand, if the skin feels tight, especially when you smile, then you have dry skin.
What Are The Different Skin Types?
There are five main skin types, each of which has distinct qualities and requires different care to keep healthy and blemish-free with a natural glow.
If your skin falls into the ‘normal’ category, you’re incredibly lucky. Those who have normal skin suffer very little with breakouts and blemishes, and when they do appear, they subside quickly without the need for using products. Pores are often small and almost invisible, so build ups of dirt, and clogged pores are never an issue.
Those with normal skin, are not overly oily but do not suffer from dry patches. They also do not suffer from reactions or allergies from using new products with different ingredients. Although normal skin is easy to care for, you must still use anti-ageing products and moisturise to ensure that your skin remains healthy and glowing as you get older.
Those who suffer from naturally dry skin will notice their skin becoming tighter and flakier throughout the day. It also appears dull and fine lines or wrinkles are more noticeable. Particularly during the colder months, red patches, rough areas and cracked skin will emerge and become tricky to manage.
One of the biggest causes of dry skin is dehydration, so if you notice your skin becoming drier by the day, it is most definitely worth increasing your daily water intake. It also becomes tricky for moisturisers and serums to sink into the skin when there is a layer of dead skin cells covering the pores. This means it is highly recommended to schedule daily exfoliation into your skincare routine. Aim to avoid harsh scrubbing using abrasive products as it will just irritate and crack the skin even further. Instead, opt for a gentle face scrub or exfoliating face brush paired with a nourishing face wash. Once all dead skin is removed, your face will be able to absorb all hydrating ingredients in your moisturisers and serums.
Unlike dry skin, oily skin is overly hydrated meaning that the pores are producing too much sebum. Sebum is a mix of oils and fats in the skin, which in the right amount, is healthy, but too much is one of the main culprits of blocked pores. Often those who suffer from the overproduction of sebum also form acne when they reach their teenage years. If you notice that your skin has a shiny surface, larger pores and you are prone to blackheads, then its more than likely that you fall in the oily skin category.
Exfoliation, again, is one of the best ways to avoid clogged pores and clear additional sebum, however, will only be required a few days a week rather than daily. Aim to use a gentle exfoliator that includes tea tree as this will not only reduce build-ups, but also fight the bacteria that causes angry spots. When it comes to moisturisers, primers and makeup, opt for mattifying products which will prevent shine.
If you do suffer from acne and on the hunt for an effective treatment to reduce breakouts, we suggest taking a trip to our beauty clinic in Milton Keynes to book a laser carbon mask. The laser carbon mask uses charcoal to draw out all dirt and grime in the pores to give an instant glow.
The combination category relates to skin that is both oily and dry; often the ‘T Zone’ will be oily, but the rest of the face is relatively dry. Combination skin is often one of the hardest types to manage as you need to track down the perfect balance, but is, in fact, the most common skin type. Those who fall into the combination category often only experience spots and blackheads on the nose, but suffer from dry patches on the forehead and around the eyes.
Aim to use a gel-like moisturiser rather than cream as it means that the dry areas will be hydrated, but the oily areas will not become clogged. Use a small pea-sized amount on the ‘T Zone’ and then as much as you feel is needed on the remainder of the face. It is also recommended to avoid harsh cleansers that will strip the skin of essential oils, and instead use fragrance-free products.
Sensitive skin can be incredibly frustrating; you constantly feel as if you are spending ages researching the ingredients of each product to ensure it will not cause a reaction. This means that if your skin becomes irritated easily, you often wake up with rashes and itchy, dry patches; unfortunately, you fall into the sensitive skin category.
Those who have sensitive skin should avoid any products; this includes both makeup and skincare, that is fragranced and has harsh chemical ingredients. It is always recommended to do a patch test on your inner forearm at least 24 hours before you wish to start using the product. If the skin is at all red, inflamed or itchy, do not use on your entire face.
For more information on the best beauty tips for sensitive skin, take a look at our previous article.
Maintain Glowing, Blemish-Free Skin!
We hope our article has helped to give an insight into the variations in skin type and you can know pinpoint which category you fall into. Everyone can achieve perfect skin, no matter how oily, dry or sensitive your skin may be. It is all about trialling and testing different skincare products, routines and makeup to track down the ones that work for you. It may take a while, but we promise that it will be worth it!