Diagnosing Your Skin Type
When it comes to skin type, even if you’ve won the genetics lottery, there is still a lot that can change. Thanks to our diets, work environments, climate changes and getting older, our skin type isn’t one that we can count on that will be there for us no matter what. Thanks to the growing field of biotechnology, caring for your skin is a precise science. Learn about your skin type to understand how to take care of it properly and optimize the health of your skin.
Are you a victim of acne and breakouts? Are you constantly blotting your face only to find that it’s still shiny? While oil is essential for healthy and supple skin, as it keeps skin hydrated and protected, too much oil isn’t ideal. While everyone produces oil, or sebum, through their sebaceous glands, people with oily skin produce an excess amount of it.This can be due to a number of factors, including:
- Age - The younger we are, the more sebum we produce.
- Genetics - Oily skin is hereditary.
- Environment - Living in a hot and humid climate will result in producing more oil.
- Season - The Summer months promote oily skin more than Winter months.
- Moisturizer - A moisturizer which is too heavy for your skin will also make your skin excessively oily.
- Hormones - As hormones change, it can affect how much oil your skin produces.
How To Manage Your Oily Complexion?
- Wash your face twice a day. Washing more often can dry out your skin and cause even more oil to be produced.
- Blot with blotting papers. Medicated and non-medicated pads can help with soaking up excess oil throughout the day.
- Limit makeup. When oily skin combines with makeup, it doesn’t always give the intended results. Limiting makeup or wearing water-based makeup can help your skin look its best.
- Moisturize. If you’re washing your face and using harsh toners for your acne, then moisturizing is absolutely necessary, even with oily skin. A lack of moisturizing cream will actually cause your skin to produce even more oil.
The Bright Side Of Oily Skin
Battling oily skin does have a positive side to it when it comes to aging as it can mean being less prone to wrinkles. Studies have measured forehead wrinkles in people with excess sebum and found that the more sebum they had, the fewer the forehead wrinkles.
If your skin feels tight, itchy and flaky, you may be suffering from dry skin.
Many people use dry and dehydrated skin interchangeably, but there is a real difference. Dry skin is a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin is a condition. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to dry skin. They are:
- Weather - Cold tends to dry out skin. The Winter months can lead to tighter, drier skin.
- Heat - Central heating, fireplaces and space heaters will dry out your skin because they remove the humidity.
- Long, Hot Showers - These can be very drying on your skin.
- Aging- People over 40 tend to have drier skin as their sebum production decreases.
Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated? How Can You Tell The Difference?
If your skin feels rough, tight and itchy, don’t assume you have dry skin. You may require a simpler fix, such as increasing your water intake.
For dry skin, moisturization is the key. Our dermatologists recommend moisturizing immediately after washing your face. “Literally minutes after washing your face, you should be applying a moisturizing cream,” they suggest. Look for creams with a basis of urea, hyaluronate, dimethicone, glycerin and mineral oil. These effectively lock in moisture that dry skin desperately needs.
Dehydrated skin, as previously mentioned, is a condition rather than a skin type, which means that all skin types can be dehydrated. If you find your skin feeling rough and your lines and wrinkles looking very noticeable, you should work on hydrating your skin properly. Additionally, you can test your hydration level by pinching the skin on the back of your hand. If the skin doesn’t spring back within seconds, you could be looking at dehydrate skin. Ways to rehydrate your skin include:
- Drink water. The optimal amount of water you need to drink per day, depends on you. Your lifestyle, environment, etc will impact how much you need to drink.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. These have a high water content which will help replenish your skin.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which means you are losing more water.
- Wash with cool water. Stay away from extremely warm or hot water which will further strip your skin.
- Use a deep penetrating serum designed to work on the deeper dermal layers of your skin to nourish and hydrate.
Lock in optimum hydration with a top quality moisturizer that works to protect the outer layer of skin by attracting and keeping in moisture.
Many people throw around the term ‘sensitive skin’ but don’t actually have an extreme version of it. For people who are diagnosed with sensitive skin, it means the outer layer of skin, which is primarily made of lipids (or fat), is much thinner than it should be. This exposes the lower dermal layers and leads to symptoms such as:
- A propensity towards blushing and flushed skin.
- Unprotected nerve endings due to very dry skin.
- Reactive skin, such as bumps and pustules.
As with dry skin, excessively long showers, exposure to cold weather and fragranced soaps can be irritating and exacerbate the issue.
Normal skin is usually characterized by skin which is neither dry or oily, and with regular-sized pores. Because skin type is affected by age, environment and hormone levels, ignoring normal skin to sort itself out, is not advisable. Making sure to stay adequately hydrated, moisturize and protect skin with the proper skin care routine is recommended in order to maintain a normal skin type.
Combination skin refers to skin which has both oily and dry characteristics. Many times, the nose and forehead will have excess oil, while other areas of the face will have dry patches. Finding serums and moisturizers which work with both dry and oily skin types is key to taking care of this skin type.
Serums are an effective way to treat combination skin because they are lightweight and extremely concentrated to target the exact nature of your skin. One area of your skin may need a skin brightening serum whereas another may need intensive nighttime repair. Controlling the type and amount of serum you use, can work to get you the ultimate, glowing complexion.
Our Take Away
As your diet, hormones and environment change, the skin type you were born with changes as well. With current biotechnological advances in skin care, finding the right formula for your dynamic skin type has never been easier. Your skin is unique and so the way you care for your skin should be suited for you.