Everyone wants skin that’s smooth, soft and glowing, but for many, it’s not-so-smooth sailing after the puberty hits. From hormonal acne to skin discolouration to sunspots, it’s hard to catch a break from all the unpredictable things your skin can do. It is important to understand your skin type. Skin is the largest organ. Harsh cleansers and treatments may damage your skin by stripping off natural oil. Extreme use of moisturizers may decrease natural oil production, making the skin drier. Notice your skin’s needs to choose the right creams. It will result in a healthier and radiant complexion.
Every skin is different. The three main and common skin types are oily, normal, combination and dry. So, how to determine your skin type? Here are two easy ways.
The Bare-Faced Method
Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser and pat dry. Do not apply any additional moisturizers or serums. Examine your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead after 20 minutes. After another 30 minutes, evaluate whether your skin is parched while making any facial expressions. If your skin feels tight, the skin type is dry. If there is noticeable shine on the nose and forehead, the skin is normal to combination. If there is shine on the cheeks, forehead and nose, the skin type is oily.
The Blotting Sheet Method
This is a faster and easy method to differentiate between oily and dry skin types. Gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of the face. Hold the paper against the light. If the sheet has little or no oil, the skin type is dry. If the blotting sheet reveals oil, the skin type is normal or a combination. If the blotting paper is saturated with oil, the skin type is oily.
Dry skin can feel tight and may experience noticeable flaking. Dry skin is due to genetics, environmental factors (lifestyle & diet), hormonal changes, dehydration and climate. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine to make a significant difference in skin.
Daily exfoliation with gentle & non-abrasive products promotes skin texture without removing natural oils. The moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid (sodium hyaluronate), glycerin, and marine actives like algae are best for dry skin. Emollients such as squalane and camellia oil promote smoothness and hydration to the skin.
People with normal skin often experience dryness on the cheeks. A substantial moisturizer is enough to retain moisture. Normal skin is not prone to breakouts on the cheeks. It has a well-moisturized t-zone. Gentle exfoliation is important to keep the t-zone and cheek areas hydrated. Gel- moisturizers are absorbed quickly and less likely to cause breakouts. Avoid over-moisturizing.
If several parts of your face are dry, while other parts specifically T-zone is oily since skin’s oil-producing glands are more concentrated then the skin type is a combination. Nose, chin and skin around the eyes may appear dull and rough because of dead skin cells.
Think having combination skin gets you a free pass for not using moisturizer? Think again! Every skin needs moisture. For combination skin, an oil-free moisturizer will be appropriate, as it won’t add any additional slick to oily T-zone. Use a generous amount of a broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF value 15 or higher) each day or reach for a moisturizer with SPF.
Excess oil may cause congested and clogged pores. The oily skin looks younger, supple and less prone to wrinkle due to the high natural moisture. Enzymatic exfoliation is essential to prevent sebum buildup. A gentle exfoliator is useful for balancing the skin tone and texture. Oily skin is prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Exfoliation will help lighten these dark spots and revealing new cells.
Managing sensitive skin is challenging. It takes considerable time and effort to determine a trigger factor that causes inflammation and irritation. Try only one new formula or product at a time in skincare and cosmetics. Patch testing is a must to minimize potential reactions on the face. Look for formulas that are non-irritating, non-comedogenic and free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, sulfate, phthalates, urea, DEA or TEA, as these ingredients can cause redness and itchiness.
Some common tips before choosing the skin cream
- SPF is one of the most important skincare products when it comes to your skin’s texture and youth. Sunscreen helps prevent wrinkles, redness and uneven skin. It keeps the skin supple for longer.
- Exfoliate is a natural process that helps rejuvenate skin by removing any loose or dead skin cells from the surface, thus revealing healthy skin below. With modern devices, exfoliating and cleansing twice a day is efficient and quick.
- Chemical peels are great at-home treatment to further repair rough skin. A chemical peel helps remove sun-damaged skin, stimulates re-growth and evens out the texture as well as the skin pigmentation. It also promotes collagen.
- A myriad of vitamin C infused serums and moisturizers are available in the market. Vitamin C is an important antioxidant in a skincare routine. Vitamin C helps to improve the skin texture by protecting the skin from environmental damages. It also reduces pigmentation, scars and age spots. Incorporate vitamin C into your skincare routine for young, fresh and soft skin.
- Besides their soothing scent and consistency, oil-based products are ideal for regulating sebum production in the skin. Thus making it supple, yet balanced and ultra-smooth. Incorporate face oils into your night skincare regimen for baby-soft skin.
The need for the skin keeps changing over time. It is important to take steps and identify them. For healthy skin, “check-in” to determine whether any adjustments to skin-routine are needed for flawless and beautiful skin.