Knowing Your Skin Type


Before you decide on a daily skin-care regimen, it is important to identify your own skin type in order to choose the right products that work best for you. Your skin will respond differently to varies stimuli and cleansers. If you have eczema, psoriasis, acne or any condition, it is likely your skin will increase the response to products. The descriptions below are meant to help you confirm your own self-assessment. Or, if you’re on the borderline of one type or another, these profiles should help you decide. You may also get your dermatologist to help you to identify your skin type. Keep in mind that your skin type may change with different life situations – such as pregnancy and menopause – or if you move to a more dry or humid climate, and you may need to make changes in the way you care for it. With aging, your skin will get drier than before.


Sensitive Skin

Your skin will react to a variety of creams (some sunscreens, renewal creams, glycolic acid creams) by stinging or burning. You may have a personal or family history of eczema or other skin irritations. You need to use skin products that are tested and labelled specifically for sensitive skin. Your skin may even react to cold temperatures or wind by becoming red and irritated. You may also notice tiny cracks in your skin, and that makeup becomes flaky. Although the irritation – redness, stinging, itching, and burning – that you sometimes experience is not the same as a truly allergic reaction, you are more prone to true allergies, and you can break out in a rash all over if you are allergic to a fragrance or some other ingredient or drug.


Dry Skin

Your skin will often feel tight and ‘stretched’ within a half hour after you wash your face. You usually do not have any oily areas on your face. You need to use non-soap, moisturising washes. Your skin may often also be sensitive and you may not be able to tolerate renewal creams, at least not frequently. Your pores are small and fine, even across your nose and chin. You may have flaky areas where there are fewer pores, and your skin is thin over your cheeks. It may be so transparent and delicate that you can see small blood vessels beneath it, especially on your cheeks. Your skin looks smooth, but it feels rough when you run your fingertips across it. You may notice very fine superficial lines etched on your cheeks. That’s because the normal creases in the skin are more obvious when there isn’t enough moisture to soften them. Moisturizing creams and lotions disappear quickly into your skin after you apply them.


Normal Skin

You skin feels neither greasy nor dry, which means you are fortunate to have a whole range of skin-care products available to you. The pores of your skin are medium-size. Although you may have more pores along your nose and chin, and these areas may be oiler than your cheeks and around your eyes, you are not troubled with blackheads and pimples. Your complexion is bright and it feels smooth to the touch. Your skin is usually free of blemishes and tolerates extremes in temperatures well. Your cheeks may redden in the cold, but they don’t become irritated and chapped. Makeup stays where you put it and doesn’t flake. Weather conditions may change your skin; it’s a bit oilier when it’s warm and drier when it’s cool.


Oily Skin

Your skin feels greasy or oily and often looks shiny, particularly on the forehead and chin. You may be prone to oil bumps as you age. You need to use degreasing cleansers and toners and sometimes oil-absorbing face masks. The good news is that your skin is unlikely to be sensitive and can tolerate many creams, including renewal creams. Your overall skin tone is likely to be sallow. When it comes to ageing, you are lucky. You have far fewer lines than your friends with dry or even normal skin. Your skin tolerates cold and wind very well, but hot, humid weather may make it glisten with oil. Foundation disappears after about an hour or two, moisturizing lotions and creams absorb slowly.


Combination Skin

Your skin is a combination of oily (usually on the forehead and nose – the T-zone, where there are more sebaceous glands) and normal or dry (more often the cheeks and around the mouth and neck). Different cleansing routines are needed for the different areas, or products aimed specifically at combination skin types. You tend to have enlarged pores especially on T-zone area and dehydration on other areas. Up to 50 per cent of women have combination skin.

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