Understanding your Skin Type:
Skin care companies to this day make products for the 3 most conventional types of skin: dry, normal and oily. However, once you dig deeper into skin care and the entire science behind it, you realize that there are many more skin types. Each human skin is unique and requires a routine that works for it specifically, much different from other skin types. Generalizing a skincare routine on the basis of surrounding conditions / climate conditions / hereditary factors is a myth.
The most daunting task prior to starting a skincare routine is to determine your skin type. With so many products and information available at the click of a button, it is rather difficult to understand what works best for oneself. While determining your skin type, it is important to look at the big picture and consider ALL your skin’s needs and requirements, not only the ones that bother you the most.
SKIN TYPE AND SKIN CONDITION:
Unlike the skin type, skin condition varies greatly during the course of your life. There are various internal and external factors that determine the skin condition including climate conditions, pollution, medication, stress and hereditary factors. Hence, it is important to select skincare products that match your skin type and address your skin condition simultaneously.
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SKIN TYPE?
While it is important to use the correct products on your skin at the correct time and age, the most important step for a skin care regime is to understand your skin type. As simple as this sounds, it is quite a cumbersome process especially for the beginners in the skin care industry. We would recommend taking a quick and meaningful quiz right here to understand your skin in the beginning. To dig deeper into understanding the various types of skin and their distinguishing features, we recommend reading our next section where we have tried to cover skin types in great detail.
DIFFERENT SKIN TYPES:
Before we get into the details of various types of skin, we would like to mention that our skin type changes a few times in our lifetime as our body undergoes hormonal changes. Hence, it is incorrect to assume that our skin type would remain the same throughout our life.
1. SKIN TYPE 1 – Oily / Clogged Pores / Severe Breakouts: This skin type is characterized by oily, problem skin which experiences severe breakouts all over. This skin type requires a carefully curated blend of AHA and BHA pore-clearing exfoliants and antiseptic botanicals to effectively reduce breakouts.
2. SKIN TYPE 2 – Oily / Combination / Occasional Breakouts / Anti-Aging: This skin type is usually oily in the T-zone but may experience dryness or itching elsewhere. This skin type may get occasional and mild breakouts and requires a carefully curated blend of non-drying, pore-clearing exfoliants. Hydrating antioxidants also help prevent signs of visible aging here.
3. SKIN TYPE 3 – Oily / Combination / Sensitive / Consistent Breakouts: This skin type produces oil mostly in the T-zone but may experience tightness, redness or irritation elsewhere. This skin type experiences frequent breakouts and clogged pores. It requires a carefully curated blend of antibacterial BHAs and soothing botanicals for oil-free hydration.
4. SKIN TYPE 4 – Oily / Combination / Sensitive / Occasional Breakouts: This skin type produces oil in the T-zone but may experience dryness or itching elsewhere. This skin type may become red and flush easily and may break out from the use of heavy moisturizers. It requires carefully curated calming and pore-clearing ingredients like BHAs that won’t leave skin feeling dry or irritated.
5. SKIN TYPE 5 – Normal / Sensitive / Red / Anti-Aging: This skin type produces oil in the summer but may feel dry or itchy in the winter. This skin type experiences frequent redness and requires gentle exfoliants and soothing nourishment to reduce redness and prevent visible signs of aging.
6. SKIN TYPE 6 – Normal / Anti-Aging: This skin type produces oil in the summer but may feel dry or itchy in the winter. It requires high concentrations of AHA exfoliants to boost the cellular turnover and potent antioxidants to brighten the complexion and prevent any visible signs of aging.
7. SKIN TYPE 7 – Dry / Tired / Aging: This skin type feels dry and tight the entire year round. This skin type looks tired, is in need of a glow and may experience loss of elasticity. It requires energizing ingredients, firming peptides and a high concentration of AHA exfoliants to boost the cellular turnover and even out the complexion.
8. SKIN TYPE 8 – Dry / Sun Damaged / Aging: This skin type feels dry and tight the entire year round. This skin type has a history of excess sun exposure which may have led to brown spots, broken capillaries and loss of elasticity. This skin type requires brightening ingredients to even out the skin tone and AHA exfoliants to boost cellular turnover and firm peptides.
9. SKIN TYPE 9 – Dry / Sensitive / Red / Aging: This skin type feels dry and tight the entire year round and exhibits loss of elasticity. This skin type experiences consistent redness and gets easily irritated especially with the use of harsh, drying products. It requires calming and brightening ingredients to combat the redness as well as peptides to provide soothing and anti-aging benefits.
STILL DON’T KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE?
Every human’s skin is unique and while we have tried to cover as many skin types as we could, it is possible that you could not relate to any of the above mentioned skin types. In order to resolve your concern, we would love to share 2 easy ways to determine your skin type at home:
- The Bare Faced Method:
- Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser and gently pat dry.
- Leave your skin bare and do not apply any additional moisturizers, serums or treatments.
- After 30 minutes, examine your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead for any shine.
- After another 30 minutes, evaluate whether your skin feels parched, especially if you smile or make any other facial expressions.
- If your skin feels tight, your skin is likely dry.
- If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is mostly likely normal/combination.
- If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin.
- The Blotting Sheet Method: This method is much faster and a great differentiator between oily and dry skin types.
- Gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face. Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible.
- If the sheet has picked up little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin.
- If the blotting sheet reveals oil from the forehead and nose areas, your skin is normal/combination.
- Finally, if the blotting paper is saturated with oil, it is extremely likely that you have oily skin.
The most crucial step in developing a glowing and radiant skin is to identify your skin type, whether from taking online quizzes / reading about the various types of skin / using DIY methods to find out for yourself at home. While your skin is the outermost layer on your body and is as complicated as other vital organs including the heart or the lungs, it is mostly overlooked. With the knowledge of one’s correct skin conditions and type, it is easier to find products that work for the skin in the long run. Another important aspect which comes with the understanding of your skin is the knowledge of what to avoid using on your skin. Use of skin care products and treatments that are harsh or not recommended, may in turn damage the skin beyond repair. Hence, it is important to learn your skin’s specific needs and requirements that would help strike the right balance leading to a more radiant complexion.