Skin Care Basics: What’s My Skin Type?
Understanding the basic traits and needs of your skin is the first step in properly caring for it. Depending on the genetic characteristics, you may fall within these 5 common skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive, or Combination.
Many of today’s skin care products are developed for and classified by skin type (most packaging labels the ideal skin types for use). As you could guess, using products that are not formulated for your skin type is not ideal, as the products might be ineffective or even sabotage your skin.
Here’s a guide to finding your skin type, along with some basic examples of products that are ideal for use. Note that sunscreen is a necessity for all skin types!
Skin that is considered to be “normal” is soft, smooth, and has an even tone. This skin is radiant, has good circulation, and does not have any traces of excess sebum (natural oils). Additionally, normal skin types have small to medium sized pores and retains a normal level of moisture.
Most individuals with a normal skin type can follow a basic skincare regimen featuring a daily moisturizer, cleanser, and night solution.
An oily skin type is usually easy to identify, as the skin often appears shiny and may be wet to the touch. These traits stem from an overproduction of sebum oils from the skin’s sebaceous glands. Individuals with oily skin usually have relatively large and notable pores. They are far more prone to acne compared to all other skin types.
It is vital for people with oily skin type to cleanse their skin regularly and use products that are not oil-based. Toners, exfoliators, and spot treatments are also great products to incorporate into you daily regimen for this type.
Dry skin does not retain moisture or oils easily, often leading to the appearance of bumpy or flakey areas and lines. Most individuals with dry skin say their skin feels tight and they often experience discoloration issues.
People with dry skin can benefit from focusing on staying properly hydrated, using an intensive moisturizer, and skipping any products containing “harsh” ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) or Benzoyl Peroxide.
People with sensitive skin types regularly experience issues related to inflammation, redness, or rashes. Their skin may become irritated from changes to the weather and they often burn easily from sun exposure. Sensitive skin types are more prone to skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis compared to other skin types.
People with sensitive skin have to be careful about which products they use, especially since most cleansers and moisturizers contain ingredients that can cause adverse reactions. Make sure to only use products designated for sensitive skin. It’s a good idea to test new products on a small area of the skin before adding them into your regimen.
People with combination skin types have various regions of the skin that exhibit the traits of different skin types. For example, their cheeks may have all the traits of dry skin while their forehead is oily. This often occurs when one area of the skin overproduces natural oils while other areas under-produce.
People with combination skin types may need to treat each region differently depending on their needs.