What's your skin type?
What’s your skin type?
For anyone out there trying to look after their skin, the amount of products on the market can be a minefield. With all that choice, it can be hard to know what is right for you. A good place to start is to consider your skin type. Once you have a better understanding of your own skin, matching products to suit it becomes far easier.
There are four main skin types: normal, dry, oily and combination.
Normal skin is considered soft with good elasticity and moisture. It rarely overreacts to anything you put on it. However, it’s important to note that ‘normal’ is all relative – i.e. what seems normal for one person may not for the next. We’re all likely to have skin issues at some point in our lives.
Dry skin has small pores, slow secretion of sebum and looks dull. The dull appearance is due to dead skin cells on the surface that reflects light differently. Very dry skin can also look flaky. Many things cause dry skin including sun exposure, over-exfoliating and hormonal changes through aging. The lack of sebum means the skin cannot contain moisture as easily. Keeping skin hydrated is therefore important.
Oily skin has large pores, over secretion of sebum and looks shiny. This can also lead to breakouts of spots. Oily skin can still be dry and need moisturise because oil and water are different things. Using hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture.
Combination skin usually refers to a mixture of skin types. It can be dry-normal or oily-normal. Some people have dry skin in winter and oily in summer. Others are oily around the nose and forehead but dry elsewhere.
What about sensitive skin?
Sensitive skin is sometimes given its own category but any skin type can be sensitive. Sensitive skin gets irritated easily, is prone to inflammation, may have allergic reactions and often reacts to external stimuli. If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid friction, and triggers like heat, alcohol or stress. Also it is worth testing a patch of new ingredient on your skin to see how it will react.
Choose the right products for your skin type
Skincare products should be chosen to compliment your skin type and are usually formulated accordingly. For example, if you have dry skin use a rich cream to moisturise whereas if you have oily skin use a lighter lotion.
Dry skin needs a hydrating moisturiser. Drink plenty of water. Adding in a moisturising serum may also benefit your skin.
For oily skin it is essential to cleanse before bed as any make-up or product that block the pores can worsen the condition. To reduce shine, use a matting day cream.
Skin types can change depending on our genes, hormones and the environment. The products we use on our skin should match our skin type and this may vary throughout the year and as we get older.
If you have any questions or want a detailed consultation about matching your skin type to specific products, please feel free to get in touch.