Get to Know Your Skin Type

If you’re following along with me for No Makeup March, you should know that this week is all about the building blocks of a great skincare routine. Before you can find a skincare routine that works for you, it is important to know your skin type. Without knowing this it is very difficult to find effective products for your skin. Your skin type is also not set in stone, it will change with diet, hormones, and age. If the skincare that used to work for you is no longer as effective, this may be why.

I have read many different classifications of skin type, but today I wanted to review the basics of what you should know when it comes to your skin.

Skin Types:

Normal

This skin type is naturally very balanced. The skin experiences very little irritation and is not prone to blemishes. The skin will look very even and smooth and throughout the day will not dry out or become too oily. This skin type does not usually react negatively to new products and allows the most experimentation when it comes to trying new beauty products.

Oily

This skin type will become very shiny throughout the day and is prone to clogged pores (acne, blackheads, whiteheads). Oily skin is also prone to post-inflammitory hyperpigmentation, which leaves dark scars after a breakout has healed. One benefit to this skin type is that it is less prone to wrinkles. When shopping for beauty products with oily skin it is important to avoid ingredients like mineral oil, petroleum and alcohol. Looking for products labeled “non-comedogenic” will ensure that they do not clog your pores. Exfoliating is also very important with this skin type because it will reduce build up in pores, as well as promote a more even skin tone and reduce dark spots by revealing new skin cells. Even though the skin is oily it is still very important to keep this skin type hydrated and to not over-wash the face, or the skin will begin producing even more oil to compensate.

Dry

Having dry skin is caused by the skin not retaining oil or dehydration. This skin type often feel tight, show fine lines, flakiness, itchiness, irritation and redness. With dry skin staying hydrated is extremely important in improving the health of your skin, alcohol and caffeine should be avoided to show improvements in the skin. It is equally as important to hydrate the skin topically, applying a rich moisturizer 2-3 times throughout the day will help balance the skin. Suggested products for dry skin are water-based moisturizers or products including hydroluronic acid. Avoid harsh products including citrus oils or heavy fragrance. It will also benefit dry skin to keep a humidifier on in the house to maintain moisture in the air.

Sensitive

 This skin type is prone to redness, irritation, and inflammation. The challenge with sensitive skin is that no two people’s sensitivities are exactly alike. With this skin type it is important to pay attention to your skin’s reaction when trying new products, and it is especially important to stick with skincare products and a routine that you know works for you. When trying new products it is important to avoid heavy fragrances and alcohol. When looking for new beauty products seek out labels that identify products as non-irritating, free of parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil, and sulfate detergents; these ingredients can result in redness and irritation. If you are unsure about a new beauty product, do a small test on the wrist or behind the ears before using.

Combination

This skin type is what you’d think. It is when different parts of your skin have different properties. Many people experience a combination of oily in their T-zone and normal or dry on their cheeks. It is also common to have a combination of oily and sensitive skin in which the skin over produces oil and is acne-prone but can have a red, irritated reaction to many skincare products. Understanding what combination your skin is will be the only way to treat it properly, once you understand the different skin types on your face and body, you can target the specific areas with the products that suit them best.

Environmental and hormonal factors will keep our skin ever-changing, so check in on your skin type every year and stick to the routine and products that give you the best results. Attention and consistency are key to healthy skin.

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