How to Determine Your Skin Type
The first step in setting up a skincare routine is knowing your skin type. You must know your skin type to properly care for your skin. Your skin is your body’s largest organ and is more complex than many realize. Using skincare products that are too harsh for your skin or that strip your skin of necessary oils can cause a breakout. Take a moment to learn how to determine your skin type and guard yourself with the information needed to choose the right skincare options specifically for you. The reward is a healthy, more radiant complexion.
Here are two simple ways to determine your skin type:
The Wash and Wait Method
Use a mild cleanser to thoroughly cleanse your face and gently pat dry. Do not apply moisturizer. After 30 minutes get in front of a mirror and examine your face looking for any areas where shine can be detected. Pay special attention to your chin, nose, cheeks and forehead. Are those areas oily? Wait another 30 minutes get back in front of the mirror and look for dry areas. Move your face around- crack a smile. If your skin feels tight or itchy in areas, that indicates dry skin. If your cheeks are dry and tight, your skin is dry. If there is shine on your nose and forehead only, your skin is probably normal- combo. If you notice shine on your forehead or nose, that is an indication of excessive oil and you probably have oily skin.
The Blot Method
I prefer the wash and wait method but if you are short on time, try the blot sheet method. Grab sheets of blotting paper and gently pat the blotting paper on areas of your face- cheeks, forehead, chin, nose. Hold the sheet up to the light to see if there is visible oil on the paper. If all the sheet is dry and you do not see oil, you likely have dry skin. If you see that oil was collection just from the nose and forehead, your skin is likely normal or combo. If you see that oil was collected from your cheeks, chin, forehead and nose, you are on the oily side and should look for products to address your skin type.
Okay, so now that you know your skin type let’s talk about it:
Dry skin gets tight throughout the day and may even flake. Genetics and environmental factors are the culprits when it comes to dry skin. Your lifestyle, diet, hormones and climate can all affect your skin. One of the primary causes of dry skin is dehydration. If you notice the signs (tight or flaky skin) drink up. Beverages like alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate your body and it will show on your skin so drink these in moderation. Keep your water game up.
People with dry skin tend to avoid exfoliation. This is a mistake because exfoliation promotes skin cell turnover without disturbing the skin’s natural oils. Without the dead skin, products can be more easily absorbed into the skin. The best moisturizers to address dry skin are those containing natural hyaluronic acid and natural humectants like honey. These ingredients naturally attract water and deliver it directly to the skin cells. The result will be less dryness. Your skin will be happy and it will show.
Normal & Combination Skin
People with normal and combination skin often notice dry patches on the cheeks. It is important to use a moisturizer that is not too heavy or oily. Normal and combination skin is often prone to breakouts on the cheeks or T Zone. Daily exfoliation will help with the dryness and gel moisturizers like Aloe Vera can help balance the skin out.
Dun, dun, dun, dun… Oily skin can cause clogged and congested pores. The upside to having oily skin is that this skin type tends to age slowly. Oil produced in the body and makes its way on to the skin provides natural moisture to the skin and makes the skin less prone to wrinkle. Gentle manual exfoliation can help address the oil without disrupting the body’s natural need to produce oil. One of the drawbacks of having oily skin is that oily skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation. Regular exfoliation will help lighten the dark spots. If there is acne, consider using an exfoliant with natural anti-bacterial ingredients. Anti-bacterial face washes do a good job of healing the skin and preventing future blemishes.
Treating and caring for sensitive skin can be a challenge. It takes time and effort to determine which products work while avoiding irritation and inflammation. Be sure to patch test every single product to avoid a full-blown breakout. After using a product for two weeks and you see no sign of irritation, you are in the clear to continue using the product. When purchasing products for sensitive skin, look for labels that identify the products that have parabens, synthetic fragrances, mineral oil and sulfates. These may cause breakouts.
Keep in mind that your skin’s needs can change over time. Make examining your skin a priority. It can tell you a lot about your health. It is also a way to modify your program to keep your skin radiant and beautiful.
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