There are four basic types of healthy skin: normal, dry, oily and combination skin. Skin type is determined by genetics.
Most people do not know which skin type they are. Finding out your skin type can help to take care of it, even if you do not experience any particular problems.
What skin type am I?
To find out your skin type, wash your skin with a cleansing bar, soap or cleanser and dry with a towel, and immediately inspect the forehead area with the naked eye under good light. It might help to work with a friend to look at each other’s skin type.
- Dry skin will look and feel slightly dry and flaky.
- Normal skin will look plumb and hydrated.
- Oily skin will show a sheen of oil that is visible to the eye.
A good skin barrier is important as it serves to protect us from infections, parasites and pathogens, as well as storing water and fats.
All skin experiences water loss
Water is lost from deeper layers of the skin naturally as we sweat, this happens all the time as we move around with normal activities, as well as when we are under stress.
Normal skin has small fine pores and a velvety texture with good blood flow throughout, and is soft and smooth.
The balance of natural oils is good and protects skin from weather and pollution with a good barrier function making this skin type resilient.
This skin does not have many reactions or blemishes. A wide range of products can be used without reactions.
- Use sun screen.
- Eat plenty of antioxidants.
- Healthy diet.
Dry Skin (Sensitive Mature)
Dry skin is also sensitive, and mature skin tends to be dry. Dry skin is not as efficient at producing sebum which is the natural oil that strengthens the skin barrier, and this leads to sensitivity, as skin becomes more permeable.
Dry skin may lack elasticity, and very dry skin is more likely to become lined, and can look scaly and feel itchy. A shortage of lipids means skin can not shield itself from what’s in the air and within households, like pollution particles from cars and household chemicals.
The skin barrier is supported with amino and lactic acids as part of the chemical make of the skin’s natural moisture production. Skin lacking moisture also lacks ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol, so adding the right fatty acids and ceramides, humectants and nutrition helps support healthy skin barrier function, as well as protecting health.
- Avoid hot baths.
- Moisturise with long lasting humectants.
- Cleanse with ph balanced products that are gentle.
- Healthy diet.
- Eat the rainbow in vegetables for plenty of antioxidants.
- Boost fatty Acids in diet and in your skincare.
This skin type over produces sebum, and the condition is known as seborrhea.
Oily skin can be lacking in some essential fatty acids, like linoleic acid and needs more gentle treatment, as it’s also permeable and prone to inflammation and irritation. Factors that influence these skin types are inherited genetics, hormonal changes and imbalances. Skin can also be affected by medication, diet and pore clogging skincare or make up.
- Drink water.
- Avoid touching or picking skin.
- Gentle ph balanced cleansing.
- Only use non comedegenic products.
- Choose High linoleic acids in natural formulas.
- Shower after exercise & activity.
- Reduce stress.
- If experiencing issues consult a medical professional before deciding a routine.
- Natural anti bacterial clays.
A combination of two types; oily and normal or oily and dry patches. Usually it is the T panel that is oily and other parts can be normal or even dry.
This skin type is Influenced by the same factors as oily skin and combination skin needs an adaptive approach using slightly different products, checking where the skin needs moisture or gentle cleansing or simply rest.
- Non comedogenic products on T panel Gentle ph balanced cleansing.
- Non comedogenic moisturisers.
- Use natural clays on T panel.
- Use small amount of high Linoleic oils on dry spots, and moisturisers on t panel.
- Drink water.
- Healthy diet.
It’s not absolute.
The condition of our skin can vary greatly according to the various internal and external factors it is subjected to. Weather, Heat, Activity, Time, Stress, Genetics, and external factors like particles and pollution all affect the skins health and ability to produce a balanced amount of lipids.
Our sense of touch is realised through the skin, and skin also has the vital function of helping to regulate our temperature. This happens as blood vessels dilate and skin also raises and lowers hairs to help to control body temperature.
Every day we lose up to 500 million skin cells from the outermost layer,and our skin had 25-30 layers of dead cells with new cells making their way through over a period of a few weeks. Products that help are glycolic acids and Ahas.
Men have thicker skin.
Women are more likely to experience skin dryness than men, which is why they may need to invest more money in skin care to protect the skin barrier. So it’s not just important for the sake of appearance, but also for the sake of skin health.