Every skin is different. Although there are many skin treatment options available, what works for one person may not work for another due to skin type differences. There are six skin types: normal, dry, combination/oily, sensitive, acne-prone and sun-damaged skin.
Naming the skin type of a user has become increasingly difficult with the advent of skin treatments and becoming more aware of skin types.
“I have combination skin so I use a moisturiser.”
Do you know what type of skin this is?
There are many skin care products on the market, which can leave people feeling overwhelmed with their options. The key to finding your skin type is identifying if your skin suffers from any symptoms such as an oily T-zone or dry patches. In addition, knowing what causes skin problems may also be helpful in identifying a skin type. For example, some people’s skin becomes congested due to excess sebum production, while others become dehydrated easily due to poor hydration. Knowing why certain symptoms are occurring will help you find the right treatment for your skin.
There are skin care products for almost every skin type, which can be confusing. Here is a guide to skin types and the skin care products that work best for them:
Tends not to be affected by external factors. Although they may never break out, most people with normal skin suffer from dehydration as they age. Look for moisturisers containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin, especially if you live in an area with dry air (such as heating in winter). Normal skin usually does not react well to oil-based ingredients so ingredients such as rosehip seed oil should be avoided. This skin type rarely requires exfoliation but if it does people with normal skin respond well to physical exfoliants such as apricot kernels.
Symptoms include skin that is sensitive, flaky and dehydrated (with visible fine lines). Do not use hot water when cleansing or applying skin care products, as this strips skin of natural oils. Instead, apply skin care products to slightly damp skin which helps skin retain its moisture. People with dry skin can look for light moisturisers such as a whipped texture since they will feel more substantial on skin rather than greasy formulas. In addition, avoid heavy emollients such as shea butter and opt for humectants such as hyaluronic acid instead since these attract water from the environment into the skin. Those with dry skin should stay away from astringents and harsh skin care products as they strip skin of its natural oils and increase skin sensitivity.
As the name suggests, combination skin is a mixture of dry and oily skin on different areas of the face. In addition, those with this skin type may suffer from blackheads, enlarged pores or acne breakouts. Avoid using an oil-based cleanser as these can make the problem worse by clogging skin even more. Instead, opt for creamy cleansers that clean skin without stripping away oil that can help reduce pore size or breakouts due to excess sebum production. To help skin stay matte, look for ingredients such as kaolin clay – a natural absorbent – which will soak up any excess oil on skin’s surface without drying skin out. People with this skin type should avoid tightening skin care products as skin may become more oily and sensitive, instead opting for soothing skin care products containing ingredients such as rosehip seed oil or tea tree oil which help skin stay calm and balanced.
This skin type can be problematic as it is often congested, red and itchy. In addition, skin may also suffer from milia – small white cysts that appear on skin’s surface. Start by using gentle skin care products such as a cleansing lotion which doesn’t strip skin of its natural oils. Look for milder exfoliants such as fruit enzymes which help skin cells turn over naturally while skin stays calm. For skin that becomes red easily, look for skin care products with skin-soothing ingredients such as lavender or rose hips. Those with this skin type should avoid skin care products containing ingredients that lead to skin sensitivity such as BHAs and AHAs. Instead opt for gentle skin care products containing soothing ingredients such as seaweed extracts.
If skin care products that you have used up until now do not seem to be working, it may be time for a change. Look for skin care products which are specially suited for your skin type and skin concerns, instead of using the same skin care product over and over again.