Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards healthier skin but before we can get into your personal skin type, we’ve got to set some ground rules. First things first: do not get attached to your skin type. Our skin is always evolving and while you may discover that your skin is one way today, you could have a totally different skin type six months, a year, or a decade from now. The general rule of thumb is that our skin types change as we get older. Secondly, everyone is unique. The information presented in this post describes general indications of each skin type. To be sure of the skin you’re in, book an appointment with your esthetician or dermatologist. Lastly, don’t fret if you discover your skin isn’t what you were expecting. Remember, our skin is always changing and chances are that your skin type will change for the better as you learn more about properly caring for your skin.
So What’s My Skin Type?
The main skin types are normal, combination, oily, dry, and sensitive. These are determined by a few different factors including genetics, size of pores, hydration, elasticity, softness, moisturization, and overall sensitivity. Despite seeing ourselves in our skin everyday, we may not be able to notice subtle changes in our skin’s elasticity or softness but your esthetician can usually spot a difference in one visit during the skin analysis. Below are just a few of the main indicators of each skin type.
Normal Skin Type
Key indicators of a normal skin type are: glowing skin, perfect lipid (oil)/water balance, and a barely visible, normal follicle size. You also will rarely find blemishes or breakouts. If you have a normal skin type, maintenance and preventative care will be your main skin goals.
Oily Skin Type
Oily skin types are typically determined by excess sebum (oil), larger follicle size, thicker or sallow skin appearance, and blemishes/comedones will be common. Hormonal changes, stress, and humidity or heat can exacerbate an oily skin type. If you have an oily skin type, cleansing and exfoliating regularly will be a key factor in your skincare regimen–this includes washing your face twice a day (perhaps a gentle cleanser in the mornings and an exfoliating cleanser before bed) and/or with cool water after an intense workout. Though this skin type may experience more breakouts, it is imperative that you don’t pick at or pop your blemishes as it can lead to scarring and prevent you from achieving clear, blemish free skin.
Dry Skin Type
If you have a dry skin type this means that your skin lacks the natural oils that protect us from everyday environmental damage and aging. Dry skin types are also more sensitive as the acid mantle and barrier function are not healthy due to a lack of lipids. You can typically determine a dry skin type by texture (sometimes rough), very small follicles, dull complexion, visible lines, and less elasticity.
Combination Skin Type
A combination skin type will usually mean that your skin is either Normal/Oily, Normal/Dry, or (in very rare instances) a combination of all three. Combination skin types will notice an oily T-zone while their cheeks and other areas will either be normal or dry and be flaky, enlarged follicles, more blackheads, and the skin will appear shiny. Some combination skin types will also experience breakouts in their T-zone area occasionally. Keeping your combination skin type under control requires achieving an oil/water balance and proper maintenance.
Sensitive Skin Type
Sensitive skin types require careful attention and care as it is the most fragile skin type. Key indicators of sensitive skin include: redness, thin skin, telangiectasia (couperose skin), and is easily irritated by the sun and/or products (itching or burning). Some of these indicators are not as visible on darker skin so if you think you may have a sensitive skin type make sure your esthetician is experienced in working with your skin tone as well as your skin type. With a sensitive skin type, you want to make sure you are keeping your skin calm and protected at all times.
Everyone has one of these five skin types but other things can happen on our skin as well. Those are skin conditions and it’s important to note that skin types are not the same as skin conditions. We’ll explore skin conditions more in our next post. You can learn more about skin types here. Remember to book an appointment with your esthetician to learn more about caring for your skin type and keeping your natural glow!