A skin type can be determined into 4 different general categories.
Then within these main categories, you can have different skin conditions such as.
These are not your primary skin type that you are born with, but they are onset from environment, diet and lifestyle, stress, hormones and medications.
The characteristics of each of 4 skin types are slightly different, so we will break it down for you so that you can work out which one you may be.
Dry skin will often feel somewhat rough in texture, appear dull and lacking in ‘vibrancy’, may have flaky patches, the pores are generally very small, will show wrinkles and fine lines earlier and may feel tight or uncomfortable.
It can be difficult to feel as though you’re getting enough moisture into it, and you may even notice that your makeup will not sit right due to it settling into the creases.
Ways to combat dry skin:
This skin type can be treated by adding products to your routine such as a oil based product or an occlusive moisturizer – occlusives, such as shea butter or beeswax, help to trap oil in and protects the skin from drying out. If your skin is very dry, I would recommend adding both and oil and moisturiser together.
o Exfoliate your skin once or twice weekly, sometimes only fortnightly is required to remove dead skin cells that build up but with something gentle such as an enzyme-based product rather than a harsh scrub. Drier skins tend to be more prone to sensitisation as they lack the protective oils that help guard our skin barrier so its important not to be aggressive with your skincare.
o Use cream, milk or oil-based cleansers as opposed to gel or foaming cleansers.
o Use a hydrating mist and a hydration serum together such as Vitamin B or Hyaluronic acid. This combination helps support our skins water content – which helps maintain a healthy barrier function - which is very important for all skin types but particularly dry skin.
o Avoid putting your face under hot water in the shower, this can dry out your skin more.
o Look at adding more healthy fats into your diet such as omega 3-6-9 fatty acids. This will encourage oil production from the inside out.
o Switch to a liquid or oil-based foundation rather than a powder and try even using a primer to provide a barrier.
Oily skin presents with enlarged pores - that can be likened to that of orange peel in appearance, there will quite often be more breakout-prone due to congestion in the pores from overproduction of sebum (oil) and bacteria and get a lot of blackheads or whiteheads.
It will look ‘shiny’ or greasy.
Makeup sometimes will ‘slide’ off the face during the day and may even require blotting throughout the day.
This skin type will show signs of ageing far more slowly than dry skin due to the plumpness of the skin from natural oils.
Ways to combat oily skin:
It’s important to understand that with our skin, some amount of oil is healthy and normal and even necessary for protection from bacteria. Our skin produces oil as an automatic function when our skin is healthy however it’s when hormones such as androgens are increased in our bodies then we have an over production and that’s generally where you may find acne forming on the skin.
o Cleansing your skin both morning and night can help to remove a build up of oil that is unwanted. Use a foaming or gel cleanser as this acts as surfactant (cleansing agent that breaks down oil). It can be helpful often if your cleanser has essential oils such as geranium, lemon, tea-tree, kunzea or lavender)
o Exfoliation is helpful in especially in the case of congestion. However, if your acne is cystic/very active i.e., inflamed and sore then a gentle approach to exfoliation is advised here. Again, an enzymatic exfoliant in for form of a gel, cream or powder – one without granules – is best. Enzymes work like a Pac-man system of running along the surface of the skin and breaking down dead skin cell ‘glue’ bonds to help them slough away.
o AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) can be very helpful here too so look for products with glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid. This can be found in cleansers, serums, masks or moisturisers.
o Topical use of Vitamin A is beneficial for helping to increase cell turnover.
o Try not to overload your skin with many layers of product. A lightweight serum and moisturiser are often enough for oily skins as they produce their own natural oils. You may find your skin responds better without a moisturiser at all if you are particularly oily.
o Avoid moisturisers with synthetic oils and silicones.
o opt for powder makeup – preferably mineral based ones - over liquid or oil bases.
Combination skin is typically a mixture between dry and oily or normal and oily.
There is an overproduction of oil through the T-zone which covers the forehead, nose and chin and then either dry or more normal on cheeks and jawline.
There can be some blackheads present in these areas also.
Ways to combat combination skin:
o A gentle lightly foaming cleanser for sensitive or normal skin is best recommended and try and steer away from a cleanser that is geared toward oily or acne prone skin as these will probably dry out the non-oily areas of your face.
o Moisturisers that are light or mid weight are best.
o Vitamin B (niacinamide) is a very helpful ingredient, usually found in serums more commonly as they provide barrier support and can help with breakout prone skin which some combination skins can experience on the chin.
o AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) can be very helpful here too so look for products with glycolic, salicylic or lactic acid.
o Vitamin A to help with cell turnover and regulate the skin.
o Exfoliate once-twice weekly and apply a clay mask to just the t-zone to help draw out blackheads and absorb excess oil in this area.
o Rather than treating this skin type as a whole and trying to just target the oil overflow, instead just apply spot treatments or masks to each individual area needed. It is important that you treat each area as its own condition.
As the name of this skin type suggests, it’s normal in characteristics!
Even and healthy oil flow, a glowy and vibrant appearance and feels comfortable.
Rarely ever any breakouts or congestion.
The main way to treat is normal skin, given it requires no targeted action or correction, is a very simple maintenance program with providing it with hydration, gentle cleansing usually a milk oil or cream cleanser is best here, fortnightly exfoliation if required and a lightweight moisturising emulsion in certain seasons to protect against harsh elements and prevent from TEWL (trans epidermal water loss).
This skin type may become more of a dry skin later in life, as the oil production naturally slows down due to age so a heavier moisturizer can be used as needed.