The first step to taking proper care of your skin is knowing your skin type. Many people choose the wrong products for their skin because they don’t know the difference between their skin type and their current skin condition. Your skin type is genetically predetermined and is the same from the day you’re born until the day you die.
Combination skin is the most common skin type and is characterized as skin that is oily in the t-zone and dry or normal on the cheeks. You may have noticed larger pores on your forehead, nose and chin while noting small or an unremarkable pores on the cheeks. Like oily skin, you will experience some clogging and occasional breakouts in the t-zone and like dry skin, your cheeks may feel “tight” or dehydrated. A person who is combination-dry is both oily and dry, but has predominantly dry skin and a Combination-oily skin type is predominately oily with some dry patches.
People with dry skin produce little to no sebum due to under active or inactive sebaceous glands and skin that lacks this necessary oil is unable to retain moisture (water). Dry skin rarely experiences t-zone oiliness, may experience regular “tightness” and the skin can appear dull. While you may see a few visible pores on the nose area, if you have dry skin it typically appears “pore-less,” but really the pores are just very small. Dry skin (lack of oil) is different from dehydrated skin (lack of water) which can be present on any skin type, regardless of pore size or distribution.
Normal skin is often considered “perfect” skin because it usually has average sized pores distributed all over and minimal blemishes and breakouts. While you may feel you’ve hit the “genetic jackpot” it’s important to take good care of your skin by maintaining a proper regimen and as someone with normal skin, I can attest to the fact that we are NOT immune to breakouts or blemishes. Using the wrong products, being inconsistent in your regimen or poor diet and dehydration can cause you to have a lackluster complexion and experience breakouts.
If your skin is oily, it means you have enlarged pores on the t-zone and the cheeks and very active sebaceous glands. Your skin almost never feels tight or dry (unless you are experiencing dehydration) and in fact, your skin tends to appear shiny or slick with in a few hours after cleansing, if not immediately. People with oily skin regularly battle breakouts and blackheads, but don’t despair! With proper skin care you can control breakouts and remember, the oil that plagues you today, will be your “fountain of youth” in the years to come.
Although sensitive skin is considered more of a skin condition than a skin type, some people are genetically predisposed to sensitivity and these people also tend to be prone to allergies, asthma, heavy blushing, as well as persistent inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Thin skin and delicate blood vessels are characteristic of reactive skin and a compromised epidermis may be a contributing factor. If your skin has always reacted to otherwise normal stimuli with redness, burning or itching, you may be predisposed to sensitive skin. A person with any skin type can exhibit signs of sensitivity, but those with dry skin are especially prone to sensitized skin, due to a lack of oil and moisture which can contribute to a compromised protective barrier.
Learning about your skin type is empowering and can help you make better decisions when choosing the proper skin care.
Do you have any questions about your skin type or comments about what you read? Share below!
Keep a look out for the next post in the “Best Face Forward” series, “What is a Skin Condition?”