I’m a skincare addict. There’s no denying it. My medicine cabinet has plenty of proof of that! One of the most common questions I get from friends, or my mom is, “Help! I’m having (insert skin problem here); how do I get rid of/treat it?!?!” I’m always eager to help, but not every product works on every skin type. So I always ask, “What’s your skin type?”
Cue a blank stare.
Half of my friends don’t know theirs, do you? Most people don’t know what skin type they have or what skin concerns they should treat. What’s the difference between the two? Everyone’s skin is different. However, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of your skin’s condition to treat it properly. Finding what kind of skin you have should be the first and the most crucial step on your skincare journey. It will help if you fit your skincare routine to your skin type and condition.
The term skin type can be classified as a general description of how our skin feels and behaves. Scientists have found that genetics play a role in the outcome of our skin type. This does not mean you will have the same skin type as your parents, but it will put you at a higher percentage of developing a particular skin type. Therefore, your skin type is genetically determined. We are born with our skin type.
The most basic skin types and the one’s ill be touching base on today are
Sensitive skin is a skin type. A genetic predisposition causes naturally sensitive skin. There’s a difference between having sensitive skin and having sensitized skin. The best way to find out is to have a dermatologist test your skin.
What skin type do I have?
The easiest way to measure your skin type is by knowing the amount of oil on the skin. Underactive sebaceous glands will result in dry skin, and overactive sebaceous glands produce oily skin. Skin types can also be measured by water content, sensitivity level, and other ways.
General guidelines on how to test your skin type are:
If your cleanser isn’t stripping (which I hope is not!), your skin should feel comfortable after being cleansed. So pay close attention to your skin. How does it feel after you wash it?
Are you extremely shiny before leaving the house in the morning, or do you not start producing oil until midday?
Do you wake up with greasy skin or with very tight and dry skin?
Those are all ways you can test out your skin type. Skin types are not just black and white. You can fall in between; normal skin can lean more toward the dry/oily side.
As a side note, tretinoin and other prescription creams can dry out the skin initially. It would be best if you didn’t diagnose yourself with dry skin after changing your regimen.
Now that you know your skin type, both skin type and skin condition need separate care. Let’s find out how else you can make your skincare more suitable.
Unlike skin types, skin conditions are not genetic and can change anytime. They depend on various factors, either internally or externally, such as hormones, diet, stress, weather, chronological system, medications, skincare routines, etc.
They can also be found present on any given skin type. For example, acne can be found on any skin type.
A few examples of skin conditions are:
- Aging – loss of muscle tone and elasticity and wrinkles;
- Acne – active and persistent breakouts usually inflamed and red;
- Dehydrated – lack of water in the skin;
- Sensitized – skin barrier has been compromised, easily reactivity, and inflamed;
- Pigmentation – uneven distribution of melanin brown or white irregular patches on the skin;
- Congestion/Breakouts – happens under the surface: comedones, pustules breakouts, cysts, etc.;
- Rosacea – redness on the nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead.
Skin types recap
Skin types can be controlled but not treated since we’re born with them. On the other hand, skin conditions can be easier to correct since they’re caused mainly by external factors. For example, a skin’s lipid barrier can be replenished and restored to a healthy condition, or we can rehydrate dehydrated skin.
It’s essential to take the time to analyze our skin and understand its needs. So next time you’re on a beauty high, remember that whenever you buy skin care, make sure it’s suited for your skin type and needs. I know it’s hard, especially when we read such glowing reviews on a specific product or when a product is highly buzzed. But stop, breathe and reconsider your choices.
So what are your skin type and skin concerns? Have you found your magical skincare routine yet? I know I haven’t! I have normal/dry skin, but my skin can get very dehydrated due to medication. It’s summer here, and it’s humid outside; my skin produces a lot of oil. I’m not complaining. I wish I could have more well-balanced skin. A girl can dream, right?
I’m off to Korea for a few days! I’m very excited and hope to bring back lots of goodies, so stay tuned for a Korean haul 😉.