Understanding your skin type

People often wonder what type of skin they have when they are buying skin care products, it is important to be able to recognise your skin type in order to buy the right products that will be effective in treating your skin type. Here is an easy to understand guideline to help you do just that.

Sensitive skin

This is an Intolerant skin, and a skin that over reacts to the majority of skin care products. A person suffering from intolerant skin is likely to complain of very sensitive skin that over-reacts to everything and cannot use any product with comfort anymore, they suffer from daily discomfort. Their skin feels tight and they experience a stinging and burning sensation. This person could be of any age or gender, their skin structure is fine and delicate and they often have a fair skin colour. Signs of irritation are clearly visible on the face and they are prone to allergies, or they suffer from specific skin disorders. Such skin can also arise after undergoing a cosmetic procedure such as surgery.

Oily skin

A person suffering from an oily skin will have shiny areas on the face within a short time from cleansing. This is due to an over production of oil in the skin due to certain hormones. Their skin appears to be thicker and open pores are visible. They can also have spots and blackheads. Another characteristic of an oily skin is that make-up does not hold and tends to ‘slide’ off, however an advantage of having this skin type is that it ages slowly due to the natural oils in the skin.

This type of skin requires the use of products which are designed for this skin type. Cleansing needs to gentle yet effective and oil regulation in the skin can be achieved from targeted products. A common complaint of an oily skin is spots, which are caused by a build-up of bacteria in the skin, this can be prevented and treated with products which have an antibacterial property.

Dry skin

A person with dry skin lacks natural oils in the skin, this is caused by an imbalance of hormones such as during menopause, or it can be caused by a harsh environment, certain medications or the use of incorrect products and cosmetics. It can be recognised as having a dull uneven skin with rough patches, it is thin and less supple and prone to a tight and burning sensation as well as premature fine lines and wrinkles.

This type of skin needs products which will help it to rebuild oils in the skin and providing nourishment and moisturisation.

Dehydrated skin

Any skin type can suffer from dehydration which means loss of water from the upper layers of the skin. It can arise from a lack of water intake in the body, or weather conditions such as severe wind, sun or pollution, or a change of environment such as the use of air-conditioning, central heating, TV, or computer screen.

This type of skin will feel tight with a loss of radiance, it will wrinkle when compressed, it can appear patchy or blotchy and flaky and it can sometimes become shiny as the skin tries to compensate by producing more oil.

Treating dehydration is aimed at stopping further dehydration and restoring lost moisture by locking in water. There are many products available to increase hydration in the skin and keep this level up with regular use.

Normal skin

You very lucky indeed to have a normal skin with no specific concerns! This type of skin appears fine and healthy with a nice glow to the skin. The pores are small and not noticeable and the overall texture is smooth. Opt for products that are designed for a normal skin and that do not disrupt the balance of oils in the skin.

Combination skin

A combination skin occurs when you have two or more different skin types at the same time. A combination skin can also occur where wrinkles and breakouts, or rosacea and dry skin are present at the same time

Typically ion a combination skin the oily zones appear on t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) shortly after cleansing as there are more active oil glands on this area than other areas, and the cheek area tend to feel tight and dry at the same time.

Combination skin can be hereditary or caused by using the wrong skincare products, for example if you use products that are irritating, they can stimulate oil production in the t-zone and at the same time create dry skin and redness on the rest of the face, so you have taken your relatively normal skin and made it combination.

The correct products for this skin type must be formulated for this skin type and sometimes it could even mean using different products on different parts of your face. You made need lighter products on your t-zone and something slightly richer for drier parts of your face.

Skin prone to redness (rosacea)

This type of skin is usually very fair and delicate and blushes at the smallest emotion or as soon as the person eats something spicy, as the tiny blood vessels become visible in the skin. The skin is over reactive and there is often permanent redness.

The cause is fragile blood vessels that when stimulated by internal or external factors such as spicy food, alcohol, emotion, pollution or the climate, dilate and trigger an inflammatory response, resulting in a vicious cycle that can result in permanent redness.

Skin care should be targeted towards strengthening and protecting the skin with a specific anti-redness moisturiser, and it is also important it contain UVA/UVB sun protection.

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