With so many skin care products on the market, it’s easy to get lost if you don’t pay attention to what your needs are. The skin care industry can be a confusing aspect of beauty, but it is easy to learn, and resources are available for everyone who’s just getting into skin care.
The first (and most important) step before beginning your skin care journey is to learn what your skin type is. Skin care is not a “one size fits all.” What works for others may not work for you. If you use a product that is not suitable for your skin type, it may cause redness, irritation, or worse, breakouts that lead to bigger problems. That is why it is important to keep in mind that every person’s skin is unique and requires a personalized routine. By knowing your skin type, you can achieve flawless, healthy skin.
There are 4 basic skin types:
- Normal- This type of skin is also referred to as well-balanced skin. It does not experience many breakouts and is neither dry nor oily. It is not reactive to weather changes or when trying new products. Normal skin is the easiest type to maintain. The skin is firm, with fine pores, has a smooth texture, has minimal lines and wrinkles, and people who have this skin type get away with using light moisturizers without getting shiny all day long.
- Oily- This type of skin is “glowy” most of the time due to the excessive oil it produces. People with oily skin are characterized by having a glossy look, enlarged pores, blemishes, and thick pale skin. They are prone to acne and comedones (whiteheads and blackheads). Cosmetics do not stay put when applied and is why mattifying products are recommended for this skin type. For skin care products, it is best to use non-comedogenic products (products that don’t clog the pores), oil-free moisturizers, clay masks to absorb excess sebum from the skin, and chemical exfoliants to get rid of dead skin cells and balance out oil production. People with oily skin conditions should limit washing their face to a maximum of twice daily because the skin will compensate for the loss of oil.
- Dry- This skin type produces much less sebum than a normal skin would. It is characterized by having a blotchy, flaky, rough texture. Itchiness, feeling of tightness, redness, and irritation are common to people with this skin type. This is caused by the lack of lipids (ceramides, fatty acids, and cholesterol) that the skin needs to keep its moisture to protect it against external aggressors like the heat, cold, and humidity. It is very important to keep in mind that dry and dehydrated skin are different, but have very similar symptoms. Dry skin is caused by the lack of oil production in the skin and dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is the result of the skin losing moisture. People with this type of skin are recommended to use rich moisturizers, especially after bathing. It is also advised to use gentle, unscented, and alcohol-free products that won’t strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture.
- Combination- This skin type is best distinguished as having an oily T-zone (forehead and nose), but dry or normal skin on the rest of the face. People with a combination skin type will usually notice enlarged pores on the oily parts of the face (T-zone), and normal to dry skin on the cheek area. The best approach for this type of skin is a targeted treatment to each area of the face to balance and unify the complexion.