When it comes to skin care, there’s one thing you should always remember: everyone has different skin.
So, how do we know what our skin will like and what it won’t like?
Well, we need to find our skin type to know what certain products and ingredients it needs.
How Do You Find Your Skin Type?
There are 5 main skin types. Depending on the way your skin feels and looks, your sebum (or oil) production will be different, your proneness to breakouts and blemishes will be different, and your sensitivity will be different. Once you figure out your skin type, treating your skin accordingly will keep it healthy.
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The infographic above gives a very basic look at each of the skin types and their characteristics. Now that you (hopefully) have an idea about what category your skin falls under, let’s get to how we should treat it.
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Treating for normal skin care is very simple since it doesn’t need any special treatment. Just make sure to use a gentle cleanser, effective exfoliator, and an antioxidant serum. And don’t forget about the sun protection!
Oily skin is caused by having too much oil being produced by your skin. Even though you have too much oil, do not go looking for products that are drying. Drying does not help anything. In general, you want to look for products that say they’re designed for oily skin.
Find a foaming cleanser with salicylic acid. It unclogs pores, exfoliates, and kills the bacteria causing acne. Also, look for products that say “non-comedogenic” on them. This means that they won’t clog your pores.
I cannot stress enough how important exfoliating is when you have oily skin. People with oily skin basically have an extra thick layer of dead skin cells on their face. Again, look for exfoliators with salicylic acid. It’s the best exfoliating ingredient for oily skin because it actually goes into the pores, exfoliating them from the inside.
Toning is not technically necessary but if you want to use one, find one with salicylic acid.
A non-comedogenic, non-greasy, lightweight sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 is ideal for people with oily skin.
Night creams aren’t necessary either and for oily skin, you most likely don’t need one. A normal, lightweight moisturizer will do just fine.
Dry skin is in need of some extra hydration and nutrients. Products specifically designed for dry skin with rich formulas are ideal. Ingredients like jojoba oil, olive oil, and coconut oil are very beneficial and lock in moisture very well. However, be cautious with coconut oil as it may be comedogenic (pore-clogging) if you have a history of clogged pores.
Use a gel, cream, or oil cleanser for some extra moisture.
Exfoliating is important no matter what skin type you have. But with dry skin, exfoliating once or twice a week is enough – no more than that. Avoid physical scrubs as they are too abrasive and can tear the skin. Look for a glycolic acid exfoliator. Glycolic acid hydrates and also boosts collagen production (the protein that keeps skin firm and young).
If you want a toner, look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid takes water from the air and dumps it into the skin. It’s so powerful, it can bind up to 1000 times its weight in water!
Use a rich but non-greasy sunscreen with SPF to keep that skin protected!
You may choose to use a night cream if you have dry skin to give it a little hydration boost at night. Use a rich formula to soak into the skin.
With combination skin, you most likely have an oily T-zone (the forehead, down to the nose and chin) and dry, dull, and maybe even flaky cheeks. Some areas may also be sensitive like the neck and cheeks.
It’s difficult to find products that can help the different areas of your face without clogging your pores and without leaving you too dry. Generally, look for products that are designed for combo skin and that are non-comedogenic so they don’t clog your pores.
Look for a non-comedogenic, mild cleanser that hydrates but doesn’t contain oil (unless your oily areas can deal with that).
Using two different cleansers for the two different skin types you’re balancing also wouldn’t be a bad idea (ie. a hydrating cleanser for the dry areas and a lighter cleanser for the oily areas).
Find an exfoliator with either glycolic acid or salicylic acid.
Grab salicylic acid if your oily areas are more of a problem and your dry areas don’t get irritated.
Use glycolic acid if your dry areas are more of a problem and your oily areas still get enough exfoliation from it.
Opt for a lightweight toner with hyaluronic acid or other hydrating ingredients.
Choose a non-comedogenic sunscreen.
If your oily areas are worse, go for a lightweight sunscreen. If your dry areas are worse, go for one with a little more hydration abilities.
Again, depending on what you suffer more from – oily or dry – you may choose to go with a richer night cream if you suffer from dryness more or a lightweight moisturizer if the dryness isn’t that bad. It all depends on what your skin is telling you.
Sensitive skin can be so frustrating at times when you don’t know what products will be okay on your skin and what products won’t be. If you have sensitive skin, your skin probably gets irritated fairly easily by certain ingredients in certain products.
It’s very important to watch the ingredients in all of your products to make sure nothing may irritate your skin. One thing you should make sure of? Choose products that are fragrance-free. Fragrance can be very irritating to someone with sensitive skin.
Find a mild cleanser with no fragrance. Micellar waters work wonders for sensitive skin since they’re very gentle but you may want to follow it up with a gentle cleanser that can do a deeper cleanse.
Out of the two types of exfoliators – physical and chemical – chemical is the best for sensitive skin. Physical exfoliators are way too harsh and irritating.
The chemical exfoliator you should look for? Lactic acid. It’s the gentlest one.
Alcohol-free and fragrance-free. Alcohol can irritate sensitive skin just like fragrance can. An aloe vera toner is a safe bet because aloe vera is a soothing ingredient.
SPF protection is the most important for people with sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, you may find that it doesn’t like the sun very much. Protect your skin by wearing a mineral sunscreen.
Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as UV filters as opposed to synthetic ones that can be irritating.
If you feel your skin could benefit from a night cream, find one that has soothing ingredients like aloe vera and cucumber.
What skin type do you have and how do you take care of it?