Expert Advice

How to Know your Skin Type: A Simple Guide

How to Know your Skin Type: The Ultimate Guide

Whenever you use a face wash, cream, serum, toner or any skin care product that is not suited for your skin type, all forms of nasty stuff can happen; flakiness, clogged pores, excessive shine, breakouts, dryness, itching, skin rash, etc.

If you want to take good care of your skin, begin by choosing the right product that suits your skin type. Knowing your skin type is important for healthy, glowing, younger-looking skin.

Here’s a quick guide to help you know you skin type;

1. Oily Skin Type

You have oily skin because your sebaceous glands work excessively hard—no breaks, no holidays! They just keep making more and more oil.

How to tell if you have Oily Skin

  • Your face is always shiny, just take a gentle sweep across your face with your palm or paper napkin and look at it, see?
  • Your pores are so large they can be seen from Pluto, well, it’s not true but it feels like way.
  • You hold a party for breakouts daily—whiteheads, pimples, blackheads, they know you too well

Pros of having Oily Skin

Now, smile daughter of Eve, the gods have favored you, in some way. Your skin ages more slowly and you get less wrinkles. This is good news, right?

How to care for Oily Skin

Find a way to control oil production but avoid products that dry your skin.

Throw all toners with alcohol and cleansers or soaps with astringents, they will dry your skin and your sebaceous glands, will produce more oil to compensate, and your face will look like French fries.

Use products with salicylic acid, these ones help clear pores and prevent breakouts. Use a clay mask twice a week to help absorb excess oils. Look for light moisturizers which are non-comedogenic, and keep an eye on your choice of foundation too.

Whatever you do, let your skin breath and moisturize it well. Just because you have oily skin, it does not mean you do not need a moisturizer, you do. Just pick the right one – oil-free, light and mattifying.

2. Normal Skin Type

During creation, you were the lucky one dear coz you got the best of them all.

How to tell if you have Normal Skin

  • You’ve heard of breakouts and their cousins but you have never met them.
  • No excessive shine, no irritation, no reaction to any product, no flakiness; i mean, nothing to report here, just normal, good, happy skin
  • You know your skin has pores, but you’re yet to see one
  • Your skin looks and feels okay for as long as you can remember

How to care for Normal Skin

Give thanks to your creator daily, and pray for us over here swimming in breakouts and dryness. Seriously thou, keep doing what you do, it’s working for you.

Keep your sunscreen close and invest in antioxidants to boost your skin health and youthfulness.

3. Dry Skin Type

Your sebaceous glands are too lazy and barely produce enough oil to cater for your skin needs. Naturally, your skin needs sufficient moisture to be protected from harsh environmental factors and pollutants, but these little guys just don’t care.

How to tell if you have Dry Skin

  • Your skin is always so rough and flakes like it has dandruff.
  • Whenever you wash your face, it feels so uncomfortable, dry and tight
  • You’ve heard of this thing they call “inner glow” or “natural glow,” whatever that is, your skin is so dull, glow is that distant relative you’ve never met
  • Itchiness, redness and burning sensation on skin—you’re familiar with these
  • Wrinkles, fine lines and serious ones for that matter—like yes, you may look older than you actually are. I know. Not fair!

Pros of having dry skin

Pores, what are those? Well, you have very small pores; you probably need a microscope to see them. Large pores are so annoying, lucky you!

How to Care for Dry Skin

One word: Moisture.

Pray for it, work for it, look for it, “plant a seed” for it – well, just do whatever it takes to keep your skin moisturized.

Treat your skin with hydrating and moisturizing serums and creams loaded with humectants like hyaluronic acid, natural glycerin and aloe Vera extract which help attract moisture to the skin, and find ways to retain it longer.

Invest in a premium facial oil to lock in the moisture to make it last longer. Twice weekly, use a moisturizing face mask, and keep some exfoliants like glycolic acid nearby to get rid of that roughness, dead skin cells, and dullness.

4. Combination Skin Type

Your sebaceous glands do not work as a team – no cooperation at all. Some produce little oil, others excessive oil.

How to tell if you have Combination Skin

  • Some areas of your face like the t-zone (forehead, chin and nose) shine like a frying pan while your cheeks and jaw line (u-zone) are flaky and dry and perhaps itchy at times
  • Although you hope for the best, you never really know what to expect, and breakouts do give you surprise visits
  • The pores on your t-zone don’t know how to keep it low—you notice them

How to Care for Combination Skin

Create a skincare regimen to balance your skin and coordinate the sebaceous glands oil production. You need to get a combined skin-care regimen for the dry and oily regions.

Apply oil-absorbing masques on your t-zone and oil-free mattifying creams. Use moisturizing and richer creams and facial oils on the dry areas of your face. It seems complicated, but once you start doing it, you’ll get used to it and it works.

5. Sensitive Skin Type

Your skin is constantly under attack and any small element can trigger a not so pretty reaction.

Harsh skincare products, too cold or too hot weather, sun exposure, germs, pollutants, some type of clothe fabric, detergents, and literally anything could irritate it and cause havoc.

How to tell if you have Sensitive Skin

  • Tantrums. Yes, your skin is the queen of drama. Anything can make it burn, itch, sting, turn red and that’s just how it is.
  • It always looks and feels dry, like a desert.
  • It is often red and rosy, not the cute sort of red cheeks blush, just uncomfortable flush

How to Care for Sensitive Skin

Create a skincare regimen with products whose ingredients are identical to the natural skin structure.

Build a protective barrier with ingredients like Ceramides, amino acids, lecithin, and fatty acids (mostly found in natural oils like Rosehip, Argan, Marula, Jojoba, etc.).

Look for facial oil, serum, wash or creams with soothing chamomile, oats and allantoin. You can exfoliate sensitive skin gently with a wash cloth, konjac sponge or other mild skin exfoliants like lactic acid.

Last Word…

Sometimes your skin will surprise you just when you think you have it all figured out.

There are several factors that affect the behavior of your skin such as age, weather, diet, lifestyle e.g. smoking, medication, stress, sun exposure, hormones, and skincare products, among others.

The products that work for you in your 20s may not suit you in your 30s. Your skin may have been dry since forever, but menopause may surprise you with crazy hormonal change that makes your skin too oily.

Moving to another location may make your skin change as well. The products that work for you in hot weather (summer) are unlikely to work for your skin on cold weather (winter).

What’s the Solution?

Always be on the lookout and listen to your skin. Adjust your skincare regimen accordingly to suit what your skin wants. That’s the only trick to healthy, younger, glowing skin.

Once you understand your skin type, it becomes easy to choose products and create a skincare regimen that you will love and reap desired results.

Have you figured out what your current skin type is?

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