Taking good care of your skin is crucial to keeping it looking its absolute best. A skincare routine built around your individual skin type is key to helping your skin adjust to physiological and environmental changes that can cause problems for your skin, not to mention the role good skincare plays in the prevention of premature aging.
Your skin is an incredibly complex organ and determining your skin type can be complicated. There are 5 basic skin types and taking the time to learn which category you fall in can help you make the best choices for skincare.
Why Knowing Skin Type Is Important
For most of us, determining our skin type is something that’s easier said than done. This is partly because so many of us have little knowledge of the different skin types, and what defines them. Rather than knowing for sure what type of skin we have; we take the best guess based on what we see in the mirror.
When it comes to taking care of your skin, skin type matters – a lot. Fortunately, if you have a few spare minutes, it isn’t that difficult to determine which skin type category you fall into.
A good place to start is with a foundational understanding the 5 basic skin types.
- Oily: People with oily skin tend to have a slight sheen to sheen to their skin, and are prone to inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, and contact dermatitis. Their skin may also appear red and inflamed in certain areas.
- Dry: This skin type is characterized by skin that feels tight, dry and lacking moisture. If you have dry skin, your skin might be itchy and patchy in areas. It might also feel tight, sore, and be sensitive to extreme cold.
- Sensitive: People with sensitive skin tend to react to skincare products, and may be sensitive to environmental elements, such as sun and climate changes. Sensitive skin breaks out easily and is prone to extreme changes in skin condition – such as sudden, patchy dryness in response to a windy day.
- Normal: People with normal skin have a complexion that’s balanced without falling too far over into being oily or dry. This doesn’t mean that they don’t have their own skincare woes, it’s just that their skin typically recovers from them faster. Normal skin also needs to be careful when choosing skincare products since so many of them are designed for those with specific skincare issues.
- Combination: If you’ve ever tossed your hands up into the air, completely confused about what type of skin you have, chances are you belong to the combination club. Combination skin can demonstrate signs of all the other skin types. It might be normal in some areas, oily or dry in others. In might be sensitive to some external stimuli but not others. Combination skin is associated with the classic T-zone, but you don’t need to have this pattern to have combination skin.
How to Identify Skin Type
So, what is the magic formula for determining your skin type? You can get a pretty good idea at home, on your own – no special equipment needed.
All you need is a gentle cleanser that’s not formulated for any skin type specifically. The cleanser you have hanging around for those oily days, or for when the wintery wind robs your skin of moisture isn’t going to provide you with the most accurate answer in this case. It’s also best to do this “test” earlier in the day before your skin has had the chance to react to any other skincare products you’ve used, or environmental factors.
To get a better idea of what your skin type is, simply wash your face using a gentle cleanser and lukewarm water. Pat it dry gently, then wait. If you’re short on time, you can run to the bathroom to do an assessment after about 30 minutes. However, you’ll get more accurate results if you can wait 1-2 hours.
What you see and feel will tell you a lot about your skin type. If after 30 minutes, your skin has a slight oily sheen, you likely have oily skin. The production of oil is likely to increase throughout the day, and within an hour a piece of blotting paper pressed to your skin would show at least a moderate amount of residue.
If your skin feels tight, dry, or itchy, then you have dry skin. There won’t be an oily sheen, and a piece of blotting paper pressed to your skin after an hour or so would show very little oily residue on the skin’s surface.
Maybe you have a little bit of each – some areas that are oily, and others that are dry. If so, welcome to the world of combination skin. If your skin is irritated, even with using the gentlest of cleansers, it’s sensitive and a dermatologist can help recommend a skincare routine. If your skin seems relatively normal, with no extreme reaction in any direction, you’d be considered to have normal skin.
Another good option is to take a well-designed skin type quiz. At OZNaturals, our Skin Care Quiz not only can help you identify your skin type but also pinpoint specific products to address your individual skincare concerns.
Choosing Skin Care Designed for Your Skin Type
No matter what your skin type, it’s important to stay away from harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin. Skincare designed for your skin type should help bring about a balance, and leave your skin looking and feeling radiant.
For putting your most beautiful face forward, look for skincare products that are gentle, natural, and formulated with non-irritating ingredients that are known for bringing out the beauty in all skin types. Trust nature on this one, and you’ll see that skin type doesn’t need to stand between you and a beautiful complexion.