Knowing your skin type is the very first step in proper skin care. Treatments that work perfectly for one type may be disastrous for another. We are all born with a specific skin type and there is no way to change it in line with our preferences! However, it is definitely possible to maintain a flawless, healthy and glowing complexion no matter which skin type you have. To achieve this, it is important to know which skin type you have.
Let’s learn more about each type:
Normal Skin- Normal skin feels elastic and looks vibrant and fresh at all times. People with normal skin should consider themselves very lucky indeed. That’s because this skin type makes for very few or no breakouts, is not too dry or oily and does not have any marks or blemishes. Normal skin does not feel tight or dry with changes in the weather and have very little or no fine lines. The pores are small and quite invisible which means that a little foundation goes a long way.
It is mostly children who have normal skin. This skin type is often described as the ideal one since it is possible to keep it glowing and blemish free with relatively little effort even as your age advances. Normal skin ages best and looks glowing and youthful with little maintenance even as you grow older.
To sum up, normal skin is characterized by these:
• Fine, even texture
• Smooth surface
• Small pores which are barely visible
• Good balance between oil and moisture
Dry Skin- In this skin type the pores are very fine. The skin feels tight and dry immediately after cleansing and may even be sensitive for some people. This is because the skin has a lack of sebum (oil). People with this skin type are most prone to developing wrinkles and red patches. The skin is also more likely to feel flaky and to take on an unhealthy appearance because of dead cell buildup. Regular moisturizing, exfoliating and cleansing are a vital part of daily skin care for dry skin. Dry skin may not cause too many problems at young age but as you grow older, this skin type is likely to show the effects of aging much more prominently than others. Most problems with dry skin occur when the weather is cold. Special care is essential during winter months to avoid flaky skin and rashes.
To sum up, dry skin is characterized by these:
• Very fine pores
• Dry and dehydrated with parched appearance; may even be sensitive.
• Needs regular moisturizing to stay hydrated and supple
Oily Skin- Oily skin has enlarged pores (think of the skin of an orange) and is prone to developing acne and other skin problems. The over production of oil by the sebaceous glands causes the skin pores to become blocked easily leading to spots as well as other skin blemishes. Oily skin looks greasy especially in certain areas of the face (the T zone). The good news is that the effects of ageing are not very evidently on oily skin. This kind of skin usually looks shiny and sometimes has a dull appearance.
To sum up, oily skin is characterized by these:
• Enlarged pores that may be quite visible
• Looks greasy and shiny especially in the T-zone
• Appears dull
• Needs frequent cleansing to keep away skin problems
Combination Skin- Skincare experts believe that this is the most common skin type. Patches of dry and oily skin characterize this skin type. The cheeks and the area surrounding the eyes remain dry and oil free. The T zone, (forehead, nose and chin) is oily and greasy. This skin may also have expression lines. The challenge with this skin type is that the oily and dry parts need different kinds of treatment and care.
To sum up, combination skin is characterized by these:
• Large pores especially on nose area
• Some parts are greasy while others are dry
• Needs moisturizing for dry parts as well as cleansing to remove excess oil
• Dry parts feel tight after washing while oily parts become shiny/ greasy soon after wash
Sensitive Skin- This skin type usually is thin, has a fine texture and feels tight and dry. Special care is essential for people with this skin type since it gets irritated and inflamed very easily. Red patches, itchiness, tingling and spots are common problems with sensitive skin. This fragile skin type should only be exposed to skincare products that are selected with great care.
People with sensitive skin have fine pores and the skin itself is delicate. Even moderate exposure to sun may cause this skin type to break out in blotches or develop rashes. This kind of skin is perhaps the most difficult to care for and keep in blemish-free, glowing condition. But you can keep it flawless with proper care and the use of specially designed products for sensitive skin.
To sum up, sensitive skin is characterized by these:
• Thin texture that makes skin appear almost translucent
• Fine pores
• Wrinkles prematurely
• Feels tight after washing
• May react strongly to change in cosmetics/ hair care product
• Blushes, sunburns and itches easily
Does Skin Type Differ Between Men and Women?
Men have a higher level of collagen and their skin is about 20% thicker when compared with women. Males usually have tougher skin which is also more prone to oiliness. The pores are larger and more exposed and visible. When compared with women, the blood supply to the skin is also greater in men. The fact that men sweat easier should also be taken into account as an important difference between men and women’s skin type.
How to Test What Skin Type you Have
Determining your skin type is not a complex affair at all. One of the simplest ways in which you can identify your skin type is to wipe your face with a clean tissue as soon as you wake in the morning. Here is what people with different skin types will find with this test:
Normal Skin- The tissue is oil free and your skin feels as elastic and supple as ever.
Dry Skin- The tissue is oil free but your facial skin feels dry and tight.
Oily skin- The tissue has oily spots and your face looks oily especially the nose and forehead areas.
Combination Skin- The tissue has oil traces when you wipe your nose, forehead or chin but is clean when you wipe your cheeks.
Sensitive Skin- Those who have this skin type do not usually need the tissue-test to figure this out. That’s because sensitive skin reacts poorly to several things- harsh sunlight, dehydration, many creams / shampoos / cosmetics, even the weather.