Skin type is predominantly a genetic trait and generally skin type doesn’t change much over your lifetime however, nutritional status, overall health, external factors such as sun damage and aging can cause changes in the integrity of skin making it important to reassess your skin’s needs ensuring you use the appropriate products. Using products that don’t suit your basic skin type can cause numerous skin issues.
There are four key skin types: oily, combination, normal and dry. In addition to the basic skin types, there are skin issues which include congestion, sensitivity and dehydration. You will only ever be one skin type but you may have a number of skin issues. These are not genetic and tend to be the result of diet and lifestyle choices or using skin care that doesn’t suit your skin type. The characteristics of each skin type and issue are listed below. Please remember however, that every skin type is different and if you feel that you don’t fit into any of these types or have any of these issues, contact our skin specialist, who will assist you with a personalized skin analysis and product prescription.
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Oily Skin – producing too much oil
One of the common issues with oily skin is the use of creams that are too rich for the skin. The misconception is that a rich or heavy cream (by rich I mean including butters and waxes) will have a better moisturising effect. Regardless of the “richness” of a product, if it is chosen to correctly match the skin type, the moisture content and nutritional status of the skin will improve.
The other common misconception with oily skin is that not using a moisturiser at all will help reduce oiliness. Oily skins still need skin nutrition, moisture in the form of water and ingredients that will help to control sebum, the factor that creates “shine”. A good moisturiser for oily will do all of these things.
The benefit of oily skin is that those with oily skin will tend to age more gracefully than their drier-skinned counterparts.
Combination skin – the most common skin type
Many with combination skin tend to go for richer creams to help moisturise the drier sections of skin but this causes issues such as clogging and breakouts with the oily sections. A light but highly nourishing moisturiser combined with an eye cream is a better option than a rich cream. The other thing that is important is regular but gentle exfoliation to get rid of the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. On drier skin this is important to allow mositurisers to penetrate more easily. With the oily skin areas, it stops the buildup of dead skin cells in open pores.
Dry Skin – needs more oil
Dry skin lacks both sebum and moisture due to insufficient production by the sebaceous glands which reduces the cells ability to hold onto moisture. Usually dry skin is delicate with small or no obvious pores and quite fine textured. However, due to the lack of moisture and oil, it is likely to show obvious signs of aging sooner than other skin types such as wrinkles and fine lines. There may also be red or flaky patches evident.
First and foremost it is important with dry skin to prevent further drying out of the skin. To do this it is important to avoid alcohol based products as they worsen dryness. Daily moisturising is essential. It prevents moisture loss and supplies the skin with essential nutrients and oils to keep the cells well nourished. A healthy cell is more likely to hold onto moisture. Avoid foaming cleansers in general and particularly those containing sodium lauryl sulphate as they will disrupt the acid mantle and again reduce the moisture holding capacity of the skin.
Other tips include drinking enough water and eating plenty of essential fatty acids which are found in nuts & seeds, fish and flax oil.
Normal Skin - Neither oily nor dry
Dehydrated Skin – if your skin lacks radiance and feels “tight” it is likely that it is dehydrated. The appearance of fine lines due to loss of elasticity and flexibility are other key signs of dehydrated skin. Moisture evaporates readily through the skin, and if we don’t stop this occurrence our skin loses its ability to protect against the outside environment leading to even more moisture loss and in the long term, actual skin damage due to poor cellular integrity. Check for these signs:
Sensitive Skin - heightened skin sensitivity and adverse reactions to certain irritants characterizes sensitive skin. Common skin irritants include detergents, certain skin care ingredients particularly synthetics and petrochemical ingredients and environmental factors such as heat, sun exposure, cold and wind. There is a strong correlation between dry skin and sensitive skin. Those with thin or finely textured skin are more prone to skin sensitivity. Common characteristics of sensitivity include:
Congested Skin – skin congestion is characterised by blocked pores, dull skin, uneven skin, blackheads and whiteheads.Twitter It!
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