The most important step in caring for the skin comes in understanding one’s specific skin type and how it adapts to certain circumstances or seasonality.
SKIN TYPE TESTS
Every person’s skin is unique, but there are a few common skin types that may help you to identify where your skin fits in the most. Here are two easy ways to determine your skin type at home:
- Remove any make-up. If you are testing towards the end of the day, use make-up remover to remove all traces of make-up, dirt and oil from your face.
- Wash your face. Make sure you’ve covered all areas with a mild cleanser. Rinse thoroughly and gently pat dry.
- Wait an hour. Leave skin bare. Do not apply any additional moisturizers, serums or treatments. You do not need to wait if you are doing this first thing in the morning.
- Notice how your skin feels after washing.
- Combination Skin – your T–zone feels clean but cheeks will feel tight.
- Oily Skin – your skin will feel cleaner but will start to feel greasy again as your day continues.
- Dry Skin – your face will feel taut.
- Sensitive Skin – your skin feels tight, red or itchy, when put into contact with certain cleansers.
- Normal Skin – if your skin does not fall under any of these categories.
- Gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face.
- Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible.
- Dry Skin – if the blotting paper picked up little to no oil.
- Normal/Combination Skin – if the blotting paper reveals oil from the forehead and nose areas.
- Oily Skin – if the blotting paper is saturated with oil.
Different skin type needs different ways on how to care for it.
Lighter lotions and serums are ideal for your skin type because you don’t need a much heavy product to keep your skin in balance.
The most common skin type, and people with combination skin should consider using different products for different areas of the face to keep the skin balanced. For example, you may want to use a mild cleanser and moisturizer on your cheeks and a more stringent product on your T-zone to cut through the oil.
Cleansing the face often and avoiding heavy creams and emollients is advised for minimizing the appearance of oil. Look for oil-free sunscreens and lotions as well so that you don’t inadvertently add more oil to your skin.
Moisture is key to caring for dry skin. Use lotions and rich creams to nourish your skin cells. If your skin feels dry but you still get breakouts, then you probably don’t truly have 100% dry skin. Rather, your skin may be feeling dry from the products you’re using. Try going without them for a few days and see if your skin improves.
The most delicate skin type to care for. Find a skin care routine that works for you by performing patch tests on products before use to determine which products aggravate your skin and which ones keep it calm. Look for mild products without fragrance and harsh ingredients like alcohol and menthol. Avoid harsh scrubs that contain crushed walnuts, pumice or aluminum oxide crystals. Use lukewarm water, nothing too hot or too cold. Also, avoid scrubbing mitts and bar soaps.