Looking at someone with such enviable skin and wondering how she got into that? Hush now Lovely. There are many factors that makes our skin look the way it does. Some we can’t do anything about and many others we can influence.
Talk about genetics and hormones. We have to accept the fact that there are others, who are really genetically blessed with such great skin. And there are those born with certain deficiencies that results in certain skin conditions. Genetics also has something to do with the biological ageing of our skin just like hormonal changes can influence our skin. Remember that time when you are reaching puberty and acne just kind of pop into your face? Blame it on your hormones. How about that time when you were pregnant? Noticed some kind of uneven skin tone due to some sort of hyperpigmentation? A-ha…yes, it’s in the hormones.
Our genetics kind of determine our skin type right from the very start. But it also doesn’t mean it will remain that way – forever. Why? Because there are other external factors that can influence it. Take a step outside your house and look around… can you guess? Yes, Lovely. The climate and the environment we are in affects our skin. While sunlight is good for our overall well-being, but the length and kind of sun exposure that we have may trigger our skin to age prematurely or induce hyperpigmentation contributing to something like age spots or skin allergies.
On the other hand, temperatures when into the extremes or swift changes in temperatures affect our skin. Have you experienced travelling to a colder part of the world and all of a sudden you had chapped lips or dry skin? Sustained cold temperatures reduce the secretion of sebaceous gland (the ones we secrete to lubricate our skin) making our skin dry. How about travelling to a tropical country with hot and humid condition? You start to sweat more leaving your skin moist and shiny most of the time…then your skin becomes acne-prone. How about being to places with low humidity? This may cause skin to be dehydrated and becomes sensitive.
But this is not all. Commercial marketing has influenced us to buy products by alluring us with celebrities or models of great looking skin with the hopes of achieving the same. Chemical influences from beauty, home and personal care products that we use or from workplace exposure places a toll on our skin. Aggressive cleansers and moisturizers or those facial peels may damage our cell structure and the outer layer of our skin causing it to dry out and become more sensitive. When it does, our skin becomes susceptible to flare ups leading to ugly skin conditions. Imagine professions with regular contact with detergents, solvents, lacquers, paints and such other chemicals.
Our diet and lifestyle choices too influences our skin. It’s about time to re-think what you put into your mouth…and yes, that includes cigarettes. Sleep, exercise and stress? How you manage all these can be seen on your skin.
Every person’s skin is unique as we are genetically different and exposed to varying factors. However, there are a few common skin types we can all relate to. Finding out which one we fit the most can help us soon find our right skin care. Here’s how to easily identify your skin type —
FEEL YOUR SKIN
Feel the overall texture of your skin. Try to check on any given day of the week. Our skin’s texture can reveal a lot about its nature.
Dry Skin: When your skin feels tight and dry (skin usually feels a bit rough) all over your face, oftentimes throughout the day, then Lovely, you have to work on that dry skin. You may also experience some noticeable flaking. This is partly due to genetics or hormonal changes but environmental factors such as lifestyle, diet and climate can also be some of the triggers. Dehydration can lead to dry skin so drink up those water and have a good fill. Avoid diuretics (those that cause losing water) like alcohol and caffeine. Doing so might just make a significant difference on how your skin feels.
Oily Skin: When you feel greasy and shiny all over that you constantly reach for an oil blotting sheet… Dahlin’, you’re dealing with oily skin. While your skin has more natural moisture and less prone to wrinkles, it can however be prone to post inflammatory pigmentation which leaves dark spots on the skin after a breakout has healed.
Combination Skin: This skin type usually shows oiliness on the T-zone area (the area that covers your forehead, nose and chin) and dry on the cheeks. It may also be dry and oily on other locations. Either way, if you notice two or more different textures on your face, take it as a sign that you’re dealing with combination skin.
Normal Skin: When your skin feels even and balanced – not too dry, not too oily or not sensitive at all. Chances are you do have a normal skin type. Normal skin usually have a well moisturized T-zone and not prone to breakouts.
Sensitive Skin: This skin type usually feels itchy, patchy, dry or can sometimes sting. It easily gets irritated or experience inflammation.
CHECK YOUR PORES
The size of your pores are big indicators of your skin type. It tells a lot about our skin and its oil production.
Dry Skin: People with this skin typically have small pores that often feels tight.
Oily Skin: This skin type usually struggle with large pores. The excess production of sebum gets pores clogged and congested oftentimes cause such breakouts.
Combination Skin: When you find pores that are larger and often clogged on your nose but are small and almost unnoticeable on your cheeks and other areas of your face,more likely you do have a combination skin.
Normal Skin: When all the pores on your skin are hardly noticeable, this is a sign of normal skin.
Sensitive Skin: Those with sensitive skin have pores that usually vary from normal to large pores. It usually depends on the day and if there were triggers that caused irritation or inflammation.
FEEL YOUR SKIN AFTER CLEANSING
Sometimes products that we use tend to cover up the real feel of our skin. The bare-faced method exposes the real condition of our skin. Cleanse your face thoroughly with a mild cleanser, gently pat dry and leave it bare without any other products applied like moisturizers, serums, etc. After 30 minutes, examine how your skin feels.
Dry Skin: When your skin feels parched, taut and dehydrated especially if you smile or make any other facial expressions, your skin is likely dry.
Oily Skin: You may feel oil-free right after cleansing but after a while there’s shine on your cheeks, forehead and nose, then Lovely, it’s oily skin.
Combination Skin: If there is noticeable shine on your nose, but tight and dry around the cheeks, then combination skin it is.
Normal Skin: Those with normal skin usually feel clean and clear, though might still need a little moisturizer but overall the skin doesn’t feel to parched or sensitive.
Sensitive Skin: This skin type usually feels clean and a bit dry after washing but the cleanser may trigger some itching and irritation occurs. If this happens frequently even with a range of products, it’s a sign of sensitive skin.
THINK HOW OFTEN YOU NEED A MOISTURIZER
Almost everyone needs a moisturizer to keep their skin well-hydrated and healthy. However, the frequency of the need to apply a moisturizer is an indication on how your skin is kept hydrated on its own reveals what type of skin you’re looking at.
Oily Skin: Those with this type of skin do not feel the urge of applying any moisturizer very often as it is already filled with a lot of moisture and tends to make their skin feel oilier.
Dry Skin: Dry skin demands a lot of moisture to soften the rough feel of the skin throughout the day but most especially upon waking up or after cleansing as it tends to feel drier at these times.
Combination Skin: This skin type will frequently need to apply moisturizer on some areas of the skin that feels dry (usually the cheeks) but will rarely need it on other areas like the T-zone.
Normal Skin: This skin type fairly stays moisturized on its own throughout the day and may not need to apply a moisturizer very often.
Sensitive Skin: Sensitive skin may require a moisturizer somewhat frequently but finding one that won’t cause irritation or sensitivity would be the challenging part. It takes considerable time and effort to determine which ingredients cause inflammation and irritation. Patch testing on inner forearm would be advisable to minimize potential reactions on the face that may cause more problems. if there’s no sign of flaring up, apply a few on the area behind your ears and check for reaction before applying it on your face. Synthetic ingredients may result in redness and itchiness.
As you go through these skin checks, which skin type resembles like yours? Which of these you can associate from your own experience?
Our skin’s needs may change over time due to various factors affecting our skin type as well. Taking the necessary steps to identify the requirements of our skin is essential for it to look and work at its best. Keeping our skin’s health in mind and checking on it regularly is critical to keep it balanced and beautiful.
Now that you have a general idea on what your skin type is and possible factors affecting it, next is choosing the right care for your skin.
‘Til next, Lovelies!