Its common to hear about a skin type and think that it actually is yours too. I'm totally guilty of it myself. The day came when I learned that I wasn’t a combination/oily skin type and that, whoa surprise, I'm a dry gal. You should have seen my reaction. I want people to actually know their skin and not listen to someone talk about theirs and just buy the products they buy. So here's my little rundown of how to navigate skin types
The Quick Rundown
- Your skin is unique and the only person who can observe it the most is you.
- If someone is the same skin type it doesn’t mean it will perform exactly the same as yours.
- Your oil production is based on your hormones. (This is not fully understood to this day.)
- Any changes to the hormones, whether it is stress related, diet related or due to medication, will affect how your skin behaves.
Smaller, almost non-existent pores. Matte complexion. The skin tends to look thinner so fine lines are a bit more obvious. Scars take longer to heal and fade. Skin appears dull.
Large pores. Shiny complexion. The skin looks and feels thicker. You can still get fine lines as it may be dehydration but overall the skin looks glowy/muddy.
Medium sized pores in either cheeks or T-zone. Possible dehydration in cheeks.
How to determine:
Observe the skin and see where you get shiny throughout the day. This can be done if you have a no makeup day. Also where blemishes may occur (disregarding the chin) can be an indicator of overproduction of oil.
Try a skin fast to see where you get oily and where your skin may be dry. A skin fast is where you go one day without any skincare or makeup. You wake up and just cleanse your face with water. Crazy right? I've done it numerous
Common skin conditions:
Some of the common concerns that people have is to do with dehydration. It can be thought of having dry skin but, as mentioned above, dry skin is categorised by the pores and amount of oil produced on the skin.
A good way to determine if the skin is dehydration, is to see if your skin feels tight after cleansing, or to gently press the cheek and lift slightly. If you see tiny lines come up then its most likely dehydrated. This can be easily fixed by adding in a moisturising toner or a serum, rather than pack on a heavy moisturiser.
Over the years I have observed 2 types of sensitivity. Redness at the touch and severe irritation. Know which one you are sensitive to! Things to look out for are, blotchiness, broken capillaries, flushing after rubbing moisturiser or a wipe etc. When it comes to extreme sensitivities, you usually know when you have it. You get a stinging sensation when certain products are on your skin, or you erupt in rashes a few days/weeks after applying. As mentioned in another post, not everyone is a delicate flower. You need to observe your skin and what it reacts to.
When it comes to sensitivity and breakouts, I don't believe they mix. I think that first, you have to find out if the product just accelerated a potential breakout (in which you have to look at your cleansing routine) or you look at the ingredients of the product and determine if it is too heavy/light for your skin type. Really question why putting a particular oil on your skin is causing a blemish that usually takes days/weeks to form. Ill be sure to explain more in another post.
For many years, we have been told that the outcome of our skin is largely due to the environment we are in and the products we put on them. I find it is only half correct. Recently, I have adjusted my lifestyle in a dramatic way. I have changed everything that I have put in my body. Surprise surprise, it has shown through in my skin as well. That’s not to say that skincare is unnecessary. I believe that the right skincare routine can boost your complexion to its full potential. The right lifestyle is something that can excel your skin even further.
This is why, determining skin type by your oil production is vitally important. It's a translation of your hormones and other bodily functions. An understanding of this, can help open your eyes to what your skin really needs.
In the end, it’s a matter of realising what is best for you and finding out how your skin works. The best observer is yourself.