What Skin Type Do I Have?
Nature or nurture? The eternal question of why each of us is the way we are! It’s the same with skin – the initial quality, or type, of your skin is genetically determined – meaning you are born with it.
From a little later in life, the health and beauty of skin largely depends on what you eat and how you take care of yourself. The skin is a living organ and is hugely reflective of your lifestyle. It can vary from season to season or even from week to week, depending on general health and external factors including sun exposure, medication and drugs, diet and illness. Skin naturally regenerates every 28 days in younger people, extending to about 45 days as we age.
Regrettably, skin ageing is an inevitable process. Wrinkles usually sneak up on us between 30 and 45, become more noticeable between 45 and 50 and are pronounced from 50 on up. The process can be slowed down by a good skin care and protection routine. To nurture what nature gave you and keep skin looking its best, the first step is to understand your skin type.
This is not a straight-forward exercise; most people have at least two or even three different skin types on their face and neck. There are no hard and fast rules with skin types but there are a few facts to bear in mind:
• Young oily skins are a result of the sebaceous glands becoming active at puberty, when stimulated by the male hormone androgen
• Sebaceous gland activity begins to decrease when a person is in their twenties
• Any skin type can experience sensitivity
• Dehydrated skins can be caused by ill health and insufficient water intake. If you have experienced a fever, skin will have lost fluid through sweating
• Medication may result in skin changes and dehydration, as may drastic dieting
• Dehydration / dryness may be caused by an environment with low humidity, i.e. air-conditioning
• Changes in appearance of women’s skin during ageing are related to altered production of the hormones oestrogen, progesterone and androgen at menopause.
• Sensitive skin can apply to all skin types as everyone experiences sensitivities at one time or another; this can be caused by many factors from environment to your own health, so addressing the cause as well as the symptoms is important
As a guideline – skins can be broken down into the following types:
• May or may not be accompanied by oily skin
• Symptoms may range from mild acne associated with most oily skin types to more severe large, deep and disfiguring lesions on the face and back
• Visible pores
• Visible blackheads
• Small breakouts mostly occurring on the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and back area
• A build-up of excess oil that gets worse as the day goes on
• (Having an oily skin does not prevent wrinkles – keeping the sun off the skin is what prevents wrinkles)
• The most classic type of skin
• T-zone (nose, forehead and chin) is oily with visible pores and blackheads, while cheeks, jaw, neck and eye areas are dry and flaky (the reverse may be present too, but rare)
Balanced Skin (normal skin)
• No visible pores
• Little or no dry skin
• No excess oil to speak of
• No sensitivities or allergies
• (Balanced skin does not mean flawless skin)
• No visible pores
• Skin tends to flake and peel
• Dry patches present
• Lips may feel parched as the day goes on
• Skin tends to feel drier and tighter
• Skin may look dull from lack of natural colour
Care recommendations by skin type
This skin type may sometimes need a little extra help to balance excess oils. Skins with over-productive sebaceous (oil) glands may be prone to congestions, blackheads and breakouts; often they also have large pores similar to orange peel.
Skincare products need to be especially formulated to assist oily skins to help cleanse, balance, and regulate oil production without stripping the skin’s natural protective barrier while still locking in essential moisture to act as a barrier against the pollution of the environment.
Normal skin is quite simply a gift of nature. Free of many common skincare issues you don’t need a complicated beauty regime – just one that allows your skin to function at its natural best. Normal skin, neither too oily or too dry with small to medium size pores, is well balanced and relatively care free.
The great joy of dry and mature skin is a beautiful, clear complexion and blemishes are rare. This delicate and fine skin type needs a little extra care to ensure it always feels smooth, soft and nourished. The challenge is to reduce the dry or tight skin feeling while not overloading the skin with heavy products.
By Living Nature