Skin: What’s My Type?
SKINCARE 101: Skin Types & Other Mysteries
Walking down the isle of skincare products can be pretty overwhelming. There are so many options, the prospect of making a decision can quickly become a baffling ordeal. How do you choose which product is right for you? How do you know what skin type you are? Oily, normal, dry, combo? Throw in acne, aging, dehydrated, sensitive and by the time your head stops spinning from all the possible choices of just facial cleansers, you have ten products in your cart, one of each type just to cover all your bases.
You get home excited about your new haul and pluck option one from the line up. After cleansing for about 10 seconds it starts to burn - nope, not this one, so you throw that one in the 'drawer of no return' and move on to option two. Now this one feels good! You get a super soapy, sudsy action and your face has that clean, tingly sensation after you rinse. This option has won a place on the counter of possibilities! But after day three, a zit the size of Jupiter shows up right between the brows and now option two will also be sent to the bin of no return. There is nothing more frustrating than cleaning out that abyss of all the overrated, not-used-at-all, unsuccessful products and thinking about how much time and money has been wasted.
One of the best ways to circumvent the question of what products to use based on skin type, how to prevent skin discomfort and save money, is to schedule a consultation with a skin wizard (ie, skilled esthetician) that can put you on the yellow brick road to great skin! If you haven’t found the right professional for you, here are few at-home pointers.
First things, you’ll need to arm yourself with a small, round magnifying mirror which you can purchase at just about any drug store for about $5 bucks. This will allow for an up close, accurate view of your pore size and skin texture. Then, make some mental notes of how your skin feels and looks in certain areas - dry, oily, red, shiny, tight - how does it feel getting out of bed and how does it progress throughout the day? Next, how do your pores appear in size? Are they very noticeable or large, are they smaller in certain areas or can you even see them at all? As for texture, is it smooth, bumpy, rough or oily?
The four types we'll look at are combination, oily, dry, sensitive and normal. It’s important to understand that our skin type is not something we can change: we are born with it and genetically predisposed So you can thank mom or grandpa for the dry desert landscape or the pores that produce enough oil to supply the world.
COMBINATION: We’ll start with our most common skin type, combination or “combo” for short. That is the pesky, oily T-zone, also known as the forehead, down the nose and chin area, moving into the dryer areas of the cheeks. For this type, your pores will appear larger through the T-zone and get smaller and less noticeable in the cheeks.
OILY: Throughout the day, the T-zone has a tendency to become more shiny or feel like you ran into an oil slick. Oily skin will typically have larger, more obvious appearing pores starting from the T-zone moving clear out to the ears and be very prone to acne problems. This type has trouble controlling the shine or greasy feel all day long.
DRY: With dry skin, the pores might be barely noticeable but appear more closed and are the same size on the entire face. Sometimes dryer skin types are more sensitive to products and the environment making it flaky, tight or sand papery to the touch.
SENSITIVE: Sensitive skin is very delicate. This skin type reacts to everything and like acne prone skin, can be very difficult to find the right combination of products to use. Typically sensitive types often feel burning when using most products, turning the skin red and often feel chapped.
NORMAL: Owners of the normal skin type have won the lottery! Pores are practically nonexistent and you can use virtually any skincare product known to man with little to no adverse effects.
Now, go forth and take pride in that handsome, well-cared for mug.