How to know your skin type and how to care for it.
We’ve all got a type, and we may think it’s one type, but at various stages of our lives, can be more than one, and as we mature, our type can change. It’s a relationship we have had our entire lives, and sometimes it can be challenging to know how to care for it. It can be aggravating, sensitive, painful and even glow with the radiance of love, but we never give up on it. This relationship is with our skin.
It’s true. The relationship to our skin can be complex, but there’s no need to give up on it. Our skin goes through changes as we mature. For example, that baby-smooth skin from infancy has thin collagen fibres and is more prone to dryness and sensitivity. There is an increased rate of cell reproduction as the baby grows, and although sensitive, it has a more rapid healing rate due to cellular turnover. Skincare is gentle, mild and simplistic.
In adolescence, hormones take over everything from the rate of hair growth, voice pitch, menstrual cycles and those painful acne breakouts. Teenage years can be difficult for managing skincare woes as hormonal imbalances begin to present themselves increase whiteheads, blackheads, and those distressing pus-filled mountains like Mount St. Helens just waiting to erupt. Treatment will depend on the severity of the problem but can range from drying lotions and spot treatments with benzoyl peroxide to prescription medications, including topical creams and gels. Always consult with a dermatologist for the best results.
Many people take that seemingly poreless and porcelain skin of their 20’s for granted and don’t realize that this is the best time for preventative care. Sleeping with makeup on or not removing the days’ grime can clog pores and lead to breakouts. Exfoliation can brighten dull skin, and moisturizing helps maintain the skin’s barrier function and keep a healthy glow. Most importantly, sunscreen is the best prevention you can add to your routine to avoid reparative care in your later years.
In your 30’s collagen production begins to decrease, and you may start to see the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and sun damage. In your 40’s and 50’s the skin continues to go through more changes as hormonal fluctuations begin again. Also, pregnancy can change pigmentation and skin tone, as well as medications, food, and supplements you consume.
Fear not! Regardless of what life stage you’re in or how your skin is behaving, implementing the proper skincare routine can bring great results once you determine your skin type.
So how do you know what your skin type is?
There are four basic types of skin. First of all, start with a clean slate. After cleansing, wait thirty minutes before applying any skincare products to gain a more precise evaluation of your skin. Then, use these fundamental questions to help you assess your skin type.
Does your skin feel slick and greasy to the touch? Can you pat areas of your skin with tissue, and it sticks and absorbs oil? Then this is precisely what it sounds like - you have oily skin. The appearance of oily skin is porous, shiny and moist, and this is because the sebaceous glands produce an overabundance of oil and are often genetic or hormonal. Therefore, acne can be problematic to oily skin.
One of the biggest misconceptions about oily skin is that it doesn’t need a moisturizer; this couldn’t be further from the truth. First, think about how oil and water don’t mix. The same occurrence happens to the skin with the overproduction of sebum and requires a humectant to retain moisture.
Stripping the skin with acids and drying lotions can increase sebum production, making skin oiler. Avoid picking at acne as it can create scarring and pigmentation down the road.
Is your skin as dry as the Mojave Desert and dying of thirst? Is it flakier than your grandma’s Blue Ribbon prized pie crust? This drought of moisture is a sign of dry skin.
Typically, dry skin results from environmental factors such as cold and dry air, harsh chemicals in soaps and skincare products, and unbalanced pH. However, some conditions can also be the culprit, such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.
Treating dry skin can simply start with avoiding soaps or cleansers with harsh chemicals, using cool water to cleanse, and using a moisturizer to protect the skin. If these simple measures don’t provide relief, and should you be concerned with dry, scaly patches or any pain associated, consult with your doctor or dermatologist.
Things can feel tricky when your skin has an identity crisis. Is it oily? Is it dry? The t-zone is oily, and the cheeks are dry; what is going on here? When you have more than one type of skin, this is what is called combination skin.
Combination skin is a bit more complicated than when it’s one or the other. The t-zone is the area of your nose and forehead and has the same characteristics of oily skin due to larger pores and sebaceous glands, and acne can be a result. In addition, the cheeks and jawline can appear red, dry, flaky, and feel tight.
The skincare routine is a little different due to caring for two skin types. The t-zone requires products for oily skin and acne treatment, and the dry areas hydrated and moisturized.
Does your skin feel like it’s been scraped with a steel brush if you try using a new product? Is it reactive to stress and environmental factors, and you’re hesitant to veer off the path of plain soap and water? It’s okay; your skin is sensitive and could use some TLC.
Sensitive skin is identifiable by how quickly it reacts to products that contact the skin, causing itchiness, burning, redness, tightness, and stinging sensations. Sensitivity can present itself as rosacea, eczema and contact dermatitis.
When caring for sensitive skin, consider using gentle products that are soap-free, fragrance-free, and detergent-free. The fewer ingredients in the product, the more gentle it will be on your skin. Avoid acids and retinol as they can cause inflammation, increasing irritation. It is highly recommended to consult with a skincare professional for any reactive skin conditions.
Normal & Ageing
Now, you’re asking what about normal skin types? Normal isn’t a skin type. It simply means that your skin is well balanced with little to no oil in the t-zone and not prone to breakouts, dryness, or skin conditions. Therefore, a skincare routine including cleansers, exfoliants, serums, moisturizers can be used with little to no reaction.
Ageing skin isn’t a skin type; this is the natural progression of maturation where collagen decreases and pigmentation, wrinkles and sagging skin become more prominent.
Using products with vitamin C, retinoids, and microneedling, microcurrent, and radiofrequency treatments can increase cellular turnover, increasing collagen production for a more plump, toned, and smoother appearance.
All skin types
Protection, protection, protection! The best care is always preventative care. Therefore, sunscreen is an essential step in any skincare routine. Sun protection is the final step before applying makeup and should have a minimum of 35 SPF to clock the harsh and damaging UV rays. Sunscreen has advanced in its formulation over the years in lotions, gels and powders for all skin types.
There is no need to give up on your skin. Your skin continuously changes for the rest of your life- it will never be perfect or stay that way. However, you can maintain healthy, beautiful skin by caring for it with gentle products specially formulated for different stages in your life.
Our team at Loshen & Crem know all about skin and its changes, and we want you to know too! We have a wide range of creams, moisturizers, serums and more, designed specifically for each stage in life so you can get back out there looking fabulous. So don’t let skin issues take away your confidence - make sure you're using the best products available.
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