When it comes to skin care, your skin type plays an important role in your daily care routine and the products that you use. So I thought I would cover how we define skin types and how you can determine what your skin type is. This will help you care for it properly and get it looking the best it can be.
Skin Types Defined
There are 4 basic skin types but the reality is that no ones skin is just one type. It's more likely to be a combination of the four and based on various influences, is likely to change from time to time. With that said, here are the types :
A normal skin type is the ideal skin and is something that everyone should aim for but almost nobody will have on a permanent basis. In fact, it should probably have a more glowing term than plain old normal, maybe perfect is a better term. Normal skin is the type of skin that a young child might have – smooth, free of blemishes and silky to the touch.
As the name suggests, oily skin will have a glossy or shiny look to it. A quality of oily skin may also be larger pores. The oily nature of the skin is due to excess sebum oil being secreted by the sebaceous glands. Sebum is our body's natural skin protector but for some people too much is created. This gives them glossy looking skin. This is by no means bad, as your skin is getting more protection and is likely to stay more hydrated than other types of skin. This means less signs of aging than say dry skin.
Dry skin is the polar opposite to oily. So it won't have the glossy look that oily skin has. It can be dull and blotchy in tone. Excessively dry skin will be rough to the touch and may even be cracking or flaking. Eczema and Psoriasis are often more prevalent with chronic dry skin as it is dehydrated and susceptible to infection.
Again, dry skin could be caused because the body can't hydrate the skin or the protective barriers like sebum oil do not stop moisture in the skin being lost to the environment. Dry skin will age quicker than oily skin and be more prone to age lines and wrinkles.
Sensitive skin is similar to dry skin in that it could be rough to the touch and prone to flaking. It's often described as crepe paper. Crepe paper is a very delicate form of paper that is easily crushed when touched. This defines sensitive skin. It is easily affected by skin care products, sunlight, bad weather, stress and many other things.
[caption id="attachment_1833" align="alignleft" width="300"]
Your T-Zone is pretty much your forehead and down the middle of your face, so your nose straight to your chin.[/caption]
The more likely scenario for most people is that they will have a combination of types over various parts of the body. Most people put more emphasis on the skin on the face than anywhere else and this part of the skin almost always has a combination of skin types. The T-zone is the center of the face, chine, nose and the forehead just above the eyebrows, which makes the T shape. This is liable to be more oily than other parts of the face which can be dry or normal.
How To Do A Simple Skin Test
Take a piece of tissue or toilet paper and tear it into 5 small square pieces. Place one piece on the tip of your nose, one in between the eyebrows on the forehead, one on your chin and the last two on your cheeks.
As the tissue is naturally absorbent, it will soak up oil on the skin. This will give you an indication of your skin type.
- If the paper sticks to the face, it's safe to say you have oily skin.
- If it falls but a slight residue of oil is left on the paper your skin is oily to normal.
- If it won't stay on the skin and there is no oily residue left on the paper, you've probably got dry or sensitive skin.
- Sensitive skin is hard to determine from this simple test but it should be fairly obvious if your skin is sensitive or otherwise. Sensitive skin reacts to products more readily and will probably turn red or react quickly to sunlight or sudden changes in environmental conditions.
As we stated before, the chances are that you will get more oil on the nose and forehead than on the cheeks as the skin types are likely to be different. The skin around the cheek area is likely to be drier than the nose. Most people have combination skin types as this test will prove.