Dry, oily, normal, combination or sensitive. Choose one category and stick with it in order to achieve clear and healthy skin right? Right!? Not exactly. Determining your skin type and maintaining clear, healthy skin is not quite as simple as most skin care companies would have you believe. In fact, choosing a skin type category without a second thought as to environmental and biological changes may prove to be quite detrimental to one’s skin care process. Why? Well, your skin is the body’s largest organ. It is a living, ‘breathing’ organ that needs proper care in order to function at its best. To achieve that, it’s important to have a clear understanding of your skin’s needs. Recognizing what can help or harm your skin will ultimately help you determine the best products and practices to help you achieve and maintain your healthy skin goals. In order to aid you in making the most educated decisions for your skin, I’ve dedicated this week’s posts to skin care with today’s post focusing on the different categories under which your skin may fall.
SKIN TYPE CATEGORIES
Determining your skin type, and adjusting for environmental and biological changes, is one of the best ways to properly care for your skin. Many of you may be aware of the five main categories typically used by the skin care industry to help determine the proper care for each individual’s skin. They are: normal, dry, oily, combination and sensitive. Though you may be familiar with these categories, their nuances may not be as familiar.
1) Normal – Those with normal skin are often considered to have the ideal skin type. This is because normal skin is not too dry and not too oily leaving it seemingly pore-less (less visible pores), smooth and healthy when properly cared for. Normal skin is able to properly balance moisture and control oil production leaving a nice and even skin tone.
2) Dry – Dry skin occurs due to the skin’s inability to retain moisture, leaving it prone to fine lines and wrinkles. The appearance of dry skin is often characterized as dull and ‘lifeless’ due to the lack of proper oil production. This also effects the skins protective barrier making it more fragile, leaving the skin prone to the effects of environmental elements such as extreme weather. Like ‘normal’ skin types, dry skin typically exhibits smaller pores.
3) Oily – Those with oily skin have large pores that produce an excess of the oils necessary to maintain healthy skin. Oily skin types often report a greasy and shiny appearance. This skin type is prone to acne, breakouts and clogged pores due to the excess oil production.
4) Sensitive – Sensitive skin is thought to be the most fragile of the skin types. That is because sensitive skin is typically very thin and prone to irritation. It is easily inflamed by changes in weather or harsh products/ingredients. Those with sensitive skin have a tendency to blush, are sensitive to the sun or may experience excessively dry skin.
5) Combination – Combination skin exhibit signs of two or more of the aforementioned categories. Those with combination skin will often notice that the T-Zone (your forehead, nose and chin) differs from the cheek and eye areas. For example, the combination ‘normal/oily results from an oily t-zone with other areas being balanced or ‘normal’. The ‘normal/dry’ combination produces dry patches in some areas with balanced skin in others.
Reading descriptions of skin types is typically a surefire way of identifying one’s own skin type. If you’re still unable to determine which category your skin falls under, visit my blog on Wednesday for a few tips on how to determine your skin type.
*Please note that I am not a dermatologist, aesthetician or skin care expert of any kind. This is knowledge I have accumulated over the years that I simply wanted to share with you.