Which Skin Type Are You?
A well-balanced skin is referred to as the normal skin type. Your skin falls under this category if it has a good balance of oil and moisture. It is not the most common skin type in adults as it is generally seen before puberty.
Normal Skin characteristics:
- even texture and tone
- good elasticity
- blemish free
- small pores
This skin type produces less sebum as a result of which it lacks lipids that it needs to retain moisture to protect the skin against external influences. Dry skin might have a dull and rough appearance.
Dry Skin characteristics:
- coarse texture
- tight pores
- less elasticity
- more visible lines (premature aging)
Contrary to dry skin, oily skin overproduces sebum. This skin type is fairly common in adolescents because the sebaceous gland is stimulated by hormones at puberty which increases the oil flow in the skin.
Oily Skin characteristics:
- enlarged pores
- greasy and shiny appearance
- prone to acne
- good skin tone
This skin type has the characteristics of both, dry and oily skin. It is one of the most common skin types with more oily usually in the T-zone area (forehead, nose and chin),while the cheeks and sides of the face can be either normal or dry.
Combination Skin characteristics:
- larger pores around the T-zone
- thicker texture in oily areas
- prone to blemishes around oilier areas
Skin Type vs Skin Concern
Skin Type and Skin Concern are often conflated, which can lead to an incorrect assessment of your skin condition. For example, you are noticing breakouts on your skin, you may assume that it is because you have oily or acne-prone skin. But breakouts could be just a temporary skin concern. Plus, you may be making matters worse by adding too many acne-fighting products in your routine. Are you currently facing multiple skin concerns and have no idea how to fight them all?
Distinguishing between the two is important as it helps you choose the right treatment and products. Your basic skincare can be targeted towards your skin type whereas, to address a specific skin concern, you might have to include a specific ingredient in your skincare regime. The important thing to keep in mind is that skin concerns are temporary
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON SKIN CONCERNS?
Quite often, dehydration is confused with dry skin but dehydration is nothing but a lack of moisture in the skin. If you are not drinking enough water, using harsh skincare products or spending too much time in air conditioned rooms; they are most likely the cause of your dehydrated skin
2. INCREASED SKIN SENSITIVITY
Sometimes extreme weather conditions, certain allergies or harsh skincare products can increase skin sensitivity which can appear as redness, swelling , an itchy or tingling sensation
When excess dead skin cells build up on the surface of the skin, it can make your skin feel bumpy or rough, giving your skin a dull and lacklustre appearance. Some of the most common causes of dullness are an unhealthy diet, over exfoliation, lack of sleep and hydration.
Skin pigmentation leads to changes in the colour of the skin, causing darkening of the skin in patches. Usually, exposure to the sun and increased production of melanin is responsible for pigmentation
5. DARK CIRCLES
A goodnight’s sleep is often stressed upon for good reason but sometimes our lifestyles disrupt the normal sleep cycle; and dark circles around the eyes are the most common result of lack of sleep. Fatigue and eye strain are common causes of dark circles but genetics can also be a contributing factor.
6. LARGE PORES
If your pores appear larger, it is mainly because of increased oil production in your skin which is usually a sign of oily skin. In some cases, sun damage and non comedogenic makeup can also be a reason for larger pores.
7. BLACKHEADS AND WHITEHEADS
Blackheads and whiteheads are one of the most common forms of breakouts that most of us have dealt with at some point. They are both classified as non-inflammatory acne and mainly occur when the skin pores or hair follicle become clogged with dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells.
Blackheads occur in open pores hence, the melanin is oxidised by the air which turns the dead skin or natural oil inside black in colour. Whiteheads on the other hand, close the opening of the pore and because they aren’t exposed to the air, they stay white in colour.
The good news is that managing them is not that difficult with multiple solutions available to suit your skin type and intensity of breakout.
Acne is arguably one of the most frustrating skin concerns to deal with and can be caused by multiple factors. When the body undergoes hormonal changes during periods, puberty and pregnancy; there is a risk of developing acne.
In case of non-hormonal acne, your pores may be blocked by excess oil and bacteria which may be the cause of your acne breakout
9. LINES AND WRINKLES
Lines and wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process. As we grow older, our skin loses its elasticity, resulting in creases and furrows. The ageing process differs from person to person and is also affected by skin phototype and environmental factors.
10. SUN DAMAGE
Skin damage due to prolonged exposure to the harmful UV rays is the leading cause of some of the most common skin concerns like sun spots, pigmentation and skin ageing.
How to Choose Products Based on Skin Type?
Cleansing, toning, moisturising and SPF are the core foundation of skincare for all skin types. However, each skin type will need different products due to varying skin needs. For example, a cleanser with exfoliating properties might work great for your skin but it’s not a good fit for dry skin as the exfoliators might strip away your skin’s hydration hence, a cream based cleanser will be better suited for your skin.
1. NORMAL SKIN TYPE
You are incredibly lucky if you belong to this category! But at the same time, it is important for you to maintain your skin’s natural balance by making moisturising and toning an essential part of your routine.
What to Avoid: prolonged exposure to the sun
What to Try: early anti-ageing skincare routine
2. DRY SKIN TYPE
For people with dry skin, it is absolutely critical to focus on keeping your skin moisturised and well hydrated.
What to Avoid: AHAs, soap and Salicylic Acid
3. OILY SKIN TYPE
If you belong to this category, then deep cleansing and balancing the excessive sebum (oil) production in your skin is a must for oily skincare routine. Incorporating a good Clay mask in your routine can also help in rebalancing the oils.
What to Avoid: comedogenic and heavy products that clog pores
What to Try: ingredients like Salicylic Acid
4. COMBINATION SKIN TYPE
This is one of the trickier skin types as it requires an optimal balance for the dry and oily areas. You might also want to consider spot treatment to tackle different areas of your skin.
What to Avoid: avoid products meant especially for oily or dry skin.
What to Try: products with a mix of drying and moisturising ingredients
How To Identify Your Daily Skin Needs
Skincare is not just about treating your skin concerns, your skin has some basic everyday needs which alter from time to time because of factors like weather change, increased exposure to pollution or a change in diet. Ultimately, factoring in your skin type is equally important as each skin type has a unique requirement. However, including a few essential steps in your daily skincare can go a long way.
For a healthy skin and consistent complexion, moisturising twice a day is crucial, especially for people with sensitive and dry skin.
Regardless of the weather outside, wearing a sunscreen all-year round is a must to protect your skin from sun damage and prevent early signs of ageing. Find a sunscreen that suits your skin type and put it on before stepping out.
3. CLEANSING AND TONING
Daily cleansing is vital to remove excess dirt, grime and oil from your face to keep your skin clean and fresh. Follow this up with toning, by using a toner with a hydrating ingredient. Avoid toners that contain Alcohol as they may be harsh for your skin.
4. WATER INTAKE
No matter what you apply on your skin, if you aren’t drinking enough water, skincare products can’t do much. Drinking a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water in a day keeps your skin hydrated and flushes out the impurities.
5. VITAMIN C
Vitamin C is loaded with antioxidants, enhancing tissue repair and collagen synthesis for healthy skin. It is the foremost ingredient in protecting your skin from sun damage and fighting fine lines and wrinkles. Apart from being topically applied, it is commonly found in fruits and vegetables such as lemon, oranges, apples, broccoli etc.