How To Know Your Skin Type - Skinora
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How To Know Your Skin Type

We place so much emphasis on what’s going on inside the body and often neglect our outer shell. The skin is the body’s largest organ and like any other organ, it works best when nurtured and looked after.

But how do you look after your skin?

You may have seen the odd cleanser or moisturiser featured on an ad but there’s really no use investing into skincare until you have determined your skin type. Trying to identify your own skin type can be confusing but we’re here to lend a helping hand! Below are 2 ways you can figure out your unique skin type at home followed by an overview of all the skin types so you can see which best suits you.

The bare faced method

The first step of the bare faced method involves cleaning your face with a mild cleanser. Then you will want to gently pat your face dry with a soft towel. Do not apply any skincare products to your skin! It may feel a little uncomfortable at first but It’s important that your face remains bare. After 30 minutes has passed, examine your t-zone (forehead, nose and chin) for any shine. After a further 30 minutes, re-examine your skin for any signs of dryness.

If your skin is feeling tight when you smile or raise your eyebrows, then you may have dry skin. If you have a little shine on your t-zone then your skin type is likely to be normal or combination. If both your t-zone and cheeks are oily, you’re most likely to have oily skin. Lastly, if red blotches have appeared on your face from depriving your skin of any Skincare products, you may have sensitive skin.

 

The blotting sheet method

The blotting sheet method is one of the most common ways of determining your skin type because it’s so straight forward. Simply place clean blotting sheets evenly on your face (forehead, nose, chin and cheeks). Be sure to gently press the blotting sheets into your face rather than rubbing or dragging the sheets against your face.

The amount of oil that’s deposited onto the blotting sheets will determine your skin type. If all of the blotting sheets have dense oil patches, then you most likely have oily skin. If you’re only seeing oil on your t-zone blotting sheets, then you may have combination skin. Lastly, if the blotting sheets are falling off your face and only have small specs of oil, you’re likely to have dry skin.

Still not sure what skin type you are? Take our 3-minute skin assessment to connect with a Skinora doctor for a bespoke regime tailored to your unique skin type!

Now that we’ve gone through methods to help you determine your skin type, let’s take a look at the 6 most common skin types, their characteristics and which products to avoid.

Oily skin (Seborrhea)

Oily skin occurs when your sebaceous glands are hyperactive. They fill your pores with more sebum than your skin needs often resulting in clogged pores and blemishes. As a result of the hyperactive sebaceous glands, people with oily skin may also notice slightly enlarged pores. If you have oily skin, you’ll want to stay away from oily products and lean towards skincare that is labelled ‘noncomedogenic’ as these products are specially formulated to not clog pores.

Dry skin (Xerosis cutis)

On the other end of the skin type spectrum, we have dry skin. Compared to the other skin types, dry skin sebaceous glands produce the least amount of sebum resulting in flaky patches, itchiness and even micro cracks beneath the skin. Dry skin can be a result of genetics or environmental factors such as the weather or your diet and lifestyle choices. If you have dry skin, you will want to use nourishing skincare products that compensate for the lack of natural oils.

Combination

Combination skin types experience more than one skin type on their face. Most combination skin types are a mixture of dry, oily or sensitive skin. It’s for this reason that people with combination skin can struggle to find skincare that works for them. The easiest way to take care of your combination skin is to find skincare that’s for ‘all skin types’. Equally, you can opt for pH-balancing skincare that’s formulated to match your skins natural pH level. An alternative would be to purchase separate products for your distinctive skin types and apply the skincare products to the specific areas on your face.

Normal

Normal skin is essentially the skin type all the other skin types are trying to emulate so count yourself lucky if this is you! Normal skin types have well-balanced skin neither being too dry nor too oily. Skincare should focus on simply nourishing and maintaining their well-balanced moisture levels. People with normal skin should use a daily cleanser, toner, moisturiser and SPF 30+ sun cream to avoid any potential skin issues from arising.

Sensitive skin

Those with sensitive skin often have compromised skin barriers of which are prone to inflammation and irritation. Contributing factors to sensitive skin can vary making it difficult to determine the root cause of a reaction. One way you can minimise flare ups is by patch testing new skincare products on your forearm and only introducing one product at a time. In addition, avoid skincare products that have added fragrances, alcohols and essential oils as they can irritate the skin.

Mature skin

From 25 years old onwards, elasticity and production of collagen and sebum in the skin begins to decrease. This is why as we age we start to see fine lines, thinner skin, and lack of luminosity. For mature skin, your main concern is to replenish what your skin has lost so collagen boosters, AHA exfoliants and firming peptides are all good options for reducing the appearance of fine lines, dullness and dryness in mature skin.

Conclusion

Skin types are far from clear-cut and in most cases, people will have more than one skin type or varying degrees of dry, oily or sensitive skin. The skin type you have will be a mixture internal (genetics and hormonal changes) and external factors (diet, lifestyle and weather) so It’s important to tailor your skincare routine to your unique skin type. Your skin cells are constantly rejuvenating and with it, your skincare needs are constantly changing. Be sure to regularly examine your skin to keep up with any adjustments you may need to make to your routine to keep your skin looking healthy and glowing!

 

 

About the Author: Anna Puri

Dr Anna Puri is an Aesthetic doctor and GP with over 14 years experience in both the medical and aesthetic fields. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of St Andrews and University of Manchester. She continues to work both as an Aesthetic doctor at her clinics in Ascot and Kew and as a GP. Dr Anna brings her holistic approach to all aspects of the care she provides with a strong focus on advice and treatment that is specifically tailored to her patients expectations and needs. She has worked with cosmeceutical skin care brands and treated a wide range of skin concerns for over a decade. Dr Anna has a special interest in Antiaging skincare and procedures . Dr Anna's work has been featured in various magazines including Lux and The Aesthetics Journal. You can follow Dr Anna on the SkinoraUK instagram page and Skinora YouTube channel.

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Last update: July 21st, 2021

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