Choosing skincare products can be overwhelming, especially if you aren’t sure what you need to be shopping for. There are two guiding factors to help you along; skin type and skin condition.
What is my skin type?
Everyone has a skin type. This is determined by genetics, and can change with intrinsic aging. To test for your skin type at home, follow this quick and easy test:
- Wash your face with your regular cleanser and do not apply any products to your skin for one hour. During this time, check your face in the mirror periodically to see what your skin is up to. Is it comfortable? Is it shiny? Does it feel tight and uncomfortable? How do your pores look?
- At the one hour mark, take a clean tissue and blot different areas of your face; nose, forehead, and cheeks.
- Check your results:
- Oily skin: Feels comfortable, and there’s oil on the tissue. Pores appear dilated.
- Normal skin: Feels comfortable, and there’s no oil on the tissue. Pores are barely visible.
- Combination skin: Feels tight and uncomfortable on the cheeks, comfortable in the T-zone, and there’s oil on the tissue. Pores are visible in the T-zone.
- Dry skin: Uncomfortable and tight all over. Pores are nearly invisible.
What is my skin condition?
Skin conditions are generally temporary, relatively speaking, and can vary widely based on environmental factors (sun, wind, pollution), lifestyle, and diet. Here are some common skin conditions:
- Dehydration. This one is tricky, because dehydrated skin suffers from a lack of water, not oil, so even those with oily skin can get it. Signs include itching, flaking, and increased sensitivity.
- Acne/blemishes. Oily and combination skin types are most susceptible to acne, and it can affect skin at any age from adolescent to adult.
- Redness/rosacea. External factors can trigger your skin’s inflammatory responses, causing redness. Rosacea can be genetic, and sometimes is confused with acne.
- Hyperpigmentation. There are a few different types of hyperpigmentation, or areas of darkened skin. The most familiar is post-inflammatory, following trauma like acne or abrasion. Lentigines, commonly referred to as age spots, are caused by UV exposure. Melasma can be caused by hormonal fluctuations.
- Lack of firmness. As we age, our body slows down production of collagen, which gives skin resilience. This can lead to sagging skin and wrinkles.
Stay tuned – I will go more in depth on skin types, skin conditions, and how to treat them!