Updated: May 16
One of the easiest mistakes to make on your skincare journey is incorrectly determining your skin type. It could potentially be the answer to all of your skincare problems and unlock healthy radiant trouble free skin.
Treating your skin with an incorrect skin type diagnosis however, can lead to breakouts, rough, uneven skin texture, excessive oily skin, dryness, and even stinging and burning leading to sensitivity, and trust me, none of that is fun!
If you want to take good care of your skin, and choose the right products to help it stay healthy and younger-looking, you need to determine your skin type first.
The Simple Skin Type Test
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser (no soaps, foaming cleansers or oils!)
Leave your skin alone for at least 2 hours. Don’t apply anything during this time.
Look in the mirror: what do you see?
A: Lots of shine
B: Your skin still feels tight
C: A bit of oil here, some tightness there
D. Your skin is red and irritated
E. None of the above
A: Oily skin
B: Dry skin
C: Combination skin.
D. Sensitive skin
E. Normal skin
Lets dig a little deeper into these skin types....
Skin Type A: Oily
WHAT CAUSES OILY SKIN?
Your sebaceous glands are producing more oil (Sebum) than your skin needs. This can naturally occur or it can occur when you use products that are too astringent and harsh for your skin which ultimately strips too much of your Sebum away, making your body over produce and leaving your face shiny and making it difficult to hold on to make up. The oilier you get the more harsh your products become and this vicious cycle goes around and around until you realise the products need to go!
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE OILY SKIN?
Breakouts, breakouts, breakout! Pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, even multicolour-heads!
Your skin is shinier than a frying pan.
Your pores are highly visible
The positive - Your skin will age slower and you will have less wrinkles - BONUS!
HOW TO TREAT OILY SKIN
Keep oil production under control without drying out skin. Here’s how:
Astringents and alcohol-toners are a no-no, get rid of them! they are not your friend!
Use salicylic acid. It exfoliates the surface of your skin and unclogs your pores, reducing shine and breakouts.
Twice a week, use an oil-absorbing clay mask to give salicylic acid a helping hand.
Keep your skin hydrated with an oil free moisturiser.
Skin type B: Dry
WHAT CAUSES DRY SKIN?
Your sebaceous glands are underperforming. Sebaceous glands produce Sebum which is your skins way of keeping moisturised and protected from environmental factors such as wind and pollutions for example.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE DRY SKIN?
You develop wrinkles earlier than your friends, and deeper ones too!
The dewy glow and radiance is non existent.
In some cases you can be itchy and red.
Skin always feels rough and can even flake like dandruff.
Washing your face becomes unpleasant because once its cleansed, you are desperate to put something on it to escape that tight dry feeling.
On the plus side, your pores are teeny tiny. No lemon skin photos when you have close up shots!
HOW TO TREAT DRY SKIN
If you determine your skin type is dry, your skin is badly in need of intense hydration.
Here’s how to get you back on track:
Exfoliate with Lactic acid. It's less aggressive than Glycolic acid because its a larger molecular weight so treats the layers of skin closer to the surface, but that means it is more hydrating.
Don’t forget to stay away from Glycolic Acid. It may get rid of the rough texture quickly but it will dry out your skin!
Skin type C: Combination
WHAT CAUSES COMBINATION SKIN?
You are dry in same areas but oily in others, You can be prone t breakouts every now and again and you may notice more blackhead than you wish to see.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE COMBINATION SKIN?
Breakouts are a like a 'friend' who moves in for a bit but doesn't pay rent - Annoying, inconvenient and offending!
Your t-zone shines like newly polished shoes
Your cheeks or mouth area can feel quite dry and rough at times
You aren't becoming obsessed, those pores on your T-Zone are really becoming more noticeable
HOW TO TREAT COMBINATION SKIN
You need to contour your skincare products. So, bare with me here....
Hydrating cleansers with a use of oil absorbing masks for the oily areas. Use a hydrating, antiaging facial serum excluding the oily areas and then layer a lighter, oil free moisturiser covering the whole face. This will give the dry areas of the skin the boost of hydration that they need, without overloading your oily problem areas.
Skin Type D: Sensitive
WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVE SKIN?
Your skin’s protective barrier is not holding up. Your skin may have strong reactions to chemicals, dyes, and fragrances present in cosmetics. You may also get rashes or irritation from clothing, friction or sudden temperature fluctuations.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN?
Everything your skin comes in contact with seems to sting, burn or make it turn red.
Your skin tends extremely dry and rough to touch.
HOW TO TREAT SENSITIVE SKIN
Rebuild that protective barrier by using products with skin-identical ingredients like fatty acids, amino acids, and lecithin.
Boil your water before you clean your face. Some tap water can be extremely irritating to the skin, especially if its hard water..
Start with a light manual exfoliation using a bamboo fibre cloth or muslin cloth.
Skin type E : Normal
WHAT CAUSES NORMAL SKIN?
I never like to class anything a 'normal' but for the sake of this blog, you have been blessed with 'normal' skin!
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE NORMAL SKIN?
You heard your friends complain about breakouts but you can't relate.
No frying egg on your shiny forehead, no face dandruff, no extreme redness like you are having a hot flush. Nothing but easy breezy skin.
You’ve never really noticed your pores.
Your skin looks and feels… well, normal.
HOW TO TREAT NORMAL SKIN
Keep doing exactly what you are doing! If it aint broke, don't fix it! You could just be mindful to use products rich in antioxidants as your skin can never get enough of them!
You may have everything sorted out and then suddenly....BAM, your skin type changes. Lots of factors can play a part in your skin type; stress, smoking, diet, environmental damage, using the wrong products, water intake, medication, hormones, climate and the list goes on. Your skin is a living organ and needs different things at different times. It’s really important to keep an eye on any subtle changes and to adjust your routine accordingly. So save the link to this blog, check in with your skin and adjust your routine when necessary.
Sign up to my newsletter to get more information on your skin and how to get the best results using the products for you.