The basic and most important step in caring for your skin comes in understanding your specific skin type and how it adapts to certain circumstances or seasonality. Your skin is your body’s largest organ, as complex and intelligent as your heart, lungs, liver and other vital organs. Using cleansers and treatments that are too harsh, even if they are recommended for excessive oiliness, may send the signal to your skin that more oil is actually needed. Conversely, applying moisturizers that are too thick or heavy can result in decreased natural oil production, resulting in even drier skin. Taking the time to learn your skin’s specific needs will help you to choose the right options that will balance skin resulting in a healthier, more radiant complexion.
Every person’s skin is unique, but there are a few common skin types that may help you to identify where you skin fits in the most. The three main skin types are commonly referred to as Oily, Normal/Combination, sensitive and Dry. Here are a few easy ways to determine your skin type at home:
1. NOTICE HOW YOUR SKIN FEELS.
It’s important to notice how your skin feels on any given day of the week. The texture of your skin can reveal a lot about its essential nature.
People with Combination skin usually feels oily in the T-zone (the area that includes your forehead, nose and chin) but dry everywhere else. It can also be oily and dry in different locations, but if you notice two or more different textures on your face, it is a sign that you are dealing with combination skin.
Sensitive skin usually feels itchy, patchy, dry and can sometimes sting.
Oily skin will feel greasy and shiny all over. If you feel like you are constantly reaching for the oil blotting sheets, this means you probably have oily skin.
And dry skin will feel tight and dry. It is normal for it to be flaky and crack, especially in the winter months.
2. THE BARE-FACED METHOD
Cleanse your face thoroughly with a mild cleanser and gently pat dry. Leave skin bare (and do not apply any additional moisturizers, serums or treatments). After 30 minutes, examine your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead for any shine. After another 30 minutes, evaluate whether your skin feels parched, especially if you smile or make any other facial expressions. If your skin feels tight, your skin is likely dry. If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is mostly likely normal/combination. If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin.
3. HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED MOISTURIZER...?
Almost everyone needs moisturizer to keep their skin healthy and hydrated, but how often you need it can indicate how good your skin is at staying hydrated on its own and what type of skin you are dealing with.
For People with combination skin you will frequently need to apply moisturizer to some areas of their face that are drying out (often the cheeks) but will rarely need it on other, oilier areas (like the T-zone).
Sensitive skin usually requires moisturizer somewhat frequently but it’s hard to find one that doesn’t irritate the skin and cause a reaction.
And as for people with oily skin, moisturizer tends to make their skin even oilier so they don’t need it very often throughout the day.
While dry skin demands a lot of moisturizer throughout the day, and it is especially needed upon waking or after cleansing the face.
4. THE BLOTTING SHEET METHOD
This method is much faster and often an excellent differentiator between oily and dry skin types. Gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face. Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible. If the sheet picked up little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin. If the blotting sheet reveals oil from the forehead and nose areas, your skin is normal/combination. Finally, if the blotting paper is saturated with oil, it is extremely likely that you have oily skin.
To know more about the various skin types, click this link.
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