Skin type definition is complicated and complicates the life of many women. But it is important to diagnose the type of skin, and do it correctly, to know how to give your skin the ideal treatment each year and over the years.
What do we mean by “skin type”? We mean the skin look, its properties and the reasons it responds and “behaves” the way it does. The world of cosmetics traditionally categorized the skin in four general categories:
- #1 Normal skin / plain – no oily areas or any Dry spots.
- #2 oily skin – There are many “Shiny” areas on the skin and there are no dry areas.
- #3 Mixed Type skin -Usually oily in the central area of the face and dry or normal in the rest.
- #4 Dry Skin – No oily areas in general, can evolve to show scaly skin like and might feel “tight”.
Usually skin that is prone to pimples and spots is included in the definition of oily or mixed type skin, but sometimes it is classified as a separate type of skin. Sometimes, even sensitive skin may be a type by itself. In certain ways, all skin types are sensitive, as we explain below.
Skin type definition is complicated and complicates many women. But it is important to diagnose the specific type of skin, and correctly, to know how to give it the ideal treatment each year and over the years. First, people skin type is not a constant. Skin changes occur between seasons, months and on weekly basis. To these changes you can add other skin conditions and problems that can pop up from time to time, such as rosacea, eczema, lesions, blackheads and white. Four or even six skin type categories cannot cover the whole spectrum. When we come to determine your skin type we recommend that you forget what you heard from the sales lady at the cosmetics department or what you have read in fashion and beauty magazines. Basic skin types of are good, as a basis understanding, but they cannot cover all the nuances and changes we are experiencing. Our skin type varies depending on many factors – from the weather to your stress levels.
Why is it important to know all these nuances? All different skin types require different products and different treatment. Although many skin types generally need the same active ingredients to maintain a proper function as SPF, antioxidants, etc., their base (lotion, cream, gel, serum) should match your skin type. Skin type determines which elite products to buy. But we must make sure we accurately classify the skin type, otherwise the product we chose may worsen the situation.
What affects the skin type?
Almost anything can affect the skin type. That’s why it is so confusing to stick to one’s skin type and decide that this is our skin type for good. External and internal factors can and do impact on the way your skin looks and feels. To effectively evaluate the skin type and determine the proper skin-care routine, you have to consider the following:
* Hormonal changes
* Health problems / skin (rosacea, psoriasis, thyroid problems Etc.)
* Genetic condition of skin type (dry rather than oily, sensitive)
* Medication you are taking
* Climate (cold, hot, wet, humid or dry)
* Your grooming routine (surplus of moisture or excess peeling, use of products
Irritating or drying, using the wrong products that work in contrast to your skin type)
* Long Sun exposure or unprotected sun exposure
Combination of these factors affects not just the skin type but also the look and feel of it.
Will my skin type change?
The short answer is – yes, absolutely. We seldom characterized by the same type of skin throughout the years, from adolescence to adulthood. Therefore, our grooming routine cannot rely on one definition that we have adopted. It will not suit times of hormonal changes, food menu changes, physical changes or any other factor that changes with time. And if that was not complicating enough – in any given time you might have several skin types at the same time! It is not unusual for women to have a little of various skin types simultaneously or at different times in the same month or week. Observing the behavior of your skin and how it changes is an essential step in order to evaluate what your skin needs.
Mixed Type Skin
Mixed Type skin diagnosis is far more difficult. In fact, almost every one in some period or another has a Mixed Type skin. Physiologically speaking, the nose, chin, forehead center and cheeks are categorized by having more oil glands than the rest of the face. So naturally, these areas tend to be oilier. when the skin is involved many times we buy a large variety of products That are good for the T- zone, (where most oil glands are located) but will not help the cheeks, eyes or jaw . We may need different products to treat different skin areas because we treat different skin types, even on the same face.
Another important point – the products we use can affect the skin type. For example if you use an oily cleanser, followed by face cleaning liquid that contains alcohol, and then pasty moisturizer with a serum underneath, it can make you skin type Mixed. Use a moisturizer that is too much for your skin can cause blackhead. Using products that contain irritants can cause dryness, irritation and redness. After all that you might think that you have a specific skin type, but actually what you see can only be a reaction to skin care products.
Everyone has sensitive skin
Any of us has this kind or other level of sensitive or easily irritated skin. Regardless of age, ethnicity and skin type small skin irritations occur from time to time, even those we do not feel at all. Your skin can burn, chafe, or crack and you may suffer from dry skin surfaces, scribbled – depending on the weather conditions, hormonal changes, and skin-care products you use or sun exposure . The skin may itch, sweat, develop spots, turn red and develop allergic reactions to cosmetics, animals, dust or powders.
If these are not enough, consider the number of skin care products most women use daily. The average woman uses every day at least 12 separate products (including makeup and hair care) each with an average of twenty different ingredients. It means womens skin is exposed to about 200 cosmetic ingredients on any given day. The fact that the skin of each of us survives all of these is a testament of its durability – you cannot take it for granted! In summary, if we like it or not, most of us will react to one chemical or other cosmetic ingredient, somewhere along the way. Your skin is the body’s defense and buffer that prevents the entry of invading objects and unwanted materials. We protect most of the body with clothes, but the face remains exposed most of the time. No wonder why facial skin responds and react unexpectedly here and there. Sensitive skin is probably the most normal skin type there is.
Each one has a chance to develop sensitive skin, so each and every one of us, regardless of skin type, should take into account the rules of treating sensitive skin.
What are the rules? The guiding principle is: Treat the skin as gently as possible; Avoid from irritation causing products. This advice is good for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. Of course, there are some irritating ingredients we want to try and “endure” occasionally because of their potential to help skin look better. For example, topical anti-oxidants (like 2.5 % benzoyl peroxide, for example) is helpful for someone with blemish-prone skin, while the solution of BHA (salicylic acid exfoliate) is good for someone with blackheads and blemish-prone skin. Both AHA (alpha hydroxyl acid) and Retina A to improve skin cell production are good for sun-damaged skin. Good hydroquinone lightens skin discolorations. Beyond these remarkable materials, if a certain substance is irritating – it can stimulate all skin types. If they are not good for sensitive skin, they are not good for oily, acne prone skin, Mixed Type skin or dry skin, etc. If we adopt the rule of gentle skin-care routine, gradually we will solve many of the skin problems we have experienced.
Skin type has no connection with your age
Old skin is different from young skin – it’s a biological fact. However, it would be a mistake to buy beauty products based on categories of age. There is no point to blame old or young skin more with products intended to deal with “age ranges”, since not everyone with “old” or “young” skin has the same needs. This is still a trap many women fall into (especially older women). An adult can have acne, blackheads, eczema, rosacea, sensitive skin, oily skin while a young person might experience dry skin, spots, or sun damaged skin. Skin products that were designed for “mature skin” are often too oily and porous sealing, and those designed for young people are almost always too dry. The key is to identify the actual situation of the skin and age.
In fact all skin types, all ages, need protection from the sun, and lots of antioxidants. You should always pay attention to your skin and what its needs are, and needless to say that it varies from one person to another.