Put Your Best Skin Forward Part 1: Identifying Your Skin Type
Glowing skin can help us turn our face towards the world with grace and gusto.
Seemingly inconsequential, it’s only in suffering from inexplicable and tenacious blemishes, irritations, and redness that people turn their attention to this beautiful organ we otherwise take for granted.
Indeed, everyone’s skin is unique and changes with age. And the only sure way to help protect it, bringing out its natural luminosity, is to educate yourself.
The first step in doing so is understanding the four basic skin types, identifying where you fall along the spectrum, and individualising your skincare programme accordingly.
It’s time to put your best skin forward.
Understanding the 4 Basic Skin Types
Experts agree that there are four basic skin types: normal, dry, oily, and combination.
Each type is wildly different, and thus requires a customised approach in aiding its health.
Normal skin is the least problematic in terms of appearance.
Balanced moisture and colour tone, combined with good elasticity, means that this skin type requires a minimal amount of care.
Washing your face with a gentle cleanser both morning and night, along with applying sunscreen should you be heading outdoors for an extended period, will serve you well in maintaining your healthy glow.
Dry skin, meanwhile, is easily agitated by the elements. Exposed to the sun, or caught out on a windy day, may induce an itchy feeling, flakiness, and roughness to your skin.
Further to washing your face morning and night, those with dry skin should apply a daily moisturiser with sunscreen (reapplied according to the time spent outdoors). The reason for this is because those with dry skin are more susceptible to developing wrinkles. Take note: moisturiser is your friend!
Without proper care, oily skin –caused by an excess of sebum production –can be the most acne-prone, often looking greasy or shiny, and characterised by enlarged pores and blackheads.
If you have oily skin, avoid touching your face to ensure the surface of your skin is kept clean (you don’t want to clog up your pores!), and keep your carbohydrate consumption to a minimum, the latter having been shown to induce the production of blackheads and even more sebum
Moreover, start using a cleanser morning and night, and exfoliate often. As always, apply a light moisturiser to keep the skin’s pH levels balanced, thus avoiding hyper-production of sebum.
Characterised by patches of oily skin on the nose and forehead, and normal skin on cheeks and jaw line, combination skin is, in fact, the most common skin type.
Combination skin requires the use of a gentle cleanser morning and night, paying particular attention to areas where oil builds up. Applying sunscreen –as always –is also a must.
Other Factors to Consider
If only it were as simple as identifying your skin type, and taking care of it accordingly.
But, alas, there are other factors that can wreak havoc on your skin, such as: sensitive skin requiring of hypoallergenic products; aging skin that suffers from loss of elasticity (in which case moisturiser becomes a religion, as does sunscreen!),and cyclic acne, which breaks out at certain times of the month congruent with the peak of certain hormones.
Fret not! There is always a solution.