Know Your Skin Type

Or At least, Get It In A "Ball Park"

Getting a great skin care program working for you involves figuring out your unique skin type... or at least getting it into a ball park.  In other words of your skin type will prove VERY helpful to you.

Your goal, ideally, is to get a simple, but very effective, skin care routine working for you....BUT even a simple plan requires knowledge and products.

Shopping for skin care products can be a confusing endeavor even when you think you know what you are looking for, let a lone when you aren't sure what you need  (or even worse, misinformed).

There is a lot of variety, price points and functions designed to address  the range in skin types among us (and the many ways professionals refer to those types) ie. "dry with an oily T-zone", "oily with dry patches", "normal to dry", "dry to sensitive", "mature", etcetera ...

Mismatching product to your skin can not only waste your time and money, but aggravate your skin with immediate inflammation and longer term recovery (and that's provided you figure out the problem immediately).

A Handful Of Noteworthy Benefits to "Ball Parking" Your Skin Type

  • You will make appropriate product choices for your skin's needs.
  • You will avoid reactions to inappropriate product choices.
  • You will avoid the downward spiral of worsening skin as you attempt to figure out what your skin is reacting to.
  • You will save yourself time trying to figure out what the true nature of your skin is versus its potentially misleading present display of symptoms.
  • You will save money not buying more product than you need or product to fix skin behaviors that wouldn't be there if you cared for your skin with appropriate product and methods in the first place!

Ball parking Your Skin Type

Here is a simple common test:

1. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and pat dry.

2. Wait approximately an hour and then review your face in a well lit place, in front of a mirror.

3. You are looking for visual presence of shine and assessing surface oil with a tissue test.

4. Take clean tissue, press a fresh section of tissue to each of the following facial zones; forehead, nose, chin and cheeks.

The following results will GENERALLY indicate your skin type as:

Normal - If upon observation in the mirror there are no prominent areas of shine, your skin feels comfortable and there is no residue on the tissue.

Combination - If upon observation in the mirror there are prominent areas of shine on your forehead, nose, and chin AND the tissue test also reveals residue for those areas but cheeks are normal.

Oily - If upon observation in the mirror your entire face appears shiny and the tissue test reveals residue in all four zones.

Dry - If upon observation in the mirror there are no areas of shine AND further to this, you can see and feel the presence of tight skin, possibly flaky skin AND there is not a trace of residue on the tissue.

Add to the above four main types, the additional possible status of
Sensitive Skin- If your skin occasionally (or more) reacts to cosmetic product and/or fragrance. Typically sensitive skin is most often found in association with fair, fragile, and dry skin.

Mature - In your forties you will definitely begin to see a change in the status of your skin type. Among a number of things, natural cell turnover slows down leaving skin, if un assisted, dull and dry looking plus potentially aggravating other conditions. There are lots of effective remedies that will help you maintain healthy vibrant skin, you have to do your part and keep tuned in to changes.

apple tip graphicApply Common Sense To Skin Categories

It is quite reasonable to find your skin is between two general types i.e. normal to dry, normal to oily, combination to oily. With that said, use some common sense when dealing with your skin, taking into consideration the cause of the shifting like change in climate and hormonal fluctuation.

For example:
If you find your skin type shifts between normal and oily, this may be due to the monthly hormonal change in your body that may result in greater oil production in your skin. If you thought this might be the case, you would likely reduce your moisturizer application to spot treatment like eyes and cheeks only, at times where oil production seemed greater. Also, you may find that you have different moisturizer formulations based on climate conditions, such as richer heavier for dry winter climate and light weight for summer humidity.

Get back on track...

If you realize your skin care regime is out of tune with your skin type and seems to be ineffective at bringing the results you want to see, take your skin care routine down to the simplest level and re-acquaint yourself with your skin's needs.

Wash your skin with a mild cleanser and use a very mild method of exfoliating (not a scrub and not if your skin seems to be inflamed in any way) like a soft wash cloth. Add to your regime from here. If you notice that your skin feels tight shortly after washing your face. Add a light weight simple moisturizer (no fancy ingredients), and ideally one with a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 if its the daytime.

From here you observe over time...add as needed. Considerations based on the age of your skin, climate influences, hormonal shifts, nutritional habits and so forth, will begin the fine tuning of you skin care routine.

Fine tune your skin care for your skin type by careful observation, reliable sources of knowledge and professional advice.

apple contour graphicLast word on figuring out your skin type...
Whether you read articles, talk to professionals, or learn solely from trial and error, you should build on the fundamentals of your skin care with the goal of feeling confident you are doing your absolute best for your skin.

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