We’ve all heard the mantra ‘love the skin you’re in’ and to do that properly, you need to know exactly what your skin is thirsty for! This means knowing your skin type and its properties is crucial. It sounds easy, but it’s actually the most common skincare mistake people make. Your skin is hereditary, so although you can’t change it, you can rebalance it with the right regime. If you’re confused by your skin type and use the wrong products, it can compromise your skin’s natural balance and result in breakouts, irritation, inflammation, and even premature aging. So, to keep you from making this HUGE mistake, we’ve broken down each skin type so you’ll be able to self-diagnose and FINALLY get it right!
What it looks like: If you have oily skin, it’ll be shiny and greasy with large, visible pores. The level of shine will typically increase around midday and the oil will affect your previously flawless foundation. You’ll also be prone to inflammatory acne; pustules and pimples, as well as non-inflammatory acne, like blackheads and whiteheads. Oily skin can also be prompted by any form of hormone change, like your period or pregnancy.
Why it’s oily: Our body produces a natural oil called sebum to help maintain soft and supple skin. If too much sebum is produced, it sits on your skin’s surface resulting in blocked pores and a greasy appearance. The overproduction of sebum also means that your pores are larger as it causes the follicles to expand. On the plus side, if you have oily skin, you’re expected to age better 😉
What it looks like: If you have acne, your skin will be extremely oily, with a significant amount of blackheads and whiteheads as well as pustules, pimples, and papules in concentrated patches. These are caused by the blockage of hair follicles due to the overproduction of sebum and dead skin cells.
What it looks like: Combination skin is super common and consists of two, massively contrasting skin types: oily and dry. The skin on your T-zone (forehead and nose) will typically be oily, resulting in larger pores, while your cheeks and other areas will be dry, tight and flakey with smaller pores.
Top tip: We know it sounds extra AF, but it’ll help if you use different products to target different areas of your skin. Concentrate your clay mask on your T-zone only and avoid using thicker creams on your T-zone.
If you have ‘normal’ skin, you’ll have no visible pores, blemishes, flaky areas or oily patches. The texture of your skin will be smooth and is more likely to look radiant and youthful due to the well-balanced level of moisture, sebum, and keratin. Basically, you’re BLESSED.
What it looks like: Dry skin is often dull, especially around the eyes, accentuating fine lines and wrinkles. Your pores will be small and barely visible but your skin will often feel tight, rough and may even chap – you’re also more likely to have eczema or dermatitis.
Why it’s dry: Dry skin is caused by a lack of moisture in the corneous layer, which also makes your pores less visible due to the lack of sebum. The lack of moisture also means that your skin loses its natural elasticity, which is why it feels tight.
What it looks like: Aging skin will often be dry, and will look translucent and pale, as the top layer of skin, the epidermis, is thinning. The skin will also appear saggy, especially around the eyes and neck due to a loss of moisture and elasticity. Aging skin is also prone to dark pigmented spots resulting from sun damage and potentially bad health habits.
Test your skin:
Wash your face thoroughly with warm water, cleanse and then pat dry with a towel. Leave your skin to sit fresh and clean for 30 minutes, get the mirror and take a good look – are your pores visible or not, do you have spots or whiteheads – access your skin, and see how it compares with the above categories! Repeat this test every six months, as your skin is always changing, responding to internal factors like your hormones, age or diet, plus external factors like the weather.
Now you know your skin type (and remember, is can fluctuate), there’s no reason why you can’t cater all of your products to your skin’s specific needs. So, check out our guides to make sure you’re using the right moisturizer, cleanser, and toner for your skin type.