An uncountable number of skin care products are available in the market these days. The majority of these products come from established and well-reputed brands that are dermatologically tested to ensure the best care. Even though these products may not contain extremely harsh chemicals, not knowing the demands of a skin type can still end up damaging your skin.
The first step towards taking better care of the health of the skin is understanding that not all skin types respond to these products in the same way. For example, if you have oily skin, then you must use products that are oil-free. Otherwise, if the skin becomes excessively oily, then it will be prone to acne breakouts and will appear glossy. Those who have dry skin, have less water content in the skin. So, such people need to use products that are tailor-made for them.
Different Skin Types
Read on to find out the different skin types and what products are suitable for these varying categories.
Skin Type 1: Normal Skin
If you or your friend is naturally blessed with hassle-free skin that doesn’t break out, become flaky or feel tight and greasy at the drop of a hat, then it is because of the normal skin type. Such a skin type is one which has a perfect balance of oil and water. It is neither too oily nor too dry. Those who have normal skin feature a smooth skin texture, have pores that are tiny, and are less vulnerable to blemishes and skin sensitivity.
Although normal skin type is not bothered by skin concerns, it still needs maintenance in order to ensure the health of the skin.
Healthy Skincare Routine:
With a normal skin type, you should follow this basic routine:
- Cleanse two times a day with a non-foaming, gentle cleanser.
- Moisturize with a hydrating and light moisturiser.
- Protect skin from sun damage with a sunscreen having SPF 30+.
- Remember when it comes to normal skin, less is more, as using too many products can strip the skin of its natural moisturizing elements.
Skin Type 2: Combination Skin
Those who have a combination skin type are likely to have some parts of their face, like the T-zone, oily while others, including cheeks, are typically normal or dry. A combination skin type varies throughout the year as the seasons keep changing due to factors like hormonal imbalance and stress.
Healthy Skincare Routine:
Here’s the tried and tested skincare routine for combination skin:
- Use a cleanser during the day.
- Apply an alcohol-free toner that balances the skin’s pH levels.
- Use a serum containing hyaluronic acid that protects and hydrates the skin.
- Moisturize with a product that has a creamy formula for dry areas and a water-based formula for the oily parts.
- Apply a lightweight moisturizer with a minimum SPF of 30.
- Use lightweight makeup products that are oil-free.
Skin Type 3: Oily Skin
Oily skin type produces excess sebum that in turn makes the skin greasy and prone to acne. A key point you need to understand is that since oily skin produces oil naturally, it does need added heavy moisturisation.
Healthy Skincare Routine:
Although oily skin type does present unique challenges, it is not wholly unmanageable. A basic routine you need to adhere to is as follows:
- Use toner containing glycolic acid, salicylic acid, or lactic acid.
- Treat the skin with retinol or benzoyl peroxide.
- Moisturize twice a day with a lightweight product.
- Alternatively, you can apply products that are available readily in your pantry such as oatmeal which absorbs additional oil and calms inflamed skin. Honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and can also be applied.
Skin Type 4: Dry Skin
Dry skin type produces less oil than other skin types and so skin appears rough and dull. In extreme cases, the skin can feel tight and look dehydrated. It can show fine lines, be very irritable and itchy in nature, and get flaky from time to time.
Healthy Skincare Routine:
To restore the health of the skin, here is what you should do daily:
- Cleanse with a hydrating product.
- Use an alcohol-free toner that restores the pH balance of the skin.
- Apply a serum to target specific skin concerns.
- Use a non-comedogenic and nourishing moisturizer to lock hydration.
- To protect skin from sun damage that can further make it dry and itchy, use sunscreen.
Skin Type 5: Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin type is not an entirely different category. Someone with dry skin can have sensitivity. Similarly, a person can have normal sensitive skin or oily sensitive skin. Irrespective of the skin type, if you experience itching, dryness, or burning, you have sensitive skin. This happens because the skin becomes triggered by fragrances, dyes, or environmental factors.
Notably, sensitive skin type is usually a reaction to another condition such as an allergic reaction to makeup or soap, face wash, etc. It is important to make a note of the factors that cause skin sensitivity and consult a doctor if the issue bothers you daily.
Identifying Skin Type with DIY Tests
Knowing your skin type is the first important step to building a sustainable and effective skincare regime. Listed below are a couple of do-it-yourself skin tests that you can try at home:
1. Bare Face Test : This method relies upon self-assessment of the skin. Firstly, you will need to cleanse the face with a mild cleanser and pat dry with a soft face towel. Do not apply any skincare product. After an hour, analyze your skin texture in the following manner:
- Dry skin: Skin feels tight and parched
- Normal skin: Skin does not feel stretched or oily
- Oily skin: Visibly oily face
- Combination skin: Some parts appear stretched, other parts are greasy and shiny
- Sensitive skin: The skin becomes irritable, reddish, or itchy very easily from time to time
2. Blotting Paper Test: For this test, you will need to cleanse the face and neck. Do not apply any other skincare product such as moisturizer or face cream. Approximately, thirty minutes after, use a blotting paper and apply it on different parts of the skin.
- Dry skin: There isn’t likely to be any trace of oil
- Normal skin: The amount of oil transfer will be very low
- Oily skin: The paper will turn completely translucent, which means there is considerable oil secretion
- Combination skin: Certain parts will be oily, while others are not
3. Day Test: To carry out this test, you will need to wash your face in the morning with a cleanser and leave the face as it is throughout the rest of the day. At the end of the day, look for the following signs:
- Dry skin: Skin is tight, stretched, and rough
- Normal skin: Next to no change in texture
- Oily skin: Skin will be slippery and shiny
- Combination skin: Presence of T-zone that is oily with dry parts
- Sensitive skin: Skin will feel very itchy, especially around the cheeks
There are various skin types and before you invest your time and effort into purchasing products that might not match your needs, spend some time exploring the way your skin responds. If you are unsure, then you can consult a skin specialist or a dermatologist. Additionally, dietary and lifestyle changes play a huge part in maintaining the health for the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What are the most common skin types?
Ans: Of all the skin types, the most common ones are oily skin and combination skin.
Q2. What do all skin types need at the most basic level?
Ans: All skin types need to be kept clean regularly, require proper hydration and should be kept protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
Q3. Can skin types change?
Ans: Yes, skin types can change over time because of both internal and external factors like hormones, age, health and environment.