The major skin types that people have include normal, dry, oily and combination. Normal skin is the most rare while oily can be the most difficult to remedy through topically applied products. Using the proper skin care ingredients for your skin type helps give you the clear, beautiful skin you want.
Normal skin is the exception rather than the rule, and many people who have normal skin deal with normal skin plus a concern or two. You most likely have normal skin if your skin is not oily or dry and if you do get small spots of oily or dry skin they are quick and easy to remedy. Normal skin has a fairly even skin tone with no major brown or red spots and your pores are neither invisible nor enlarged.
The best way to care for normal skin is to avoid products labeled for other skin types: oily skin care products will be too drying while dry skin care products will have too much moisture. Look for products with gentle, but effective ingredients. Antioxidants are important ingredients for all skin types, and normal skin benefits from vitamins A, C and E. Though normal skin is not oily, you still need to exfoliate normal skin regularly to remove any dead skin cells or other debris that may accumulate. The best exfoliant for normal skin is an alpha hydroxy acid, which is a gentle chemical exfoliant. An AHA exfoliant also reduces the appearance of wrinkles and increases collagen production.
The common perception is that dry skin suffers from a lack of moisture, but this is not entirely true. Rather, dry skin has lost its ability to maintain normal levels of moisture as the skin’s barrier response has been weakened. To best take care of dry skin, it is important to look for ingredients that help the skin to retain a healthy water balance. Rid your skin care routine of anything that contains a rough scrub, use your fingers rather than a harsh cleansing brush and drying ingredients such as alcohol.
Dry skin requires some extra attention and delicate care. Many times those with dry skin can skip cleansing altogether as soaps, particularly in bar form, can be incredibly drying. Splash some warm water over your face and cleanse using a gentle AHA exfoliant. Look for moisturizers packed with antioxidants such as vitamin E and consider the use of intensive serums or plant oils. Plant oils such as jojoba and olive oils can be extremely helpful to dry skin.
Oily skin is perhaps the hardest type of skin to deal with because it is caused by hormones which are genetically determined. The hormones responsible for oil production are androgens and while they are considered the “male hormone,” they are present in both males and females. You have oily skin if your face becomes shiny about two hours after cleansing and continues to become increasingly “greasy” throughout the day. Additionally, people with oily skin often have enlarged pores due to the increase in oil production.
While it may seem like a good idea to dry out oily skin, this can make your skin produce even more oil. Rather than using harsh ingredients like alcohol, look for gentle cleansers with ingredients such as salicylic acid. This helps combat oil, and any resulting acne, without being too drying on the skin. Use of a toner after cleansing can help oily skin and looking for one with antioxidants such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can provide great benefits. Be sure to exfoliate and again salicylic acid, or BHA exfoliant, is great for clearing away dead skin cells and unclogging pores.
Combination skin is difficult for people to deal with and recognize. Combination skin occurs when you face two or more skin types at one time. Often, some part of the skin is dry and flaky while other parts of the skin are oily. Generally, this manifests as an oily T-zone, where the forehead, nose and chin are oilier than the rest of the face.
Use a gentle cleanser and avoid bar soaps for combination skin. Again, look for a toner but be sure that it does not include any irritating ingredients such as citrus oils, alcohols or witch hazel. Salicylic acid is a great ingredient and can be used as a regular exfoliant to keep the T-zone clean and clear. If your skin is particularly dry, then you may want to skip the BHA (salicylic acid) toner and switch to an AHA exfoliant. Use heavy moisturizers or anti-acne medications as spot treatments rather than applying to the entire face.
Treating your unique skin type with the ingredients that it needs ensures you have the healthiest skin possible. Remember to use sunscreen daily no matter what type of skin you have as it provides necessary protection against harmful UV rays. A regular routine of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing helps all skin types stay looking youthful and radiant.