Understand your skin type and learn how to treat it properly with these streamlined tips.
Your Clear Complexion Solution
You probably know what type of skin you have, but there’s more under the surface when it comes to understanding and treating your body’s largest organ. Your skin type is constantly changing due to internal and external factors such as environment and stress, so it’s important to reassess which category you fall under every six months.
While most dermatologists agree that sun protection and antioxidants are vital for all skin types, the similarities end there. Here’s an overview of dry, oily, combination, and sensitive skin-and the best way to treat each.
OILY Skin Type:
The shininess associated with oily skin is the result of the buildup of excess sebum, or oil, which clogs and enlarges pores. Oily skin can result from genetics and hormonal fluctuations, or a combination of external factors such as heat, exercise and sweat. The good news is that oily skin is less likely to become lined. But even oily skin can have dry patches so make sure to use a light moisturizer where needed.
Your Oily Skin Game Plan:
In the Morning: Wash your skin with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. This combination will help strip oil and unclog pores. Try a Foaming Cleanser and follow with an alcohol-free, clarifying astringent.
Before Bed: Wash with a mild exfoliating cleanser to remove excess oil. Then finish with a moisturizer containing retinal, which will remove dead skin cells so pores are unclogged and skin looks more refined.
COMBINATION Skin Type:
Your T-zone, which includes our forehead, nose, and chin, is oily, while the eye area, cheeks, and neck are dry and possibly flaky. Another Indicator of combination skin is skin that feels dry after washing, but quickly becomes oily. Since everybody has more oil glands in their T-zone, its safe to say that this is the most common skin type. Also skin type often changes with age, so it’s likely that you’ll have combination skin at some point in your life.
Your Combination Skin Game Plan:
In the Morning: Wash your face with a gel cleanser that contains salicylic acid, which will help clear pores, focusing mainly on the T-zone. Moisturize mainly on the T-zone. Salicylic acid is a key ingredient for treating combination skin.
Moisturize and protect your skin with an oil-free or light moisture lotion containing antioxidants and an SPF of 15 or higher. Apply lightly to your t-zone if it’s oily.
Use blotting sheets when you’re on the go; they can be applied straight to shiny spots without messing up makeup or irritating drier areas of the face.
Before Bed: Wash with the same gel based cleanser, zeroing in on the midsection of your face. Combination skin is prone to pimples in the oily area, so if blemishes appear treat them with an acne spot treatment that contains sulfur, which is an antibacterial that helps pimples.
DRY Skin Type:
When skin is unable to retain enough water, it becomes dehydrated, which leads to the tight, rough, itchy feelings associated with dry skin. Pores are often small because little sebum is produced, which can make skin appear smoother. Dry skin can evolve from genetic conditions such as eczema, a chronic skin disease that causes itchy and inflamed skin, and hormonal changes, such as those that occur during premenopause and menopause.
Your Dry Skin Game Plan
In the Morning: Start with a moisturizer that includes antioxidants to fend off damage from sunlight and pollution. Dry skin is like a sponge – keep it moist and the dry, cracking will disappear.
Formulas that you squeeze from a tube are your best option since they tend to be richer than those you dispense from a pump or pour.
Before Bed: Wash with a gentle cream cleanser that contains moisturizers, steer clear of washes that are perfumed and high in alcohol content, as these can be drying and irritating. With dry skin, dead cells accumulate quickly as skin dehydrates and flakes, so it’s important to exfoliate regularly.
SENSITIVE Skin Type:
This skin type-which can occur with dry or oily skin, reacts to many factors, including cleansers, creams, and even spicy foods. It often feels tight and itchy, and in more severe cases may burn and appear red or blotchy. Sensitive skin may be inherited or connected to other skin conditions, such as harsh household or cosmetic products. For those with sensitive skin, it’s important to check labels; look for skin care products that are hypoallergenic. Since multiple washings can make matters worse, wait to wash until before bedtime. Products that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-fee are best for sensitive skin.
Your Sensitive Skin Game Plan
In the Morning: Begin your day wit a moisturizing lotion or cream, depending on how much hydration your skin needs (creams are heavier than lotions.) Options that contain hyaluronic acid are a safe bet.
Before Bed: Wash with a gentle foaming cleanser. Reapply the same lotion or cream you used in the morning to add moisture lost during the day. If pimples appear, apply a spot treatment containing plant-derived tea tree oil, which has gentle disinfecting properties that can help clear acne-causing bacteria.