Supermarket and drug store shelves are crammed with skincare products so in order to make an informed choice on which best suit your face you need to know what kind of skin you have. Skin type is genetic so you can’t change it although it will alter with age or other physiological factors. What you can do though is look after it. Healthy skin in later life depends on what you eat and how you take care of yourself and that includes your skincare routine.
Looking good starts with matching products to your skin type of which there are basically 5: Normal, dry, greasy, combination and sensitive.
There’s a very simple way to determine your skin type. First thing in the morning, as soon as you have just woken up, wipe your face with clean facial tissue or other paper.
If the tissue appears clean and reveals no traces of oil your skin type is NORMAL. Your face looks smooth and clean and has a healthy complexion thanks to the right balance of oil producing cells and good circulation. Normal skin is the easiest to care for and it feels elastic and supple. Requiring the most minimal of beauty routine you are very lucky to have this skin type as it usually looks good well into old age.
If your face feels flaky, dry and tight after you’ve wiped it but there is no visible residue on the tissue, you have DRY skin. When you are young this skin type must be kept healthy with good moisturizers because as you age it can develop a sallow tone and will be prone to wrinkles.
Sometimes, OILY skin is obvious because it has a sheen but proof positive will be the tissue wipe which will show spots of facial oil most probably corresponding to your forehead, nose, and cheeks. Oily skin is one of the problematic types. To reduce the very often, quite visible, outward signs of this skin type – enlarged pores, shine, coarse, acne – you need to choose a very good skincare routine. There is good news though; oily skin tends to age much better and less problematically than other types.
If your tissue has traces of oil corresponding to your nose and forehead or in just one area only, your skin type is COMBINATION. Classically, it’s in the form of a T and there are often patches of both dry and oily skin along with normal areas. Unfortunately, each area has to be treated separately as there is no one skincare product that can deal with the different needs of each type. Dry zones will need moisturizing and the oily areas will need thorough cleaning and may benefit from an astringent.
There is no tissue test for the final skin type but you usually know if it yours. SENSITIVE skin is dry and tight and prone to irritation and inflammation. You might develop scaly, flaky or reddish areas and it can be itchy or tingly and prone to spots. Sensitive skin is fragile and often reacts quite violently to an inappropriate skincare product. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of research to find the right beauty products for your sensitive skin but most usually are unperfumed and hypoallergenic.
Armed with this information you can do your tissue test and choose the right skincare products for your face.