October 5, 2010

Skin: What's Your Type?

One of the most important things I learned in Esthetics school was that when purchasing skin care products it's important to first know what type of skin you have. That, and never apply too much wax over someone's eyebrows because their face will be bald once that strip comes up. No, I don't speak from experience but yes, I have seen it happen!  The perfect example of purchasing the wrong product would be walking into a department store and picking up a foaming cleanser for oily skin when your skin is tight, dry, and lacking water. Don't fall victim! doesn't matter how pretty the box is OR how good it smells don't purchase the wrong product. The best way to discover your skin is to examine it with a magnifying mirror, those $3 round ones from any drugstore work great! First wash your hands and cleanse your skin with an appropriate cleanser then use your mirror to examine. Your looking at the size of your pores,texture and conditions of your skin. There are five different skin types. I've put them together here along with some characteristics to help you determine what type of skin you have. Enjoy!

NORMAL SKIN (Lucky you!)

If you have normal skin you are very fortunate because your skin is even-textured and problem free without spots or blemishes. (People would probably kill for your skin. Literally!) Also you have small to medium sized pores (This is were that magnifying mirror comes in!) and your skin has an equal balance of water and oil. This means your skin is naturally well moisturized. Overall your skin looks smooth, healthy and clear. Follow a good skincare routine using a quality facial wash, toner and moisturizer every day, and a scrub once or twice a week. Monthly maintenance facials are perfect to keep your skin glowing throughout the year.  
Products for Normal Skin Types:

Dry Skin
I like to call dry skin the "emotional skin type" it's happy when you take care of it but easily irritated :) Dry skin usually feels rough and can be scaly and tight when your move your facial muscles. It is very sensitive and has to be carefully looked after. In fairer skin types your skin can become read just from wind that is too cold. Unlike other skin types you are lacking oil in your skin and this is what causes dry skin and wrinkles. Chapping and cracking are signs of extremely dry, dehydrated skin. Dry skin needs plenty of gentle cleansing, regular stimulation with massage and generous quantities of moisturizer, specifically one with a nice amount of essential oils that is still hydrating (putting water into the skin). Washing dry skin with soap and water not only removes grime but also the natural oils protecting the skin. Once again leaving it sensitive and irritated, hey, your skin has feeling too! Use a creamy cleanser and at least once a week use a replenishing facial mask.

Products for Dry Skin: 

Combination Skin
Combination skin is one of the most common skin types. It exists when there is an improper balance of oil and water in the skin. in other words some parts of your face are producing more oil than others. Strange right? This skin type is characterized by oily areas, straight down the middle of the face, the center of the forehead, nose and chin. This area is called the T-Zone. It's named this because you can connect those areas forming a "T" across your face, get it? Your face also has some dry areas like the cheeks and sometimes the forehead. Your neck may also tend to be dry (remember your neck and decollete are an extension of your face. Whatever you do to your forehead you should extend downwards to slow down the signs of aging) If you have this skin type don't fret, Here are some tips to re-balance your skin. Avoid harsh products (like soap) that will dry out your skin. Causing the dry sections to become dryer and the oily sections to produce more oil. Also don't use anything too greasy this will exacerbate the problem. Try different products on different areas of your face. i.e. oil-free products on the greasy areas and moisturizing products on the dry areas. 
Products for Combination Skin Types:

Oily Skin
Oily skin can be a pain because the more oil that accumulates on the surface of your skin, the easier it is for bacteria to mix with the dirt and sweat on your skin and cause spots, blemishes, whiteheads or blackheads.If you have oily skin like me! you skin is usually greasy and shiny all over, especially on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) Your skin may or may not have a coarse texture and your pores tend to be medium to large and clog with a sebaceous material (Oil) causing blemishes. Although, Having breakouts does not ALWAYS mean you have oily skin. Lastly, you skin might get dull looking and patchy. Keep it as clean as possble by using a good quality facial wash twice a day, a facial scrub two or three time a week and an oil-free moisturizer that will leave the skin matte, twice a day, morning and night. A clay mask used weekly, can also make a big difference. As the clay dries it absorbs the excess oil from the pores, along with dirt and dead skin cells. This helps to keep the pores clean. Over a period of time a clay mask will help to reduce the appearance of open pores as the blockages that make them appear larger are removed. Don't over stimulate oily skin with harsh products or those that will over dry the skin. Avoid soap as it will disturb the skin's natural protective layer and make the problem worse.

Products for Oily Skin

Now that you know your skin type you will never be fooled by those cute little shelf talkers or gift with purchase deals. Skincare is about keeping the right balance of oil and water in your skin through pH balancing products and targeted skincare treatments by a licensed Esthetician a.k.a. "Yours Truly". I hope this post was useful and thank you for reading!


  1. Is it true that you should really only wash your face in the morning if you've perspired in the night?

  2. Hello Mischa! No that is not true :) You should cleanse your face every morning and every night because your skin is constantly shedding and producing oil. Cleansing the skin preps it for your skin care products and also keeps it hydrated for the rest of the day. Great question!