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How to Determine Your Skin Type

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There are five main types of skin care: normal, oily, combination, sensitive, dry and sun-damaged. Which type are you?

Knowing your skin type can help you choose products that will make it healthy. If you have not found your match, there is a quick test that will help you identify it. There are many different skincare approaches you can use.

What determines skin type?

How much oil your skin produces will determine what skin type you have. How much oil your skin produces depends on your genes, lifestyle, hormone fluctuations, medications, and how often you use your skincare routine.

It is possible that your skin type changes over time. You might notice that it goes from dry to oily to normal. This is normal. Women are more susceptible to hormonal changes as their hormones constantly shift.

A Skin Type Test

Rona Berg, author of “Beauty: The New Basics”, suggests that you do the “skin test” in order to determine your skin type. Wash your face and pat dry. Next, take some rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue papers and apply them to different areas of your skin.

If your skin is oily the paper will stick to it, pick up oily areas, and then become transparent. Your skin is dry if the paper does not stick to your skin or picks up oils. If the paper sticks to your T-zone (forehead, down your nose and up your chin), you may have normal (or combination) skin. Many women have combination skin.

Oily skin

Shiny skin is a sign of oily skin, particularly in the T-zone. Overproduction of oil-producing (sebaceous) glands may cause enlarged pores.

Oily skin ages slower than dry skin. Oily skin ages better than dry skin because it keeps the skin plump, which allows for fewer wrinkles. Although oily skin is common among young women, it’s more common for older women to develop dry skin, particularly after 35.

Take care of your skin:

  • Before you go to bed, wash your skin with an oily-friendly cleanser.
  • Two times weekly, exfoliate with a gentle scrub.
  • Use only light moisturizers.
  • An astringent might be helpful if you have breakouts.
  • Powdered products are better than liquid for blush and bronzer.
  • When shopping for tinted foundations or moisturizers, look for options that are oil-free.

Combination/Normal Skin

Experts say that 70% of women have “normal” or combination skin. Combination skin is characterized by a slightly oily T-zone, with dry cheeks and some dry patches. Your forehead and cheeks may have larger pores.

This skin type is medium-sized with moderate pores. It has a smooth texture and good circulation.

You may have to treat your T-zone differently than your drier areas in order to take good care of your skin.

  • Apply an astringent to the T-zone if it tends to get oily after you have washed your face.
  • To remove dead skin cells, exfoliate your skin twice a week with a Clarisonic mia or facial scrub.
  • As needed, you can use a heavier moisturizer for your dry areas.

Dry skin

Dry skin can feel tight after washing. Your skin may feel drier as you age. Hormones can cause skin fluctuations.

Dry skin can lead to fine wrinkles, flaking, red spots, and other problems. The skin of women of color may look ashy or dull due to dead skin buildup.

Dry skin needs special care:

  • Creamy cleansers and moisturizing creams are best for dry skin.
  • To remove dead skin cells, exfoliate once a week.
  • To plump the skin, use primer under your foundation
  • Mineral water sprays such as Evian can help you moisturize your skin throughout the day. Keep one in your bag.
  • To prevent your skin from drying out in dry environments, you can use a humidifier in the bedroom and office.

Sensitive skin

Skin that is sensitive tends to have delicate and thin skin with small pores. Sensitive skin is characterized by skin that is easily irritated by sun and cosmetic products, as well as skin that is prone to redness, itchy patches or blotchy skin.

It can be difficult to find the right cleanser and moisturizer for your skin type. There are many companies that have created products for sensitive skin. It may take you a few tries before you find the right one.

You should look for products with no scents. You can return many products at departmental stores and drugstores. Make sure you check the return policy before buying. Ask the store whether they have samples available so that you can test it before you purchase.

Ageing and sun-damaged skin

This skin type can also feel tight. It’s common as we age and if we spend a lot of time outdoors. There may be visible wrinkles or slack skin tone, especially around the jawline and cheeks.

How to care for your skin as you age:

  • Even though everyone should use sunscreen on a daily basis, it is vital to protect this skin type and prevent further damage. For even greater protection, reapply sunscreen as necessary and search for products that contain SPF.
  • To plumpen fine wrinkles, you can use moisturizers or heavy creams.
  • Retinol can make your skin look radiant and smoothen some wrinkles.
  • Botox and other injectables can be used to treat deeper lines if they are really bothersome.
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