The other day I found myself standing in front of the skincare aisle at the store. There were so many options and they all brightly advertised different and tempting offers. After a while of picking up one product, putting it down and then picking up another and repeating the process, I realised that the true issue was that I had no idea what my skin type was. This minor detail was the reason that my skincare shopping trip had come to a halt. It became apparent that had some research to do before I returned.
A study in the UK determined that 87% of women are confused about some aspect of their skincare routine. Whether it’s the routine as a whole, skin type, product use etc. there was at least one aspect that the majority found baffling. That’s why we are creating a little skin series at BLVD to make caring for your skin easier.
We have mapped out the five different skin types below:
- Normal/ standard skin type:
I don’t know why experts call this skin type normal, because it’s clear that unless you’re a Hadid, chances are you won’t always fit into this skin category. The only reason I’ve kept it as normal here, is due to the fact that skincare products call it normal and I wouldn’t want to confuse the process of finding your perfect skincare products.
What are the characteristics of normal skin?
- No to few imperfections
- No severe sensitivity
- Barely visible pores
- Radiant skin complexion
- Minimal fine lines
- Good facial elasticity
How to look after normal skin:
- Stay hydrated by drinking water
- Wear sunscreen
- Remove makeup before sleeping
- Wash/ cleanse before bed
Remember: just because you and your skin are on BFF terms does not mean that you get a free pass on treating it. Ensure that you look after your skin or you’ll see negative effects just like anybody else.
- Dry skin type:
If you are prone to dry skin, then your relationship with your skin may feel a bit tumultuous at times. The cause of dry skin is an array of possibilities, the most important thing to remember is that dry skin is super easy to remedy, even if it’s genetic. It’s just going to take a little bit of TLC.
Causes of dry skin:
- Seasonal changes
- Weather changes
- Tanning beds
- Indoor heating
- Long hot baths
- Lack of hydration
While we may believe that dry skin is caused by cold winter mornings and a lack of serum, its main cause is heat. An over-exposure to heat is so damaging to your skin on multiple levels. It causes you to age faster, for your skin to dry out and too much UV exposure can be downright dangerous for your health.
What are the characteristics of dry skin?
- Almost invisible pores
- Dull rough complexion
- Red patches on your face
- More visible lines
- Skin feels flaky and rough
- Itchy skin
- Your face feels tight
- It burns when you put on moisturiser
How to look after dry skin:
- Hydrate by drinking water
- Use sunscreen
- Reduce bath and shower times
- Ensure that your bath/ shower isn’t too hot otherwise it’ll strip the skin of its essential oils
- Use a rich moisturiser
- Pat your face dry with a soft towel instead of rubbing it dry
- Don’t over-exfoliate
Remember: your first instinct when you have dry skin is to exfoliate the dead cells. However, you should only be exfoliating 3 times max within a week or you’ll cause more damage and actually risk the potential of moving from dry skin to oily skin. Not fun!
- Oily skin type:
Oily skin is caused when your skin secretes too many natural oils that are meant to keep your skin hydrated. This results in a greasy film that covers your face. Oily skin is very frustrating, it makes you feel self-conscious and a greater part of your life is spent looking for and applying that perfect translucent powder! However, for its cons, oily skin is also one of the skin types that are easier to take care of, if you put the energy in.
Causes of oily skin:
- Hormone change
- Poor diet
- Exercising and not showering straight afterwards
- Touching your skin too often
Our faces and our hair are built up of essential oils that aim to balance everything out, however if we begin to over-wash either, then they begin to appear greasy and oily faster than before. This is because when you wash, you strip away the oils. This is good to avoid a surplus of oil build up, but it’s bad if you do it too often because your body starts to produce the oils double-time because you keep removing them. It’s a vicious cycle really!
What are the characteristics of oily skin?
- Enlarged/ visible pores
- Dull or shiny thick complexion
- Prone to blackheads, pimples or other blemishes
- You feel like you look sweaty or shiny a lot
- It’s difficult to find a good sunscreen that isn’t too thick but still protects
How to look after oily skin:
- Wash it no more than twice a day
- Stay hydrated with water
- Use a gentle cleanser, don’t scrub
- Don’t touch blemishes or pimples
- Look for a moisturiser with hyaluronic acid-it hydrates without leaving you feeling greasy
- Keep an eye out for noncomedogenic skincare products-it won’t clog your pores
- Purchase a gentle toner
- Combination skin type:
The combination skin type is the most common skin type you’ll come across. It usually involves having an oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) but then additionally having dry or sensitive cheeks. This is my skin type; at my worst I will have extremely dry cheeks that almost feel flaky but then I’ll also have a greasy forehead with HUGE pores on my nose. The cause of this skin type is usually genetic, however with the right routine, it’s super easy to manage.
What are the characteristics of combination skin?
- Oily T-zone
- Dry and sensitive cheeks
- Larger pores
- Shiny skin
- Breakouts only in specific areas
How to look after combination skin:
- Exfoliate gently
- Use oil-free skincare products
- Wear sunscreen
- Stay hydrated
- Make use of two separate skincare routines
- Don’t touch your T-zone
Remember: you are dealing with two completely different skin care types and so you must treat your skin and routine accordingly. If you have to use a rich moisturiser on your cheeks but a light serum on your T-zone then that is what you’ll have to do. I won’t lie, at times it feels excessive and frustrating, however ever since I started treating my skin properly, it feels and looks amazing (if I do say so myself!)
- Sensitive skin type:
This skin type is not to be confused with skin problems. If you suffer from acne or rosea, you need to speak to your doctor. This skin type is for skin that overreacts to certain ingredients and is prone to inflammation. While skin problems and sensitive ski may go hand in hand, please check with your doctor or dermatologist regarding your skincare routine.
What are the characteristics of sensitive skin?
- Oily in summer
- Dry in winter
- Hot, red and sensitive after a hot bath
- Itchy when wearing tight clothes or too much makeup
How to look after sensitive skin:
- Avoid harsh compounds
- Avoid friction on your skin
- Avoid excessive heat
- Avoid stress triggers
- Look for skincare products that have no perfume within them
- Do a patch test with each product you use
Remember: a patch test is applying a small amount of the product to a controlled area on your body, for example your arm. You’ll then give the product 24hr and look for reactions or inflammation. If everything looks normal after 24hr then you can potentially use the product on your face.
So, there you have it. Your skin type guide. Once you’ve determined your skin type it makes everything much easier. Buying products, working out a routine, looking after your skin will be that much easier now. Staying hydrated and wearing the appropriate sunscreen is important regardless of your skin type. Also remember the following factors can always affect your skin regardless of your skin type. So, if you think you’ve finally nailed your skin type and then it changes, don’t be alarmed. It could just be one of these factors and once your skin settles it’ll go back to normal:
- Seasonal changes
- Change of diet
- Overuse of products
- Incorrect products
- An allergic reaction
- Indoor heating
With this in mind, I wish you nothing but clear facial complexions and beautiful eyebrows! If you have any tips regarding your skin type and how you treat it, then drop us a comment below!