Skin Care
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How to know your skin type?

Introduction:
We’ve all heard our favourite beauty bloggers say “this product is perfect for dry skin”, “I have combination skin so I use this” and we can’t help but think wow that product works great on her, but will it suit me? Do I have the same “skin type”? Well fear not, this blog is going to help you asses you skin type and help you choose your products wisely.

Different types of skin

Before knowing your specific skin type, let’s just get an overview on what are the different types of skin types. There are 5 main skin types:

  1. Normal skin: The word explains what to expect from this skin type. Normal skin types do not retain excess oil and neither to they get cracked or flaky. Pores also average, not easily visible. Blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles are usually minimal with this skin type. However this does not mean that this implies “perfect” skin as skin changes over a period of time with different conditions.
  2. Dry skin: Primarily dry skin is the feeling tightness or flakiness. The pores in this type are usually non-existent. If you have dry skin you may suffer with early wrinkling and frequent skin irritation.
  3. Oily skin: People with oily skin tend do look shiny and have terrible break outs. Pores are visible and sometimes even enlarged. Oily skin types also usually tend to exhibit blackheads and whiteheads. Those with oily skin are blessed in the ageing department as oily skin tend to show signs of aging (like wrinkles and fine lines) very late.
  4. Combination skin: In this skin type, some parts of your face will be shiny and oily while other parts may be dry and flaky. Usually the T-zone tends to be oily i.e. the forehead, nose and chin area. Dealing with this can be quite tricky as one might need to perfect a skin care routine that counters both issues.
  5. Sensitive skin: Basically this means a skin type which attracts to allergies and unpredictable behaviour. This skin type is also easily prone to inflammation.

How to identify your skin type

Now that we know what are the different skin types we can be, let’s look at some basic ways to assess our skin types.

  • Bare face method: In this method, just wash your face with a mild face wash and pat dry. Do not follow with any moisturizer or product. After 30 mins look out for any sheen on your face. If your face is feeling shiny or sweaty, you have oily skin. Try smiling, if your skin feels tight and these is no shine visible (may be even some white patches of skin) then you have dry skin. If the area around your cheeks feels dry but your forehead and nose are shiny that implies that you have combination skin. If your face turns red or feels itchy, watch out! You might fall under sensitive skin category.
  • Blotting sheet method: Take a blotting paper and dab it across your face. If the paper remains dry that means you have dry skin, if the paper picks up oil from certain parts that means you have combination skin and if the paper is saturated in oil, it directly means that you have oily skin.

Tips for all skin types

Now that your skin type is identified and assessed, you need some knowledge or basic tips on practices which will prove to be beneficial for your skin.

  • Oily skin

It is a myth that if you have oily skin, you do not need a moisturizer. This is
false, doing this may actually lead to your skin becoming oilier. So instead opt for a lightweight or gel based moisturizer.

  • Avoid using heavy coverage make-up as this will lead to clogging of pores.
  • Use oil free, non-comedogenic make-up products and remember to clean your brushes often. One might be tempted to use harsh products which dry out the skin but in the long run, this will do more harm than good, so opt for a gentle exfoliator which can relieve trapped dead skin cells without harming your skin.
  • Leave your skin alone. Popping pimples, nudging acne could be quite exciting but PLEASE refrain from doing so as your fingers easily spread the bacteria around your face thereby increasing the acne.
  • Dry skin

Cream based moisturizers are your best friend. They are thick in consistency and contain oil which help replenish the hydration in the skin.

  • Avoid takin extremely hot showers. Hot showers open up your pores and
    probe them to lose any remaining moisture in body.
  • Also consider investing in a humidifier, this will help retain moisture in your environment through out the day.
  • Look out for signs. If you observe too much flaking or redness, please consult your dermatologist, it could mean you have some disease like dermatitis, as dry skin is more susceptible to these.
  • Combination skin

It is the most important for your skin type to perfect a skin care routine as you have to tackle both issue. This doesn’t mean that you overload your skin care routine with multiple products, identify the right ones and stick to those.

  • Stick to more natural ingredients as they have little to no side effects. Some chemicals may fuel more dryness whereas some may induce more oil into to skin so natural ingredients is the best solution.
  • Look out for ingredients like green tea, cucumber, chamomile etc. as these soothe the skin and calm inflammation, but at the same time provide coolness and hydration.
  • Using two moisturizers could be a good idea. Use a heavier one on the cheek area and a lighter one on the T-zone.

Looking after your skin sounds like a very tough routine to start but have faith in the process. Once you get the routine right and you start practicing daily, it will become second nature to you. The changes you will see, will keep you going.

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