Know your skin type

There are 5 general skin types:

  • Dry
  • Oily / Greasy
  • Normal
  • Combination
  • Sensitive

Also consider:

  • Dehydrated
  • Mature

Dry skin

This skin type is caused by insufficient lubrication (sebum) on the skin’s surface, which causes a dry appearance and poor moisture levels.

It has a paper like texture and has a stretched appearance. The cheeks may appear pink as a result of split capillaries, and may become flaky and rough in cold weather.

After washing, the skin will feel taut and possibly sore, especially if the incorrect skincare products are used.

A dry skin will almost certainly age quicker than an oily skin type, therefore crepey skin can form around the eyes and neck area, know as premature ageing.

The pores appear small and tight. Milia otherwise known as whiteheads are often found around the cheek and eye area.

Tinted or liquid foundations can collect on the dry patches which can be quite obvious.

Dry skin is aggravated by :

  • Hot water
  • Sunbathing
  • Very cold weather
  • Steamy atmospheres
  • Wrong skincare products
  • Incorrect use of skincare products
  • Bad or drastic diets
  • Insufficient vitamin A and oily foods
  • Overuse of a hairdryer
  • The use of soap as a cleanser
  • Washing the face roughly
  • Central heating

Oily skin

Oily skin is caused by the over activity of the sebaceous glands and results in too much lubrication (sebum) on the skin surface.

The pores become distended and open, this can or may only be temporary corrected, but of course can be prolonged by the use incorrect skincare products.

The appearance of the skin will be shiny due to excess sebum which causes the moisture levels to be high.

Pores are enlarged and opened and the skin would normally be coarse and thick. Sometimes the appearance can be sallow or grey in colour, as a result of sebum, dead skin cells and a sluggish circulation.

An oily skin tone is normally good.

Oily skin is aggravated by :

  • A poor diet
  • Incorrect skincare products
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes e.g. menstruation
  • Stress
  • A lack of fresh air

Normal skin

Not many of us are lucky enough to have a normal skin type. This skin type appears soft, smooth and even textured, with an attractive colouration (peaches and cream).

The skin type is almost perfect with little or no problems. You lucky ladies.

Combination skin

This skin type can be a combination of any two or more skin types but is is usually dry to normal on the sides of the face and oily in the centre otherwise known as the T-zone.

Oily skin can be aggravated by :

(Please see breakdown of the two skin types associated with your skin)

Sensitive skin

This skin type responds quickly to stimulation e.g. heat, pressure and scented skincare products. The skin often has a pink tinge or high colour and is often blotchy.

Flaky patches can also be present and the skin is sensitive to pressure and as a result can become red and inflamed with broken capillaries in the cheek area.

The skin generally feels warm to touch.

Sensitive skin can be aggravated by :

  • lanolin
  • The use of any scented products
  • Harsh handling or over stimulation
  • Very hot and spicy foods, e.g. shellfish, strawberries, peanuts or cow’s milk
  • Alcohol
  • Spray products
  • Central heating
  • Extreme weather conditions especially sun
  • Rubber
  • Nail enamel
  • Detergents
  • Lipsticks containing eosin dye

Dehydrated skin

This skin type lacks surface moisture. Dry skin is dehydrated but any skin type may suffer temporary dehydration if not properly protected and cared for.

The skin will appear flaky with broken capillaries and a tightness over the bony areas. Fine superficial lines will also be present appearance.

Dehydrated skin is caused by :

  • Usually dieting (water is needed for blood circulation so the body takes water from the subcutaneous layers of the skin)
  • Over exposure to elements
  • Neglect
  • Incorrect skincare products
  • A lack of proper protection
  • Environments with low humidity or air conditioning

Mature skin

Skin normally ages gradually and is described as being mature once the changes brought about by ageing have become established. Ageing closely relates to the alteration of hormones i.e. oestrogen, progesterone and androgen at the menopause stage.

Dry skin matures more quicky than any other skin type.

The skin will start to loose it’s firm texture, elasticity and suppleness of youth resulting in crepey skin.

The skin is more thinner which causes the bone structure to become more evident, lines and wrinkles are present. Pigmentation and fibrous abnormalities can occur including broken capillaries and irregular pigmentation.

The circulation is poor which causes the skin to become sallow and a decrease in the metabollic rate causes waste products to be removed less efficiently, leading to puffiness.

Mature skin is caused by :

  • Hormone changes (lower oestrogen levels)
  • Neglect – harsh products and handling of the skin
  • No protection
  • Exposure to elements particularly sun
  • Poor health
  • Extreme weight loss

A skin type may be dry but it may appear dehydrated and mature at the same time.