Determining your skin type is simple but very important when figuring out what products to use and how to treat your skin. Knowing your skin type and conditions allows you to create your own skincare routine based on your skin’s personal needs. Keep in mind that our skin changes daily, seasonally, yearly and so on. It is always beneficial to evaluate where your skin is from time to time and make sure you are taking care of it properly. This will help lessen the frequency of skin problems. If your skin is not in the condition you would like it to be in, use the information below as a guide to help you.
There are four different skin types, normal, oily, dry and combination. The way you figure out what type of skin you have is your pore size. Do not look at any other skin conditions such as acne, hyperpigmentation, redness, and sensitivity. I will be going over those shortly. Normal skin, which is the ideal skin type, means you can see your pores, but they are not enlarged. If you are up close in a mirror and can see your pores, take a couple steps back and see if you can still see them. If you can’t, you have normal skin. If you step back from the mirror and can still see your pores, you have enlarged pores which means you have oily skin. If you can’t see any pores at all on your skin, then your skin type is dry. The most common skin type is combination, meaning that you have two different pore sizes on your face. Most people have a larger pore size in their T -zone (chin, nose and forehead) and that is why you see skin care companies market to combination/oily and combination/dry skin types; they gear their ingredients towards being beneficial for all skin types.
Contrary to what most people believe, you cannot change your pore size. Your pore size is genetic and it can change over time, but topical ingredients will not change the actual size. There are certain ingredients and precautions you can take to make them appear smaller and keep them clear, but the size you are born with is what you have to work with. Keep in mind that each skin type has its own battles (even dry and normal). Large pores, when kept clear, can produce enough oils on your skin to keep you looking youthful longer. There are pros and cons to every skin type, but accepting what you have and working with it is what will help you achieve your best skin.
Once you have determined your skin type, the next step is to look at what conditions you have. The most common skin conditions are acne, hyperpigmentation, skin texture, redness, sensitivity, scarring, wrinkles and fine lines. There are many companies that gear entire skin care lines towards these conditions. The easiest way to determine whether or not you need an entire line based on your condition is how much of your face it covers. If the condition covers the majority of your skin, I advise you to treat the condition first. I will use acne as an example. If acne is covering the majority of your face, then I would suggest using an acne line first. Most companies build their lines to work together and are more effective when used together. For instance an acne line may have a cleanser with tea tree oil in it to treat the acne and a skin lightener in the face crème to help with scars. Once that line has helped clear your skin and acne is no longer a condition (or covering the majority of the your face) go back to using skincare products for your skin type and spot treat if necessary. The most common mistake I see people make is they have one or two blemishes which leads them to think they have oily acne prone skin, therefore use an entire acne line. Their skin then becomes dry and irritated, normally causing the problem to get worse because they went about treating their skin wrong. You don’t have to have oily skin to have acne; this is why it is very important to know your skin type first. If you only have a couple of blemishes and the condition is not covering the majority of your skin, I advise using the skincare line based on your skin type and just spot treat for the condition; this way the majority of your skin stays balanced. You can, however, treat different conditions at the same time. If you have a couple lines on your forehead and some acne on your chin, go ahead and use a skincare line based on your skin type, and use a treatment for wrinkles on your forehead and a different treatment for acne on your chin.
By plugging in different skin conditions and types to the scenario above you should be able to come to a pretty clear conclusion on how to go about treating your skin. When in doubt always ask an esthetician or dermatologist to help guide you in the right direction.