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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Skin Type Identification

If you’ve ever seen a makeup commercial, visited a dermatologist or read anything about skin care, you’ve probably heard the term “skin type.” There are five skin types generally accepted by the dermatology community, and they include dry, normal, combination, oily or sensitive.

While skin type is often determined by genetics, it can change over time. Recognizing your skin type is crucial to determining what skin care routine and products will work for you. Below are some tips for identifying your skin type and how to care for it.

Dry Skin
While dry skin has its downsides, it’s not all bad. Those of you with this skin type will experience smaller, less noticeable pores and fewer blemishes or acne problems.

Signs of dry skin include:
  • Small, nearly invisible pores
  • A dull complexion
  • Redness or peeling, especially after being outdoors
  • Fine lines
  • Lack of elasticity

 The symptoms of dry skin can be exacerbated by:
  • Weather (particularly at high altitudes or in very cold, dry climates)
  • UV radiation from tanning outdoors or in a tanning bed
  • Long, hot baths or showers
  • Some soaps or cosmetics
  • Some medicines

 To manage your dry skin:
  • Moisturize daily. People with dry skin are more likely to see signs of aging like wrinkles at an earlier age. Choose face lotions and body lotions offering “deep moisture” and watch for ingredients that will help your skin retain the moisture, like:
    • Glycerin
    • Hyaluronic acid
    • Mineral oil
    • Petroleum jelly
    • Lanolin
    • Ceramides
    • Dimethicone
  • Take shorter showers, and don’t use steaming hot water if you can avoid it. Also, avoid multiple showers in a single day, as hot water can strip oils from the skin.
  • Avoid scented soaps or cleansers. Choose mild or unscented products instead.
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. You can check out our blog post on good foods for skin health here.

 Normal Skin
If you’ve got normal skin, consider yourself lucky! Normal skin is most prevalent in younger people. Signs of normal skin include:
  • Few, if any, imperfections
  • Few, if any, sensitivities
  • Small pores
  • A clear complexion with a natural “glow”

 For you lucky people with normal skin, you won’t have to follow any sort of strict regimen to keep it relatively healthy. However, it’s important to remember my basic skin care recommendations:
  • Moisturize daily
  • Wear sunscreen with at least 30 SPF daily
  • Review our “Through the Ages” posts to make sure you’re caring for your skin differently as you age

 Oily Skin
If you’ve got oily skin, you may have noticed that it gets shiny throughout the day or that your clogged pores often produce blemishes. But just as with dry skin, it’s not all bad! People with oily skin tend to retain moisture well, which is great for preventing visible signs of aging later.

Signs of oily skin include:
  • A shiny complexion
  • Blackheads, pimples or other blemishes resulting from clogged pores
  • Larger, more visible pores

 Oily skin is often a result of genetics, but can be exacerbated by stress, humidity, using the wrong skin products or hormonal imbalances from life events like puberty.

To care for your oily skin, remember to:
  • Use oil-free cleansers and moisturizers
  • Don’t pop your pimples! As stated in our blog post on acne myths, it doesn’t make them go away. “Popping” a pimple can actually push the infection back into the skin and bring that thing back with a vengeance.
  • Wash your face regularly, especially after working out or sweating heavily. Don’t wash more than twice per day or you risk your skin creating more oil to replace what has been washed away.

 Combination Skin
This is exactly what it sounds like. Some people experience signs of dry skin, oily skin and normal skin all at once. Usually, the various types are spread throughout the face and body, with oily skin taking over traditionally acne-prone areas like the “T-Zone” (the area that includes your forehead, nose and chin) and dry skin taking over areas that get less attention, like the cheeks.

To recognize or manage your combination skin, identify whether you experience symptoms associated with dry, oily or normal skin as noted above. It’s probably better to use oil-free moisturizers and unscented soaps as these will be beneficial for all skin types.

Sensitive Skin
People with sensitive skin often experience reactions to a variety of skin care products or outside other outside factors. The most important thing to remember is to understand what causes the reaction and adjust your routine accordingly.

Signs of sensitive skin include:
  • Redness or rashes, particularly related to specific products or ingredients
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Dryness
  • Peeling
  • Varied reactions depending on the product

 If you have sensitive skin, it’s best to discuss your routine with a dermatologist. Sometimes, medicated soaps or other products may be the best route for you.

Have any questions about your skin type, routine or products? Leave the in the comments or make an appointment with Advanced Dermatology!


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