Everyone's skin is normal to them, but in order to care for diverse skin types, we often group people into some skin categories. A person’s skin type can change with time. Figuring out your skin type is an important first step in knowing how to take care of your skin.
An individual’s skin type is determined by an assortment of skin characteristics, including:
- Water content: Influences elasticity
- Lipid (oil) content: Influences softness
- Sensitivity level: Influences reactivity and tolerance to substances like certain types of soaps or clothing materials
Follow these steps to determine your skin type:
1. Wash Your Face
Wash with a gentle cleanser and pat dry. Remove make-up. This cleans away oils and dirt that may have accumulated during your day, giving your skin a fresh start.
2. Wait an Hour
During this time, your skin should return to its natural state, the characteristics of which will determine your skin type. Act normally and, please, don't touch your face.
3. Dab Your Face With a Tissue
Pay attention to the “T-zone”—the area of your forehead, nose, and chin.
4. Determine Your Skin Type
Skin falls into five types: normal, oily, dry, sensitive, and combination.
Normal: Skin shows neither oil nor flaking skin on the tissue. It has the proper balance of water and lipids. The pores are just about visible and skin has minimal to no sensitivity. It should feel supple and smooth. If you have it, consider yourself lucky.
Oily: Skin is characterized by the grease on the tissue. It is also common for a person with oily skin to have large pores and a shine. It is more often seen in young people, caused by overactive skin glands secreting excess lipids. It is due to or made worse by puberty (hormone imbalance), stress, excess heat, or humidity.
Dry: Skin may feel taut or show flakes of dead skin. It is associated with dull complexion, red patches, small pores and peeling, cracking, itchiness, or irritation. Moisturizing is important for this skin type.
Combination: Most common. It exhibits traits of all three of the above skin types. It can be due to genetic factors or hormone levels that affect the amount and location of lipids, which become unevenly distributed in the skin. Usually, the skin is oily in the T-zone and normal to dry elsewhere.
Sensitive: Symptoms include redness, itching, burning, and dryness. If possible, it would be beneficial to determine why your skin is sensitive so that you can avoid the substances that cause skin reactions and discomfort. Common causes are acne, medications like antibiotics, ingredients in skin care products or detergents, and allergies.
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