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How to Determine What Type of Skin You Have


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The skin on our body is the exterior covering that includes seven different layers of tissues that protects the muscles, bones and organs underneath. The majority of our skin has hair follicles on it, though you may not see hair growing on the surface. There are many different skin types that can describe how smooth, oily, dry or sensitive your skin is. We have dermatologists, cosmetologists and other professionals that go to great lengths to determine what types of skin there is out there. Understanding your skin will help you keep it looking young, glowing and clear. But how do you figure out what type of skin you have? We have some tips that will help you choose the right products and keep your skin looking healthy.

Different Skin Types

Some of the most common skin types include oily, dry and combination. Any of these skin types can include breakouts, dry patches and other issues. Acne can occur at any age, sun damage is common when skin is left unprotected for years and years and dry skin can lead to very uncomfortable and red patches that are hard to treat. For people who have fluctuations in their skin type or they have a combination of these skin types, it can be difficult to determine the best products to use. You’ll also be able to enjoy healthy and youthful skin many years into the future.

The Importance of the Right Products

You’ve probably walked through the skin care aisle at your local drug store or grocery store, only to realize that you’re completely overwhelmed with what you should choose. Unfortunately, using the wrong product can lead to you masking the kind of skin type that you have. It’s best to stay away from harsh chemical additives that only further irritate problematic skin. Many people even develop skin issues that are from the products they’re using, and they believe that it has something to do with their skin type. Acne will only get worse if you’re using ingredients in your skin care products that are clogging your pores. Ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid are included in many products to keep pores clear and to help treat breakouts.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is one of the most problematic skin types, because oily skin can lead to breakouts. If you don’t have an effective method of removing that excess oil, your pores can quickly become clogged. If you’re using the wrong products, you may be making your skin even oilier. Mixing products and using things with harsh ingredients can cause problems for people with oily skin. It’s best to avoid the following when your skin has excessive oil:

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  • Alcohol
  • Harsh fragrances
  • Abrasive exfoliators
  • Drying products
  • Emollients
  • Moisturizers

Dry Skin

Dry skin is typically very inflamed, red, irritated and flaky. It can be hard to calm dry skin, because many of the products that are being sold contain ingredients that only make the dryness worse. If you have dry skin, it’s very important that you pay close attention to what you’re using. Stay away from alcohol, hyaluronic acid and other harsh ingredients. You should also avoid washing your face too often. Even if you’re using a moisturizing face wash, the natural oils on your skin are really what will keep your skin protected the most. Also, avoid washing your skin with extremely hot or cold water. Stick to lukewarm water that will be more soothing.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is extremely tricky, because you’re dealing with both oily and dry areas. Most people with combination skin will experience oily skin on their T-Zone, which is the forehead down to the nose. The cheeks and chin will be dry. It’s not practical to try and wash / treat different areas of your face with different products, so look for products that are designed for combination skin. The goal is to wash away oil while still keeping the skin hydrated with ingredients that aren’t going to clog pores.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is common among younger adults and people who have a genetic predisposition to sensitivity. When your skin is sensitive, this usually means that you have trouble using different products, the sun may bother you, cold and heat can cause dry skin and you may even have issues with eczema. When sensitive skin is plaguing you, the best thing that you can do is keep your care routine as simple as possible. Stick to very gentle cleansers that don’t have a lot of unnecessary chemicals. Moisturizers shouldn’t have ingredients that will dry the skin, and avoid ingredients that can break down the normal barrier of the skin. Your diet can also affect your sensitive skin. Attempt avoiding some of the most common allergens to see if that makes a difference in how your skin looks and feels.

Aging Skin

As you age, your skin will change pretty dramatically. Aside from changing how oily or dry your skin is, you may start to see wrinkles and sagging skin. There are products that you can apply at night that will help firm and tone your skin as you sleep and your skin heals. It’s never too early to get started with an anti-aging skin care routine.

If you’re ready to truly identify what kind of skin type you have, you’ll want to minimize the amount of products that you’re using. Once your skin resets and becomes more accustomed do a simple routine, you can take a close look at your skin to see what you’re dealing with. Wash your face, and use a simple toner. After approximately 30 minutes, see what your face looks like. If you’re seeing oil on the surface of your skin, you have oily skin. Dry skin will look and feel very tight and potentially itchy. Combination skin will include both of these conditions, but on different parts of your face.


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