What's Your Skin Type?
Before I got involved in esthetics I always though I had very oily skin, I mean I could wipe my forehead and fry chicken with the bout of oil that came off lol. To my surprise I was completely wrong about my skin, the more I learned about skin I realized that I have normal to dry skin and it isn't oily at all, whatsoever. There are 5 types of skin: normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive which can also be a skin condition. We will start with the normal skin type. The term "normal" is used to refer to skin that is pretty balanced, the pH of your skin should be at or around 5.5. With normal skin the pore size is normal, not too big, not too small. You don't see any dry patches or any areas with excess in oil which means no blimishes. The skin should have a nice smooth texture as well. A person with normal skin will experience dryness as they age. Sounds pretty normal.Next, oily skin is characterized by larger than normal size pores, usually noticeable by the naked eye. Oily skin tends to have a glossy shine due to the over production of sebum, or the natural oil our skin produces this can be genetic or caused by a number of other factors such as hormonal imbalance. People with oily skin tend to have breakouts due to clogged pores, they may also experience large pustules, blackheads, and whiteheads. You may also want to check to see how "comedogenic" the products you use are, which means its ability to clog pores. With combination skin you experience oily skin in the "t-zone", or forehead, chin and nose but will appear normal to dry on the cheeks. Dry skin ranges from a little dry to extremely dry. Mildly dry skin usually feels tight, brittle, rough, and can look dull and lack luster. Skin elasticity can also be low which is a sign of aging and can cause premature aging in younger clients. Dry skin may appear scaly, or flaky in patches, has a rough appearance and may even be itchy. It is important to know the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin as well. With dehydrated skin you are lacking water, and it is an internal issue. Dehydrated skin is characterized by fine lines usually across the forehead especially in clients with premature aging. Dry skin on the other had is the skin lacking lipids or the natural oils secreted by the skin. Sensitive skin as I mention is a skin type but can also be treated as a skin condition as well. Sensitive skin types usually have reactions and irritation to harsh products, or products that aren't specific to sensitive skin. Clients with sensitive skin may experience redness, rashes, swelling, or roughness. As an esthetician I can tell you what skin type you have but it is also important for you to know as a consumer of products. You have to know your skin type so that you know you're getting the right products for your skin! Like I mentioned earlier I though I had oily skin for the longest so I bought skin care products for oily skin. Since I have dry skin the products I bought for oily skin was pulling the little oil I had left out. My body's natural safety mechanism was to over produce oil since its overly dry, trying to get back to its normal pH. Be aware that overtime, as you age, have children, or move to different climates you skin type may change. Keep these skin types in mind next time you go to pick up some skin care products! :)