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Identifying Your Skin Type

Brigid McHugh

The skin on our faces can be as different from one person to the next as the prints on our fingers. Most people can safely assume which skin type they have based on general feel and texture.

Skin types generally have one or more of four basic qualities:

    • Oily
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Combination

Additional qualities can include:

    • Ageing
    • Acne Prone
    • Irritated
    • Sensitive

Identifying your personal skin type is the first step in properly caring for your skin, as well as a determining factor in which types of products are best for you. Keep in mind that skin type can change not only over time, but also day to day. Fluctuations in hormones, climate, and diet can all contribute to skin type (think things like your menstrual cycle, vacation climates, eating foods high in sugar or salt).

So how do you know which skin type you have?

To determine your facial skin type, begin by washing your face. You want to ensure that your skin is clean and free of contaminants or excess oil. Be careful that you don't over-wash your face, as this can falsely alter the results you see. After washing, leave your skin alone. It is important that you do not use any products, and avoid touching your face. After about an hour, your skin should neutralize itself back to its natural state.

The next part is the "test" to find out which type of skin you have. For this phase, pay specific attention to the area of your face known as the "t-zone". If you are unfamiliar with this term, picture a big "T" on your face, running across your forehead, and down your nose. Begin dabbing your face with a tissue. What you find on the tissue, as well as what you see and feel on your face will determine your personal skin type.

Dry Skin

Generally associated with people who have small pores, dry skin will tend to have areas of flaking skin, and can appear very tight. If you have dry skin, you will not see any oil on your tissue.

Oily Skin

The exact opposite of dry skin, those with oily skin generally have larger pores, making things like acne and blackheads a common problem. Many people who fall into this category tend to have shiny skin.  If you have oily skin, you will see oil or grease on your tissue.

Normal Skin

This is the category we all wish we had!! No oil, no flaking skin, just beautifully smooth skin. If you are lucky enough to have normal skin, you shouldn't notice anything on your tissue.

Combination Skin

This is the most common of all skin types. If you have combination skin, you will notice characteristics of all three other types, in different places on your face. Most commonly, the t-zone will be oily, with patches of dry and normal skin on the rest of the face.

 

These skin types can be applied to all parts of the body, not just the face. So go wash your face, grab a tissue, and love the skin you're in!



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