What Is Skin Type And Why Do You Need To Know Yours?
Knowing your skin type is the first step to achieving your skincare goals. Without knowing your skin type, you could waste a lot of time and money using products that are not meant for your skin type, which can cause negative side effects. The damage you can cause to your skin by using the wrong products could take months or years to repair, so let’s kick off 2023 understanding our skin so we can make better skincare choices!
What is skin type?
Your skin type is determined by your genetics, though it can change over time as external and internal factors are ever changing. There are four main healthy skin types:
Skin type is determined by how much water is in it, how much oil it produces, whether it has any sensitivities, and what the degree of those sensitivities are. Each skin type needs to be cleansed and moisturized daily to keep it in peak condition.
Normal skin is well balanced, meaning it is neither overly oily or overly dry, and has few sensitivities. It is characterized by smooth skin that appears poreless and will have few or no imperfections.
If you have normal skin, you generally will not need products with specialized ingredients (like those meant to fight acne or provide intense moisture) and can likely get away with washing your face once a day (though twice a day is recommended). Normal skin is well hydrated and will not show signs of aging as quickly as someone with dry skin. You may find that you can experiment with products and have little to no irritation. While your skin may be less reactive, you should still pay close attention when products do cause irritation. Continued use of products that irritate your skin can cause your skin type to change and it may be difficult to get it balanced again.
A skincare regimen for normal skin should contain a cleanser, a good moisturizer, and sunscreen. If you're worried about aging, you might consider adding a serum that can assist with skin elasticity, like hyaluronic acid, or a moisturizer that contains hydration boosting ingredients. Even normal skin needs a good mask like our Clean Greens Superfood Face Mask, which is basically a green smoothie for your face!
Dry skin produces less sebum (the naturally occurring oil our bodies secrete to keep skin moisturized). Reduced sebum production means that your skin does not contain the fatty acids (lipids) it needs to retain moisture and protect itself from external elements (sun, wind, dry air, etc). Dry skin is characterized by a poreless appearance, a dull complexion, possibly some peeling, signs of irritation, and wrinkles may appear more prominently. If your skin is dry, it may also react to common drying ingredients (like alcohol, parabens, etc) that often appear in beauty products (skincare and makeup).
Dry skin can be exacerbated by your genes, hormonal changes, weather, medications, and a dry environment (like ones caused by artificial heating sources), and using hot water to shower or wash your face. For dry skin, you'll want to use products that are meant to deeply moisturize your skin and will help lock moisture in for long periods of time (like a facial oil).
A dry skincare regimen should contain a gentle, hydrating cleanser (honey has many beneficial properties including being a natural humectant- helps the skin retain moisture- and anti-bacterial- great for people with dry skin and acne), and a hydrating moisturizer. A mask that gently exfoliates is perfect for those with dry, acne prone skin as exfoliation helps slough off dead skin which can cause acne by clogging your pores.
Oily skin produces too much sebum and is prone to blemishes. There are a variety of internal and external factors that can contribute to increased sebum production (read more here).
Oily skin is characterized by pores that appear large, a shiny/ greasy complexion, and blemishes. With an oily skincare regimen, the goal is to remove the excess oil from your skin without completely stripping it (which can cause a whole host of problems). Oily skin can benefit from being washed twice a day, which helps ensure your pores are not being clogged by excess oil, dead skin cells, and any acne causing bacteria that may be present on your skin.
An oily skincare regimen can also benefit from double cleansing. Double cleansing should be done with a product like our Blue Tansy Cleansing Oil or a cleansing balm. Cleansing balms/oils remove dirt, oils, and make up without stripping your skin. Your regimen should also contain a good cleanser that is non-comedogenic (meaning it won't clog your pores), and moisturizer. Using an oil and impurity absorbing face mask like our Dead Sea Mud Mask, made with 100% mud from the Jordanian Dead Sea, two - three times a week can also help manage oily skin. To learn more about how to care for oily skin, check out this blog.
Combination skin is just what it sounds like- a combination of skin types. The most common type of combination skin is characterized by an oily t-zone (nose, forehead, and chin) that may be blemish prone, while dry or normal skin occurs in other areas of the face. Combination skin is fairly common and may require different treatment in different areas.
If you have combination skin, you'll want to invest in a cleanser that fights acne, but does not strip your skin. A cleanser that is moisturizing and non-comedogenic like our Black Honey Facial Cleanser or the Clarifying Cleansing Foam, with ingredients that contain antibacterial properties is ideal. You'll want to look for these same properties in your moisturizer- something that is moisturizing but won't clog your pores. You might want to avoid products that contain added oils (like vitamin E, argan oil, etc) as these could exacerbate the blemishes in your acne prone areas. Combination skin would benefit from multi-masking (where you apply one mask to one area, and another to the other). For example, using our Dead Sea Mud Mask in your t-zone and our Papaya Bright or Clean Greens face masks in other areas.
Now that you know the basics to determine your skin type, are ready to begin building your own unique skincare regimen? Remember to start simple, with an appropriate cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen and to stay hydrated throughout the day. These four things can greatly impact the appearance and development of your skin as you age.We hope this guide was helpful! Let us know in the comments what topics you'd like us to explore in future blogs and follow us on our other platforms for more skincare tips and tricks.