One of the secrets to great looking skin is knowing the correct skin types and working with them. This is a beauty secret that you should know about. It enables you to make the correct choice with the skin care products you use.
Everybody’s skin types are different and unique to them and you may find that you fit into more than one of the four most common skin type categories.
Your skin type can change at different times of the month, season, year. It can also vary with changes in diet, your stress levels or the environment that you are in. But knowing more about your skin type and using the right natural skin care products will be better for your skin and might just save you money too.
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Choose a simple skin care regime
Understanding your skin type better enables you to make the correct skin care purchases and avoid the products that just aren’t right for your skin. This doesn’t necessarily mean an elaborate regime involving a multitude of products. The less is more approach may well do a better job if you purchase products suited to your skin type. A moisturiser for dry skin will not work well on oily skin for example.
Are you doing more damage than good?
Whilst it may be tempting to clean your face until it’s squeaky clean with any available face wash; you could be doing more damage than good. With so many products available it can be even harder to choose the correct products. This is particularly important if you’re trying to deal with a concern, such as large pores, spots, or red patches.
What are the skin types?
There are four basic types of skin; normal, oily, combination and dry. Skin type can be affected by both internal and external factors, such as hormones, environment and diet. Your skin care regime should be based around your skin type.
Normal Skin Type
This skin type is described as blemish free, well balanced and glowing. The scientific term for healthy skin is ‘eudermic’ and is the skin type that many of us will aspire to.
Pores are fine and the skin is soft and supple. Normal skin has a fresh, healthy and radiant glow and no sensitivity issues.
Whilst you are lucky enough to have maintenance free skin, it will still benefit from a good skin care regime. This includes a mild cleanser, toner and moisturiser. Choose a clay or balm face mask and use once a week.
Essential oils for normal skin; choose products with lavender, geranium, palmarosa or rose
Oily Skin Type
Oily skin produces more sebum. Hormones play a large part in oily skin with hormonal changes during adolescence, menstruation, pregnancy and menopause affecting the amount of oil produced. The over production of sebum is known as seborrhea.
Avoid harsh soap cleaners as these will strip the skin and encourage the sebaceous glands to over work and produce more sebum.
By achieving that ‘squeaky clean’ feel you are simply creating more work in the long run. Your skin will want to produce more oil to compensate for the oil that’s been washed away. And so the cycle begins.
Instead choose oil based cleansing balms, soap free cleansers or a pH balanced SLS free facial wash. Through gentle cleansing you are not stripping your face of its own natural oil, therefore your skin does not feel the need to overcompensate and produce even more oil.
Cleansing balms with jojoba oil are ideal for oily skin. Jojoba oil is the closest to your skins natural sebum and therefore works with it rather than against it. Look for ‘Non-Comedogenic’ when searching products for oily skin. Certain oils such as coconut oil or cocoa butter are comedogenic, meaning that they will clog pores. If you are prone to spots you definitely don’t want these products near your face.
Look for toners with astringent properties as these will close pores after cleansing.
Choose a light moisturiser or serum targeted for oily skin.
Use a clay face mask once a week to clean large pores and help with blemish breakouts.
Essential oils for oily skin; choose products containing bergamot, geranium, lavender, sandalwood, chamomile, petitgrain or patchouli.
Combination Skin Type
With a tendency to be oily in some places and normal to dry in others, combination skin tends to be the trickiest to deal with.
It will have the characteristic ‘t-zone’ however the size of the t-zone can vary from person to person. The t-zone is the forehead, nose and chin area, which tends to be oily to normal.
Natural skin care products for combination skin can include mild soap or oil based cleansers. Avoid products that contain alcohol as this will have a drying effect and avoid any soap products that are not SLS free. You may well benefit from using a combination of products to balance the skin out. The best moisturiser for combination skin will be a light lotion or serum. Using products targeted for oily skin on the t-zone and products targeted for dry skin on the cheeks.
Essential oils for combination skin; choose products with ylang ylang, lavender, geranium, palmarosa, bergamot or rose
Dry Skin Type
Dry skin is prone to areas of redness and flaky skin. The pores are almost invisible and the skin feels tight and looks dull.
Use gentle cleansers avoiding harsh soaps particularly those containing alcohol as this will dry the skin further.
Products for dry skin should be hydrating. The best moisturisers for dry skin will aim to rehydrate the skin. A heavy moisturiser is better than a lighter lotion. Choose a balm based face mask rather than a heavy clay based mask.
Essential oils for dry skin; choose products containing rose, neroli, sandalwood, lavender, chamomile, palmarosa or geranium
A targeted skin care regime.
A good skin care regime will include cleansing, toning, moisturising and a weekly (or monthly depending on skin type) face mask. Knowing your skin type enables you to choose products targeted exactly to your needs. Certain jobs must be performed daily, in particular your evening cleansing regime!
If you want to start a natural skin care regime then this post on Natural Skin Care will guide you through the ingredients to watch out for in your products.
And let’s not forget the sunscreen!
One final note to remember. No matter what your skin type, one product that you should always be using is a good sunscreen. Not only does it protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun but it will also keep your skin looking young for longer. Choose a mineral based sunscreen rather than a chemical version and remember even in England on a cloudy day you still need your sunscreen.