The very first step in starting any type of skin care regime begins with determining the type of skin that you have. Various skin care products are made specifically to treat particular types of skin, so knowing which skin type you have will allow you to better choose the right products for yourself.
There are five common skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive.
Normal skin types are classified as skin that is not too dry nor too oily. There are few imperfections in the skin and the pores are barely visible, leaving skin that is soft with an even skin tone. This type of skin could be described as “radiant” or “glowing”.
Dry skin results when the skin does not produce enough sebum (oil), so it is often dry and flaky – especially after washing. People with dry skin will often experience a tightness around the dry areas, and they will often use different treatments during different seasons, as the winter will especially dry your skin, but not so much during the summer.
Oily skin types are caused by the over-activity of the sebaceous glands that produce the natural oil on the skin. This oily skin is often affected by factors out of people’s control such as hormones (breakouts caused by puberty or pregnancy comes to mind), stress, and hereditary factors. However, voluntary factors such as diet and cosmetic choice can also affect the oil levels of the skin.
Combination skin types have a combination of dry and oily areas of skin. The most common combination skin will have oily areas in the T zone, the area around the forehead, nose and chin, as those areas tend to have the most sebaceous glands, and dry areas outside of the T zone, such as the cheeks and brow. While some people treat combination skin with different products for the different areas, others will use products that work well with both dry and oily skin.
Sensitive skin types have certain triggers that will cause the skin to become red, itchy, or dry. These triggers could be caused by existing conditions such as eczema or rosacea, but oftentimes, it can simply be caused by a reaction to a particular ingredient in a skin care product. Those with sensitive skin types will often have to experiment with various products to find the one that agrees with their skin the most.
Most people do not have naturally flawless and beautiful skin, and if you do see someone with perfect skin, it is likely that she has a skin care routine that works well for her skin type. So if you want to have that radiant and glowing skin you've always wanted, choose the right products for your own skin type, and make sure to keep up your skin routine!