Skin Care

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What Is My Skin Type?
Be Skin Smart and have Success with your Skin
by Carol Derksen
February 23, 2010

When determining skin type it's important to realize that your skin is in a constant state of change; your skin is a living breathing organ and therefore it can be managed to a certain extent.

Remember:  certain areas of your face are oilier than others, such as the forehead, nose and chin;  your skin type will not always be constant.  There are many factors that can cause changes from day to day (see my article on" Factors that Influence the Skin");  your skin care program should be adjustable to the changes within your skin.   This means you need to understand how your products work and use them appropriately, depending on the condition of your skin. 
The basic skin types are:  Acne/Oily, Aging, Combination, Damaged/Sensitive, Dry and Normal.
A simple test can help you determine where your skin is normal, dry, or oily.

Acne/Oily skin typically looks shiny/greasy with large pores.  Oily skin is difficult to keep clean; excess sebum leaves skin with a neglected appearance.  This skin is prone to acne and dermatitis, with frequent outbreaks and inflamed areas.  Acne appears as inflamed lumps under the skin topped with blackheads or whiteheads. This skin can feel uneven and rough, sometimes red and sore to the touch. Causes of acne include: clogged pores, bacteria, cosmetic products and triggers including hormones, and stress. The face is the most common area for acne, but it can also appear on the back, neck, shoulders and chest.  If you are prone to acne, stay away from all pore clogging ingredients in your cosmetics, skin and hair care products.  Even synthetic ingredients in hair sprays can block the pores and allow bacteria to thrive.  If you have common breakouts along the hairline, forehead and chin, check your hair spray ingredients.  If you think you have oily skin issues, do not confuse perspiration with oily breakouts.

Aging or Mature skin needs consistent care.  Typically it looks dry and wrinkled, lacking tone and clarity, having a dull or grayish appearance.  It can feel hot, dry and itchy at times.  Aging skin can have some occasional problems of blemishes, dry patches and irritations with flushing and broken capillaries.  It can lose its flexibility or elasticity.  Lightly pinch the skin to see how fast it “bounces back”.  This skin needs exfoliation, toning, hydrating moisturizers, nourishing oils, and anti-aging peptides.

Combination Skin can have dry and flaky areas (usually the cheeks) and oily areas on the forehead, sides of nose, and the chin area.  Combination skin is prone to occasional problems such as pimples, blackheads, and enlarged pores.   It can be more challenging to care for this skin because the dry areas need deep moisturizing and the oily areas need deep cleansing and somewhat astringent applications.  You will need different products to target different problem areas and help to balance the skin. 

Damaged , Sensitive or Rosacea Skin needs to be handled with extreme care.  This applies to any skin that responds especially quickly and adversely to sudden changes of temperature or humidity and bruises very easily.  This skin can easily become red and blotchy.  It is often allergic to many cosmetic products.  It can feel burning or stinging when irritated.  Allergens and irritants, whether external or internal can cause problems such as redness, burning or itching, swelling, bumps under the skin and flakiness.  With this skin condition, it is better to use products with as few as possible ingredients.

Dry Skin is due to lack of moisture in the skin.  It usually doesn’t produce enough sebum, the skin’s natural lubricating oil.  It is prone to scaling, superficial wrinkling and a dull appearance.  It can also look thin with fine pores and broken veins, usually in the cheek area.  It can develop dry patches, lines and wrinkles more easily than other skins.  Dry skin is sensitive to cold, wind, central heating and air conditioning.  It gets irritated and inflamed with temperature and climate changes.  It is a must to use moisturizers and oils daily, both am and pm.

Normal Skin is healthy skin that is firm and supple, warm to the touch, not dry or oily, without redness or blemishes.  It is balanced, with a slightly acidic pH of 5.5-6.5.  It looks clear, with even texture and small pores.  Occasional problems such as minor breakouts, dry patches, and even lines and wrinkles can appear without proper skin care habits and prevention.

A simple test can help you determine where your skin is normal, dry, or oily. 

The most effective way to determine your skin type is to stop all cosmetics and creams for a time and then do a simple tissue test  to see where your skin is normal, dry or oily.   It is worth doing this test even if you think you know the result; and it’s worth repeating the test with each seasonal change or at least every 6 months. 
You will need a completely clean face for this, so remove all traces of makeup and give your face a final cleaning with warm water and cotton balls or pads.  Gently towel dry and wait for 1-2 hours.  Using plain white tissue paper(the stuff you use in gift bags), lightly press all over your face and leave on for about 1 minute.  Remove the tissue carefully and examine near a window or bright light. 

Dry skin:  No oily traces- very often aging and mature skin is dry.
Normal skin:  Faint oily traces on most of the paper that covered the face.
Combination skin:  Oily patches at the sides of the nose, around the mouth and chin, and forehead.
Oily skin:  Oily stains over most of the paper that covered the face.

Apply natural oils to the dry areas (Renew Facial Serum at night and All in One cream in the morning), and start using mild AHA exfoliators (AHA Cleanser or Lactic Acid Gel) to help with dry, dull or flaky skin.  Apply an oil free moisturizer (Hyaluronic Acid) to the oily areas.  Do not try and dry out the oily areas as you will only cause your skin to produce more oil. 
DNA Repair is a wonderful moisturizer for oily skin with large pores, and also helpful for Sensitive, Damaged or Rosacea skin.  For this skin condition the Rosehip Seed Cleanser and Seaweed Extract is perfect.  To calm inflammation you can add a few drops of essential oils such as chamomile to your Seaweed toner.  All skin types and conditions can benefit from the Pure Hyaluronic Acid moisturizer and the Renew Facial Serum. 
For aging and mature skin you will need a mild cleanser such as Rosehip Cleanser, the Seaweed Extract and definitely the Renew Facial Serum and the Multi Peptide Therapy. Use the Lactic Acid Gel twice/week.   If your skin is also dry you may want to use the Hyaluronic Acid before the Renew Facial Serum at night.  In the morning use the Multi Peptide Therapy and then either the All in One Cream, DNA Repair Cream or the Fringe Benefit.  Your skin needs lots of antioxidants and moisturizing.  If your skin is aging and oily, use the AHA cleanser instead of the Rosehip Seed Cleanser.
Triple Action Vitamin C is good for all skin types and helps with sun damage. 

If you are blessed with normal healthy skin consider yourself fortunate and follow a simple skin care routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing.  Rosehip cleanser, Seaweed Extract to tone, and Renew Facial Serum at night.  In the morning cleanse, tone and apply the All in One Cream or Fringe Benefit before applying your Body Joy Mineral Foundation for sun protection.  If preferable use Mineral Moisture Tint or the Tinted Sunblock instead (This already has moisturizers in it.)  To exfoliate use the Lactic Acid Gel or Salicylic Acid  once or twice a week after cleansing and before toning and moisturizing.