I was asked the other day how I determined my skin type. I referred to my Dermalogica FaceMapping post
but thought, as many of you don’t have any stockists or stores of Dermalogica near you, that I could also post the following:
“You skin type is determined by the presence (or lack thereof) of oil and water. [...] Your skin has water glands that make water and oil glands that make oil, neither of which is dependent on the other. The water content of your skin determines how dry (if at all) you are, while the oil content of your skin determines how oily (if at all) you are. Together, these determine your skin type: oily/acne-prone, dry, normal or combination. Remember, though, because the water and oil have nothing to do with each other, it’s possible for the same are of skin on your face to have both water glands that are under producing (dry) and oil glands that are over active (oily), leaving you with both oily and dry skin.
While there is no “test” for skin type if your cheeks feel tight or dry and appear flaky, you have dry skin. If your T-zone appears or feels oily or you breakout, then you have oily/acne-prone skin. If you have both dry skin (anywhere on face) and oily/acne-prone skin (generally in the T-zone), then you have combination skin. And if you have neither dry skin nor oily/acne-prone skin, then you have normal skin.
A lot of women seem to think they have sensitive skin. But [...] most people who think they have sensitive skin, actually have normal skin! Particularly common are women who breakout from products and think that means they’re sensitive. But sensitive skin has nothing to do with breakouts. Instead, it has to do with rashy irritation, redness, itching and burning sensations. If you do have sensitive skin, of course, be careful; but if you don’t, you could be missing out on some great products perfectly suited for the skin type you do have!
The basic concept of oil-based cleansers is that they dissolve the oil and impurities stuck in our pores (and even wash away makeup!), allowing us to cleanse our pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively. Even better, they double as a moisturizer too since they replace the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit to heal, protect and nourish.
[...] Oil, on its own, will not bring blemishes. [...] So, while oil tends to get the bad rap, the sebum your skin produces is actually designed to help lubricate, heal, protect and moisturize our skin so that it can function properly. And when you strip away your skin’s naturally produced oil with oil-free cleansers, soaps and washes, well, your skin fights back. It over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating even more oil. And let’s just get to the point here – in this war you’re waging against oil on your face, you’re destined to lose.
The solution: Learning to work with your skin (and its oil), rather than against it. So, whether you have dry, sensitive, acne-prone, again or oily skin, oil based cleansers can help, all the while maintaining your skin’s natural level of moisture. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should head to your kitchen and start cleansing with the canola! Rather, look for oil-based cleansers formulated to encapsulate residue (like dirt and sweat) and gently lift these impurities from the pores.”
I hope you found this article helpful – I certainly did.