Skin Care: Understanding your Faces Issues and Zones

Many people stress about skin care, but finding effective skin care starts with how dry or oily the skin is. Facial skin types are relatively easy to determine. Once an individual understands his or her skin type, it is possible to buy facial cleansers, moisturizers, and cosmetics that work best.

There are five skin care types, including oily, sun-damaged, combination-normal, dry, and sensitive skin. Facial skin type is classified by how little or how much oil the skin produces. Skin’s oil production is affected by genetics, medicines, diet, hormones, stress level, and skincare products. According to Mayo Clinic, sunscreens and gentle skin care are the first steps everyone needs to achieve healthy skin.

Skin Type and Oil Production

As skin ages, it may produce less oil, going from oily to normal or from normal to dry over time. The environment may also affect an individual’s skin type. Humid climates tend to help skin retain moisture while hot, dry climates have an opposite effect.

To identify what skin type, start with a skin test. Wash the face, gently pat dry, and take several sheets of lens-cleaning tissues or rice paper. Press and blot several different areas of the face, such as the forehead, chin, upper cheeks, and nose. The T-zone is a common complaint of young adults.

People with oily skin will see oily spots or a translucent sheen appear on the paper. Those with dry skin won’t see a different in the paper. If paper sticks lightly to the skin, it is normal or combination skin. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most adults have combination skin.

Here are the characteristics of the five different skin types:

#1: Oily Skin

Oily facial skin shines. The T-zone is especially shiny. Pores may be enlarged, and blackheads or breakouts may occur when the sebaceous glands produce oil. Oily skin typically ages well because natural oils maintain skin moisture and plumpness.

Some young adults say their oily skin subsides after age 35. Start with a non-detergent cleanser for oily skin and wash before bedtime. Twice weekly exfoliation with a scrub followed by oil-free moisturizers can help reduce breakouts and keep skin clear.

#2: Normal Skin

According to the Huffington Post, most people have normal or combination skin. Parts of the face are oily but dry skin patches may be present. Dry cheeks or large pores on the nose may be present, but most of the face has medium, normal-sized pores and an enviable smooth texture.

To take care of normal-combination skin, Huffington Post recommends less cleansing. Treat the oily parts of the face with an alcohol-free toner after cleansing. Exfoliate twice a week to accelerate cell turn over and dab a slightly richer moisturized on any dry areas.

#3: Dry Skin

Dry skin can occur at any age or fluctuate with hormonal changes. Dry skin can feel tight after even gentle cleansing. Fine wrinkles, redness, or flakes may appear. Dark skins may look dully or ashy from dry skin cell buildup.

Use heavier cleansers and moisturizers on dry skin. Avoid over-exfoliation, use skin primers, and gently apply cosmetic products with a surgical sponge. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and keep moisturizer on hand to reapply as needed. Some people with dry skin swear by a home and office humidifiers as part of the skin care routine.

#4: Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is easily identified. It is often bothered by sun or cosmetics and tends to look red or blotchy. The right skin care products can be challenging for sensitive skin. Mild, unscented products are best. Ask for samples at a retailer to try at home or visit a dermatologist to inquire about products made for sensitive skin.

#5: Sun-Damaged Skin

Sun damaged skin is sometimes referred to as aging skin. Years of sun exposure may cause skin discoloration, pigmentation, and wrinkles. Products with Retin-A help skin to recover. Skin peels or microdermabrasion are also popular treatments for those who want a more youthful appearance.