Anyone who went through puberty, major stress, or extreme hormonal changes would understand that skin care can be a frustrating task. Not all skin types were created equal and the type of products and amount of skin care that each person needs vary depending on a number of factors.
But perhaps the most significant factor to take into consideration is your skin type. There are 5 general skin classifications, and each of them requires different methods of cleaning and maintenance. This article will give you an overview of the five skin categories to help you determine what type of skin you have and what you need to do in order to properly take care of it.
1. Normal Skin
The most low-maintenance of them all, normal skin mostly looks supple and healthy. Dryness and oil levels are normal, so effective cleaning and moisturizing can be done with moderate efforts. This skin type doesn't require any special products either, so if you have this skin type, you shouldn't have a hard time looking for cleansers, toners, or moisturizers that are right for you.
2. Dry Skin
Dry skin feels tight and flaky, and isn't as supple as other skin types. Dry skin lacks oil and isn't as prone to breakouts either, but can be very sensitive to temperature and wind. Additionally, since this skin type lacks moisture, it is more prone to wrinkles and aging. If you have dry skin, your regimen should include heavier cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. Also make it a point to drink lots of fluids to keep your skin from becoming too dehydrated. You may also want to consider getting a humidifier to bring in some moisture into your room.
3. Oily Skin
As its name clearly states, oily skin retains a lot of oil especially in the T-zone. Those with oily skin have larger pores and are more prone to breakouts. The good news is, unlike dry skin, oily skin types are less prone to wrinkles and are able to age well. Best skin care practices for this type includes the regular use of oil-free products, avoidance of oily food. Also, do not skimp on the cleanser. People with oily skin tend to use more powder and makeup to cover the shine, so be sure to cleanse thoroughly every night to avoid build up. You may also want to exfoliate a couple of times a week to get rid of excess moisture and other particles.
4. Combination Skin
This skin type is a little tricky. It's usually oily in the T-zone but dry in the cheek area. You may have to use separate products on your skin, depending on the area (i.e. a different product for your T-zone and a separate product for your dry areas).
5. Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin can fall under normal, oily, dry, or combination, with the added tendency to become red, inflamed, or irritated. This skin type is prone to allergic reactions, usually brought about by certain products or extreme temperature. Finding the right cleansing, toning, and moisturizing products can be a bit tricky for sensitive skin, but to be safe, select products that are as mild and natural as possible.
Need more information on skin care? The following websites are extremely helpful:
Mario Badescu Skin Care - An informative page about the different skin types.
HealthFinder.gov - Skin Care - This page lists a number of organizations dedicated to dermatology and skin care.
Kids Health Page on Acne - A page that explains acne to children.
Medicine Plus - Acne information from the US National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health
Association of Holistic Skin Care Practitioners - Information about noninvasive methods for corrective, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory skin care treatments.
American Skin Association - American Skin Association works to defeat melanoma and other serious forms of skin disease through research and awareness.
Pacific Dermatologic Association - The Pacific Dermatologic Associationâ€™s mission is to offer high-quality continuing education opportunities to dermatologists practicing in the Western US, Canada, Mexico and Pacific Rim countries.
SkinCarePhysicians.com - This site provides information on the treatment and management of skin diseases.
American Academy of Dermatology - Official website of the AAD.
NIAMS - National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Acne.org - A page busting acne myths.
Image credit: Haleyface on Flickr