Every one has a unique skin type which is determined by their genes. Other factors can affect your skin too such as medication, climate or life changes such as pregnancy or the menopause. However, to make life easier, dermatologists have categorized skin types based on the oil and moisture content.
People usually judge their skin type based on how dry or oily it is. The oil that the skin produces is a white, sticky substance known as sebum which is secreted by the sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands empty sebum into the upper part of the hair follicle and as it emerges from the follicle opening or pore it coats the skin and mixes with the structural lipids within the stratum corneum to create a barrier to keep water within the skin’s layers to keep it moist. Sometimes the sebaceous glands produce too much sebum and this can make the skin appear greasy and other times when not enough sebum is produced skin can become dry.
It is normal for there to be more visible pores on the nose and chin areas with any skin type and fewer pores on the cheeks and around the eyes. Generally though, there are three categories of skin type.
Normal Skin Type
Normal skin is usually bright and smooth to the touch and tolerates different temperatures well although it can become oilier in warmer weather and drier when cold. Pores are medium sized and are more visible on the nose and chin areas which tend to be oilier than the cheeks and around the eyes. Luckily, those with normal skin don’t tend to suffer with many blackheads and pimples. Another bonus is that make-up responds well and tends to stay on during the day without sliding off or flaking.
Dry Skin Type
Dry skin may look smooth but it is usually rough to the touch and can have a translucent look to it especially over the cheek area where small blood vessels may be visible. Pores are small and fine even on the nose and chin and other areas may be prone to flakiness. One of the problems with this skin type is that it can feel tight after washing and if not enough moisturizer is applied. Cold temperatures can have a negative effect and can cause red scaly patches. Dry skin is prone to fine, superficial lines that become more obvious when moisturizer isn’t applied. This problem is usually caused by the lack of sufficient sebum or structural lipids or both. Many cosmetic products such as foundation and powder can be very drying so it is important to choose moisturizing foundation and mineral powders.
You should see your physician for a check-up if a dry skin condition doesn’t improve or gets worse despite following a basic skin-care routine as dry skin can be a result of certain health problems such as a thyroid condition.
Oily Skin Type
Oily skin appears shiny and feels oily especially along the nose, forehead and chin areas. Pores are noticeable and the complexion is likely to be sallow. A positive aspect of this skin type is that when it comes to aging you are likely to have very few wrinkles compared to other skin types. Oily skin tolerates the cold and wind well, although hot weather can give it an oiler appearance. Choose foundations carefully and try not to use ones that are heavy and creamy as these will tend to slide off of the skin easily and accentuate oiliness.
It is important to know which skin type you have so you can plan and care for it correctly and with a basic knowledge you should have no problem in knowing which products you need to buy to suit you.