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How to Understand Your Skin Type

Before you begin any skin care regimen, it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into, meaning you need to know what kind of skin you have. There are plenty of skin care products out there that claim to give you radiant, beautiful skin but how do you know what you should buy if you don’t know what you are up against? In fact, most people don’t know that your skin adapts accordingly to different seasons. So if you use products that are too harsh or too rich, it may do more harm than good to your face.

There are three known skin types — oily, normal/combination and dry – and two easy ways to find out what kind of skin you have. The first is the bare-faced method where you clean your face with a mild cleanser and pat dry. After that, leave your skin as is and examine it after half an hour. Take a close look at your forehead, chin, and nose for any shine and then 30 minutes later, see how your skin feels. Does it feel dry when you smile or make any other facial expressions? If it feels tight, then your skin is dry and if your cheeks, forehead, and nose appear shiny, your skin is oily.

Additionally, you could try the blotting sheet method which is a lot quicker. All you have to do is pat gently a blotting paper on different areas of your face. Then hold the sheet up against the light to see how much oil is on it. If there is oil from your nose, and forehead then your skin is normal/combination and if there is a lot of oil, then you have oily skin.

Once you have figured out your skin type, you can address the problems it presents. For instance, dry skin can feel quite flaky and tight so you need to drink lots of water and avoid diuretics like caffeine that further dry out the face. Gentle exfoliation and a glycerin-based moisturizer should work best for dry skin since the former will remove dead skin cells and the latter will provide much-needed hydration to your face.

Oily skin is a bit more challenging since it is prone to breakouts, inflammation, and dark spots given the clogged pores and hyperpigmentation. Besides exfoliation, oily skin also needs something to lighten the dark spots. Products such as Stillman’s Freckle Cream can help combat dark spots and pigmentation, giving you clearer, radiant skin. For best results, you should apply the cream at night and wash it off in the morning. A few weeks and your spots are sure to disappear. If you want a quick fix, you can use Stillman’s Bleach which can instantly lighten pigmentation and can give you even skin tone.

Meanwhile, people with normal/combination skin experience dryness on the cheeks, making it necessary to use a moisturizer that is not too heavy but still retains moisture where needed. If you have normal skin, then you are truly blessed because your skin is relatively problem-free. You don’t suffer from breakouts or pigmentation and have a generally well-balanced T-zone. For those with combination skin, gentle exfoliation is necessary to keep the t-zone and cheek area balanced.  Moisturizers with a gel-like texture are absorbed more quickly and less likely to cause breakouts. Start with a small amount and increase as needed to avoid over-moisturizing and stressing the skin.

 Understanding the nuances of sensitive skin, however, can be a bit more challenging since one can never be sure what can become an irritant and cause a reaction. To make this process a bit easier, you should introduce one product at the time just to be sure you know whether or not an ingredient suits your skin. Just to be on the safe side, always do a patch test when experimenting with a new product to see if it is likely to be a potential irritant. Apply the product on your forearm or behind the ear to see whether or not it causes a reaction. Those with sensitive skin should look for products that are fragrance and paraben-free and don’t contain mineral oil or sulfates.

It’s important to remember that our skin changes over time and so you need to be mindful of your skin’s needs. So keep checking in with your skin and see if you need to change your regimen or stick with it.