Your skin type is ultimately determined by how much (or how little) oil your skin produces. Genes, diet, stress levels, hormones, medication and even your skincare regimen all determine how much oil your skin produces.
So how do you know what type of skin you have?
Well, before we go any further, it's important to remember that everyone (regardless of race, ethnicity or creed) has at least two different types of facial skin at any given time.
A basic skin test may help you determine your skin type. Simply wash your face, pat it dry and then press a few pieces of rice paper or tissue paper on different parts of your face. Oily skin causes the paper to become translucent and it usually sticks to the skin.
If however the paper doesn't stick or become translucent, then it may be a sign you have dry skin. Finally, if the paper has a tendency to stick predominately in your 'T-Zone' (the forehead, nose and chin), then you may have a combination skin.
Dry skin is usually a temporary condition brought on by environmental factors like dry weather (usually in winter), heating and air conditioning systems, harsh soaps and even chemical based cleansers. Dry skin is the result of under or inactive oil glands that do not produce enough sebum to keep the skin naturally lubricated.
Symptoms of dry skin include:
- Varying degrees of itchiness
- Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling
- Fine lines or cracks
- Deep fissures that may bleed
Some skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are often confused as just dry skin, while thyroid disorders like hypothyroidism can reduce the activity of your sweat and oil glands, leading to skin that has a rough, dry appearance.
Oily skin is usually shiny and thick with a slippery 'oily' texture. Pores are often coarse and clogged, this is caused by sebaceous glands that produce more sebum than the skin needs. Oily skin types are prone to develop acne, a condition resulting from sebum trapped inside the skin and causing pus-filled lesions known as comedones. Blackheads are also very common in people with oily skin.
Oily skin may be caused by:
- Unhealthy diet of junk food
- Increased hormone levels…especially during adolescence
- Contraceptive pills
- Humid weather
Despite the occasional breakout of pimples and blackheads, people with oily skin generally have skin that looks younger and more supple over time when compared to people with other skin types.
Sensitive skin is more of a skin condition than a skin type. This is because sensitive skin can be dry, oily, or normal. It is usually characterized by delicacy and the adverse reaction to various environmental conditions. Sensitive skin is often prone to negative reactions when exposed to synthetic ingredients, alcohol-based products, fragrance oils and industrial chemicals.
Normal skin as you may have guessed is…well, normal. What does this mean? Normal skin usually has an average number of sebaceous glands that produce a moderate amount of sebum. This results in a skin that is balanced in moisture, appearance and touch.
This type of skin has a clear, fine-textured, supple and smooth surface which is neither greasy nor dry and those with normal skin are usually the envy of people with other types of skin. Nevertheless, normal skin still requires daily care and attention as neglect can lead to signs of aging and wrinkling.
Women with normal skin may still experience the occasional outbreak of pimples just before menstruation. This is because of the increased level of hormones causing the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum.
As mentioned earlier, people with combination skin usually have an oily "T-Zone" area, which covers the forehead, nose and chin. This results in a shiny 'T-shape' on the face which is characterized even more by dry or normal skin around the cheeks, eyes and mouth. This type of skin is very common, and it should be treated as if it were two different types of skin.
What Skin Care Products To Use For These Different Skin Types?
It's not only difficult to find the right skin care products for your skin type, it can also be expensive. However, this is why we developed the Xtend-Life skin care range. The skin creams for both men and women along with the Foaming Facial Cleanser and Eye Contour Serum have been developed to cater for all skin types and all climates.
This is possible because these skin care products do not contain mineral oils and other substances that would normally cause a problem for some skin types and/or block pores.
In fact, not only have we ensured that we do not have any ingredients that are likely to irritate the skin, we have included special nutrients that calm and soothe the skin.
For more information, please visit our skincare product pages.