Have you ever wondered why you may be using a certain product that you thought would be perfect for your skin type, but it turns out that it’s just making your skin worse? Yeah, same. I thought I had experienced two skin types in my life – oily (high school era) and dry (some time after that). Why did I start out needing blotting paper, and then a few years later, end up having skin that flaked more and more every time I looked at it? Eager to fix my dry skin, I did some more research into what products would help with my new skin type. Well, what I thought was my skin type. Hint: there is a difference between skin type and skin condition!
You see, your skin type is genetic and it stays pretty consistent throughout your life (the potential exceptions to this being pregnancy, hard-core medication or medical treatment). Your skin condition, on the other hand, can vary and is dependent on lifestyle and environmental factors. These could be diet, sun exposure, stress, and what skin-care products you use.
Invest in a skin consultation
It wasn’t until I had my first consultation with a skin specialist that I found out I have an oily skin type, not dry. I had spent the better half of three years slathering thick creams on my face because I thought I had oily turned dry skin. ‘But how can my face be both oily and dry?’ I asked. Well, simple; it wasn’t dry, it was dehydrated (it lacked water, not oil!). Totally made sense to me now. So, I have an oily skin type that can be dehydrated, and acne-prone, if I don’t use enough hydration in my skincare routine and make poor food and lifestyle choices. Now, what do you have?
- Dry: skin that lacks oil (or sebum) and can appear flaky and dull, with fine pores.
- Oily: skin that produces excess oil and can appear shiny/greasy, with enlarged pores.
- Normal: well-balanced skin that neither looks, nor feels, oily or dry.
- Combination: skin that can contain more oil in the ‘T-zone’ of the face (the forehead, nose and chin) and more dryness in the cheek areas.
- Sensitive: skin that is prone to redness and irritation.
- Acne-prone: skin that is prone to break-outs.
- Dehydrated: skin that lacks water and can appear flaky and feel tight.
There are many more skin conditions, but these are the most common. From here, the most important thing to do is to figure out what products work best for your skin type and/or condition/s in order to maximise the results you want. Like everything, it may take some trial and error – patience is key. Good luck!
Cover photo by Bruna Vidal