Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Do You Know Your Skin Type?

How to Take Care of You Skin Type
It's important to know your skin type since certain types of skin can be at a higher risk of developing sensitivity, sun damage and even skin cancer.  There are several factors that can affect skin type, including genetics, your age, how you take care of your skin, and water and oil content of your skin cells.  The water content will affect elasticity and the oil content shows how soft your skin is.

To determine your skin type, the New Zealand Dermatological Society recommends the following test:

  • Wash your face, pat it dry and check back in an hour.  
  • Make sure not to touch your skin within that hour.  
  • Blot your nose, chin, forehead and cheeks with a tissue.  
  • If the tissue has oil on it, and your face appears shiny, you have oily skin. 
  • If your face feels tight, dry or flaky with no oil on the tissue, you have dry skin.  
  • If certain areas show oil on the tissue only, you have combination skin. 
Normal Skin Type
This type of skin is well balanced with water and oil, which means it does not appear to be too dry or too oily.  You will not see any visible large pores and none or only a few imperfections.

How to take care of Normal Skin Type:  
  • Use a gentle non-drying cleanser.
  • Never go out without a broad spectrum sunscreen for both UVA and UVB rays protection.  Opt for one with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are safe and effective.
  • Make sure to clean your face of makeup at bed time.
  • Moisturize your skin, and drink plenty of water.
Combination Skin Type
With combination skin type, it's not unusual to notice dry, normal or oily areas.  This is usually described as the T-zone around the nose, forehead and chin.  Most people have this type of skin.  If you have combination skin you may notice blackheads, pores and shiny areas on your skin.

How to take care of Combination Skin Type:
  • Use cleansers that are suited for combination skin.  This can include a non-soap face bar or a lotion sulfate-free cleanser that is mild.
  • Alcohol-free toner is great to use on the oily parts of your skin to remove oil, dirt and close pores.
  • Always protect your skin from the sun with an SPF 15 or 30.  Sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are safe and effective.
  • Use an oil-free moisturizer.
  • Use an exfoliating scrub 1-2 times a week if you have combination/oily skin.  This will remove dead cells to help clear clogged pores and allow healthy skin cells to come to the surface.
  • Use makeup and skin care that are non-comedogenic, that is they don't clog pores.
Dry Skin Type
Cracking, peeling, itchy and irritation are common with dry skin type.  These conditions become exasperated with:
  • Hormonal changes
  • Stress
  • Extreme exposure to wind, sun or cold 
  • Indoor heating or air conditioning
  • Medications
  • Certain ingredients in skin care or cosmetics, such as plant ingredients, salicylic acid, parabens or sodium lauryl sulfate.
How to take care of Dry Skin Type:
  • Use a mild, non-soap cleanser.  Cleansers with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) or deodorant soaps will be too harsh.
  • Scrubbing while bathing or drying can irritate your skin.  Gently clean and pat dry with a soft towel.
  • A humidifier can add needed moisture to dry skin.
  • Use skin care products that are free of botanical extracts and essential oils.  These can be harsh and even have side effects.
  • Apply a day cream that is rich in antioxidants and an extra rich night cream. 
  • For very dry skin, emu oil is excellent without leaving a greasy feel.
Oily Skin Type
Your age, hormones and weather may also affect oily skin types.  Oily skin can become worse with:
  • Homonal changes (such as puberty)
  • Stress
  • High humidity
How to take care of Oily Skin Type:
  • With a gentle cleanser, clean your skin morning and at bed time.
  • Don't pick or squeeze pimples or blackheads.
  • Only choose products that will not clog pores, that is "non-comedogenic".
  • Use oil-free moisturizer and cosmetics.
  • Use an exfoliating scrub 1-2 times a week if you have oily skin.  This will remove dead cells to help clear clogged pores and allow healthy skin cells to come to the surface. 
For all skin types, make sure to use skin care and cosmetics that are free of fragrance, soap and harsh preservatives.  Don't smoke, get enough rest and play and the best time to get the sun's good rays, is before 9 AM.


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