Your skin is ever-changing and ever-reacting to the world around you. The slightest change in climate, humidity, and toxins in the air triggers changes deep within our dermis, altering its appearance and health. We all have uniquely composed skin, though a lot of us can be categorised into a skin type that largely sums up our characteristics and needs. What does your skin type mean for your skin, how does it function, and how can we best look after it?
Normal skin type
It can be hard to define normal skin types and characteristics because they fall into no extreme of ‘oily’ or ‘dry’. When your skin does sway towards one or the other it tends to be rare and short-lived, easy to rectify and as a result of some other stimuli. The normal skin type tends to be very unproblematic in day-to-day life, only reacting to something when a stimulus is actively present; a topical oily product, for example, may prompt a break out that is easily dealt with. With this in mind, it’s still important for those with normal skin to keep on top of their daily skincare routines and use professional products. Normal skin doesn’t protect against sun damage or skin tone dulling any better than other skin types do, so just because you’re less at risk of enlarged pores doesn’t mean your skin is untouchable.
Dry skin type
Dry skin can feel tight, flaky, or scaly. You may have very small pores because of your lack of natural oil production, but you’re more prone to developing premature wrinkles and regular skin irritation. Dry skin actually has nothing to do with the water levels within the skin, and everything to do with the natural oils produced in the skin’s oil glands. This sebum is responsible for keeping our skin supple, and in dry skin there can be less produced. Cream moisturisers tend to be rich in oils and thicker to apply, making them ideal for dry skin. The more oil there is in a moisturiser, the better it absorbs through the skin’s surface to hydrate the tissue. Avoid harsh skincare products and products that have too high a concentration of alcohol, because these will just strip the already depleted oil from your skin and dry it out further.
Oily skin type
Oily skin is the result of both genetic predisposition and hormonal changes, which is why it can seem to fluctuate. When genetically predisposed, our active oil glands produce a higher amount of sebum that flows from inside the epidermis to the surface through pores and follicles. Hormonal changes increase the sebum production which can expand the pores and result in blockages, causing spots. Skincare products with high alcohol concentrations and that promise to ‘dry out’ the skin could actually have the opposite effect on your skin, forcing it to produce excess oil to replace the lost. A light exfoliation is far better, as is a light moisturiser or lotion. Oily skin can lead to acne, which thankfully our professional services can help treat.
Combination skin can be a confusing skin type to own; it usually features two or more different skin types on the face like dry skin on one portion and excessive oil on the other. Many mistakenly believe that they have one or the other extremities of skin type, making it incredibly common but difficult to identify. You might experience an oily ‘T’ zone, which includes forehead, nose, and chin, which tend to have more active oil glands. With this skin type you need to make sure you’re using a light exfoliant, but different moisturisers to suit different areas. Products with minimum fragrance are best, because they won’t aggravate dry patches and cause flakiness.
Your skin is unique to you, but your skin type can be deciphered and treated accordingly. At L’Atelier in Marylebone, we conduct a number of tests, including Visua facial analysis and genetic testing, to identify your skin types and areas of concern. This allows us to formulate a treatment plan that will benefit your skin’s health and appearance. Book your consultation today by enquiring online or calling 0207 637 3208.