Knowing your skin type is probably the best thing you can do for your skin!
What type of skin am I?
There are so many products and brands promising the world (and more) for YOUR skin – but they don’t know what type of skin you are…and maybe, just maybe, you’re not even 100% sure? All these promises can amount to nothing if they’re being used on the wrong type of skin…and sometimes they can do more harm than good – and nobody wants that!
So, how DO you know what type of skin you have and therefore what your skin needs?
Am I OILY?
Oily skin is due to excess sebum production in the deeper layers of the dermis. Generally speaking, oily skin is often shiny, prone to blemishes and congestion (mostly in the T zone), often has visible blackheads and also, open pores.
Many with oily skin wash and wash their skin, drying out the outer layers, which then causes the lower layers to overproduce sebum to compensate…it’s a vicious cycle!
Oily skin can be triggered by hormones, diet, genetics, stress and the wrong skincare or cosmetics.
How to help?
Keeping your skin clean and allowing it to breathe is ultimate.
– Shower after exercising
– Use clean towels and bedding (change your pillow case every other day if you can)
– Clean your phone
– Use the right skincare AND cosmetics!
It’s important to use the right skin care as if you use something too harsh – you’ll strip the outer layers and cause the lower layers to produce more sebum. More sebum = more pimples!
A gentle mousse cleanser like Ultra Clear Foaming Cleanser is perfect as its ingredients work to deeply cleanse and unclog pores. A beautiful mix of salicylic and mandelic acid and niacinamide are in charge of this. It also contains allantoin to hydrate and calm. Top it off with a light hydrating lotion during the day or Ginger & me’s Clear Skin Balm at night and you’re on your way to balancing your skin.
Make sure you use mineral cosmetics as well as these allow the skin to breathe and not be clogged by unnecessary ingredients!
Am I DRY?
The opposite of oily, dry skin has very minimal oil/sebum being produced and it’s more common than you’d think. Whilst dry skin people won’t suffer from as many breakouts during their life, they will age faster than their oily skin friends.
There are some external causes but ageing, hormones and genetics are the main factors at play here.
Treating dry skin begins with nourishing and replenishing the skin barrier. Go for super rich and oily products.
How to help?
- Using A grade skincare is super important. Products like the Ultra Rich Moisturiser from Ultraceuticals or Ginger and me’s plant based Protect Skin Balm are a great starting point.
- Use gentle cleansers – all over your body – but especially the face. We recommend a cleansing oil for cleanse number 1 (like the Nutri-Luxe Cleansing Oil from Ginger & me) and then a milk cleanser (such as the Hydrating Milk Cleanser) or if you suffer from pigmentation/freckles then the Brightening Foaming Cleanser (also from Ultraceuticals) is also gentle enough for you to use.
- Regular exfoliation – but not with anything with ‘bits’ like apricot kernels in it! Jojoba beads or Vit C beads are nice and gentle – remember, we are dealing with dry skin so we don’t want to tear it or make it drier!
- Nourish your body from inside as well. Eat plenty of oily fish or take a great supplement like the Nordic Naturals Omega’s that we stock in at My Escape.
Am I SENSITIVE?
If your skin goes red at the thought of trying a new moisturiser or sunscreen, is prone to rashes and inflammation too – then you’re probably sensitive. Generally sensitive skin is genetic so it’s important to manage this by using the right type of products.
Sensitised skin is different – this is caused by external factors – like using the wrong (harsh) products, medication, illness and even the environment. Sensitised skin is easily remedied as the damaged barrier function can be ‘rebuilt’ which will reduce irritation and repair your skin.
Sensitive skin is reactive to environmental factors like the wind, sun or temperature; as well as skincare and makeup. It is also thinner and often features tiny little red patches or spots around the nose, cheeks, chin and neck.
How to help?
- Using products designed to lock hydration and work at a cellular level to reduce redness and focus on building the barrier up. Ultraceuticals Calming range consists of a cleanser and a moisturiser and is designed to keep skin calm, hydrated and pH balanced.
- Don’t overdo it. Use minimal products in your skincare routine and also with makeup. Mineral makeup is best for this skin type.
- Nourish from within with Omega’s.
- ALWAYS do a patch test or take home a sample before buying any products.
Am I COMBINATION?
Combination skin is one where it’s owner will experience areas of dryness and oiliness on their face. You may start the day feeling rather normal and then have an oily T zone by 3pm, or find your fine lines are more pronounced as the day goes on (and the skin gets drier)…
How to help?
- Using a mix of the tips for both oily and dry skins, a combination skin will benefit from a face oil which will replenish the drier areas and also regulate sebum production at the same time.
- Use two masks on your face – this means you’re going to have to purchase two products – but at least it will last twice as long 😊. Use a clay like mask on the T-zone (like Ultra Clear Purifying Mask) and a hydrating mask on cheeks, forehead and neck (like Ultra Replenishing Mask) and occasionally blend the two together for your T-zone areas.
- Focus on keeping your skin clean – shower after exercise and keeping your hair off your face are good starting points.
Am I NORMAL?
The unicorn of skin types. Normal skin is supple, smooth, small pores and is a beautiful healthy even colour/tone. It’s really not all that normal!
Whilst you may not have any issues to deal with like your other skin type friends – it’s still important to maintain it.
- Focus on the core products in your routine: an excellent SPF (of course, we love Ultraceuticals’ Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50!), a cleanser, a chemical exfoliant and something to nourish (like a moisturiser).
Am I DEHYDRATED?
Dehydrated skin is a condition, not a type, so it is caused by external factors such as heating, cooling, over exfoliating, cold temperatures and wind. It is also likely to be temporary.
Sometimes dehydrated skins notice their skin feels tight or flaky or that their fine lines seem more prominent. You can still suffer with a bit of shine and oiliness as oily skins can definitely be dehydrated as well!
How to help?
- Dehydrated skin needs water (not oil, like dry types). And plenty of it! Increase your water intake, pronto.
- Look at incorporating a hydrating serum into your routine. Like the Ultra B2 Serum which has hyaluronic acid and Vit B3 & 5 which is going to provide hydration and improve blotchiness which can be a sign of dehydration. Always apply this to slightly damp skin, it’s more permeable than dry skin and therefore absorbs the serum more!
Why Is Patch Testing Is Important
Everyone’s skin is different. You will react differently to a product that your mum, aunt or best friend uses…it’s sooo worthwhile to try out the products before you invest in them.
A patch test can be easily done in the shop – apply a small amount directly to clean skin behind your ears or under your chin. It’s important to do it in these types of areas as the skin on your face is so much thinner and more sensitive than the skin on your hands. The skin behind the ears or under your chin is very close to this…and isn’t easily seen if you do react!
Who needs to patch test?
The obvious skin type is the sensitive or sensitised skin, but everyone will benefit from this.
If it’s a moisturiser or serum that you would leave on all day, then do so. If it’s a mask or exfoliant that should only be left on for a certain amount of time, then do this and remove it at the right time.
If you’re going to react, you’ll begin to feel heat, itching, stinging and redness when you’re applying the product and, if this doesn’t calm within a few minutes…chances are this product isn’t right for you!
If you’ve received a treatment in salon, and your skin is feeling and looking luminous afterwards, the products are already doing their best work and are safe for you to use.