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Skin Types

Ever wonder what skin type you have? There are five main skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination and sensitive. Understanding the different types of skin and which one you have will help give you a better idea of how to treat acne breakouts and achieve smooth, clear skin.

Your skin type is usually determined by genetics, but there are daily habits and environmental factors that can worsen a skin condition. Each skin type has a specific set of characteristics and symptoms, and requires special attention. Keep reading to find out about your personal skin type and how to best care for it.

Normal Skin Type

Those with a normal skin type don’t generally describe their skin as oily or dry. When oiliness and dryness are present, it’s rare and tends to be easy to get rid of or resolve. When it comes to pore size, normal skin types feature small pores that are not engorged or easily visible. Normal skin doesn’t normally have a great excess of shine, and it also doesn’t tend to be cracked or flaky. Normal skin types usually exhibit few fine lines and wrinkles, and the skin’s tone is generally even, with no marked blemishes.

Even if you have a normal skin type with few blemishes, incorporating our tips for how to keep skin clear and following a proper skincare routine can keep your skin looking vibrant and healthy for the future. Normal skin is not a synonym for perfect skin and even those who characterize their skin as normal deal with the occasional blemish or other skin issues. It’s important to remember that skin changes over time as well, meaning those that have no skin problems currently could potentially develop issues with age and life events, including pregnancy and menopause. If your hormone levels change for any reason, or you happen to use a product that your skin is sensitive to, you may experience a hormonal acne breakout.

Dry Skin Type

If you have dry skin, you may feel a tightness in your skin. There may also be scaly patches or flaking. Those with dry skin types generally have almost invisible pores, and may suffer from premature wrinkles and regular irritation to the skin. 

What Causes Dry Skin?

The cause of dry skin can be attributed to a variety of factors. For some, dry skin is hereditary, as genetic predispositions can affect the amount of sebum produced in the skin’s oil glands. Sebum is responsible for keeping our skin soft and supple.

Many assume that dry skin is due to a lack of moisture, but the water content of dry skin is generally found in similar levels to that of oily skin. Adding water to dry skin is actually counterproductive to treating this skin condition.

The Importance of Moisturizer for Dry Skin

For a skincare routine for dry skin, finding a moisturizer that helps replenish hydration is essential. Those with dry skin often suffer from slight allergic reactions and tend to benefit from creams instead of lotions when it comes to moisturizers, as they contain more oil, making it thicker and more moisturizing. The more oil found in a moisturizer, the better it can absorb throughout the epidermis’ barriers to help hydrate the tissue. Before adding a daily moisturizer to your routine, test it on a small portion of your skin to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

Oily Skin Type

Those with oily skin tend to notice a great deal of shine on their face, and may deal with terrible acne breakouts.

What Causes Oily Skin?

You've probably asked yourself: Why do I have oily skin? Oily skin is the result of both genetic factors and hormonal changes experienced in an individual’s lifetime. Those with a genetic predisposition to active oil glands produce a higher amount of sebum, an oily substance created to help keep the skin soft and hydrated. This oil flows from inside the epidermis to the surface of the skin through pores and hair follicles. When the body experiences a fluctuation in hormone levels, it signals the production of androgens, a male hormone present in both men and women.

The production of androgens stimulates an increase in sebum production, but when an excess of this oil is produced, it can expand the size of the skin’s pores and result in blockages that become pimples and other acne blemishes. Oily skin is more prone to acne breakouts, blackheads, whiteheads, and pustules or papules. Your pores may be more visible because of their size expansion, and your skin may appear greasy throughout the day. If you wear makeup, you may find it slides off quite easily.

How to Care for Oily Skin

Many individuals struggling with oily skin head straight for products that promise to dry out the skin, like acne treatments containing harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, but this can actually be counterproductive. Benzoyl peroxide and other drying ingredients may actually trigger your skin to work harder at producing more oil to compensate, resulting in oilier skin.

It’s important to lightly exfoliate oily skin, as the buildup of oil can cause dead skin cells to become trapped in the pores and lead to acne blemishes. Salicylic acid is a natural exfoliant that gently sloughs off dead skin cells that may result in pore blockages.

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