Updated: Sep 19
Our skin is only as good as what we put on it and in it. Your skin IS what you eat.
Skin types are as unique as a finger print. One product doesn't fit all and we need to pay particular attention to help it flourish. Just as we learn what products help our hair thrive so should we take the time to learn our skin types. Remember- whatever your skin type (normal, oily, dry, sensitive, combination) you want to keep the three most important things in finding the perfect products to keep your skin healthy; a gentle cleanser, a moisturizer that locks in hydration and a protector high in anti-oxidants.
There are 6 main skin types and they sometimes depending on your genetic make up can cross. This can make for a difficult find especially if you are dealing with sensitive skin but you suffer from acne. Most conventional acne products tend to be a bit rough on the skin with the ingredients used to battle acne which makes for aggravated skin that can tend to be overly dried out.
Here are some skin types and the characteristics behind them:
“Normal” skin means that there are no extreme issues to be dealt with. The sebum, or the oil naturally produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands, is on regulated production. This means your skin is neither very dry nor very oily. The goal here is to find products to maintain that balance. Changes in the skin may be subtle. Don't assume that just because you have normal type skin that you can pretty much use any type of skin product. Be careful about keeping the balance of your skin's sebum production. If you use say a facial product formulated for oily skin you may actually be doing more harm than good. Because you would be dry your skin out or if using a product specifically for dry skin you may over - moisturized and clog your pores. Even in the natural world, pay attention to how your skin reacts to products. Even with there being natural ingredients some natural oils may leave your skin feeling oily or tight or itchy and dry.
Often seen as problem skin, this skin type actually has the benefit of staying soft and resilient much longer than others – and taking much longer to show wrinkles. But the over-active sebaceous glands can cause unwanted shine, and in some cases, acne. Because of this, people with "oily" skin tend to do a-lot of over-cleaning, which damages the skin, drying it out and causing it to produce more oil. Be gentle, stop treating your skin like the enemy. Look out for ingredients that remove oil without drying out your face. Natural ingredients
like Willow Bark can help remove excess oils and even fight acne, as well, Tea Tree Oil, and Aloe Vera. Green clay is also a great friend to oily skin, giving the skin a chance to help restore balance of it's. pH levels. Facial masks are a good friend to have in your skin care arsenal. Green French clay is a great one for oily skin and Bentonite helps when you have oily and are prone to acne. Clays help to absorb excessive sebum that those with oily skin produce, and help prevent forms of acne like blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples. You might want to check the label to see if the product is ‘non-comedogenic’ (doesn’t clog pores). An exfoliating facial bar would help to open the pores to help alleviate excessive oils.
When dealing with dry skin the battle of spot and blackheads is not seen as often as with other skin types. However, itchiness and tightness are common problems since the skin doesn’t produce enough of its own softening sebum. This means it’s very important to make sure the products you want for your dry skin won’t strip your skin’s oils even further. Natural bars enriched with olive oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, kokum butter, shea butter, and aloe vera
, can cleanse your skin without stripping it of the natural oils it does try to hold on to. Then follow it up with a non - comedogenic face serum like with rose-hips oil, hemp seed oil, apricot oil to name a few. The myth that oils on the skin can clog your pores isn't true. Yes there are some oils, yes even some natural oils that have hire comedogenic ratings than others which can cause breakouts. But the ones I recommended have low numbers between 0-2 and they absorb into the skin rather quickly without leaving your skin with a greasy residue.
This skin type can be kind of tricky. With the need of dual products to help balance that t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) area it can be difficult finding the best product and most times you need to get two types. One for the oily and one for the dry areas. But err on the side of mild when looking for products. You want ingredients that will gently remove dirt and extra oil in the areas that have them while keeping the rest of your skin calm. Of course you may need to purchase multiple products to get this desired effect. Jojoba, Olive Squalene, Rosehip oils are great moisturizers for combination skin. You do get the best of both worlds when using them. For cleansers Bars with milk in them are great for this skin type, it gently exfoliates while cleansing the extra oils but never striping the skin and moisturizing the dry patches.
If you suffer from sensitive skin, your priority is to be as gentle with it as possible. Look for soaps without perfumes, colorants, sulfates, alcohol, or preservatives. In fact, the fewer ingredients listed on a label, the more likely you will be to have success with the product. Natural ingredients can be your friends, but some natural substances can still be quite harsh on the skin. Gentle ingredients milk, oatmeal, carrot, honey, Chamomile, and Calendula put in soap can be a great find. Some people have also found the Sea Buckthorn and Neem to help keep skin care as gentle as possible. Exfoliating soaps can be a risk, depending on how sensitive your skin is. If you do exfoliate, make sure the ‘abrading’ ingredient is not too hard or sharp; say no to crushed pits and walnut powder, these can be very damaging to any skin type. Those should only be used on harder extremities like knees elbows and heels.
If you are unsure of your skin type and can't get to a dermatologist, a simple way to get an idea of what products you should be looking for is- cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser let dry and wait 15-20 minutes then document symptoms if you have any. This will definitely give you a feel or an idea of what you should and should not put on your skin.
Be an advocate for your skin. You want to keep it as healthy for as long as possible. Remember, 1 gentle cleanser, 2 moisture that locks hydration and 3 products that protect from the elements. This recipe makes for a meal your skin will love you for. And even if it is still difficult for you to find the perfect product combination check with your dermatologist they may be able to help steer you to natural products that will be the best fit.