- When building a skincare routine, it’s essential to know your skin type.
- Dry skin has compromised skin barriers.
- Breakouts may also be caused by genes, stress, hormones, diet, and sleeping habits.
Why skin type matters
You can’t properly care for your skin if you don’t know what it needs. While everyone’s skin is unique, knowing your skin type can help you determine what kind of formulas your skin needs, and what you should avoid.
Becoming familiar with your skin type can help you save time and resources figuring out what works best for your skin and what can trigger irritation or acne.
Understanding your skin type
1. Dry skin
If you have dry skin, your skin may feel tight after cleansing, and you will likely experience cracks and flakes.
Having dry skin may also indicate that you have a compromised skin barrier due to water quickly evaporating from your skin. As you age, your skin may also become naturally drier. Your skin’s production of natural oil and structural components, like collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, decreases and breaks down as you grow older, so it’s crucial to lock in as much moisture as you can.
2. Acne-prone skin
Acne-prone skin is often oily, but it can also be dry, combination, or sensitive. Board-certified dermatologist Jeanine Downie, M.D., co-host of The GIST Show, says being acne-prone may be caused by genes, hormonal fluctuations, stress, diet, and sleeping habits. This means that for some people, getting breakouts may be due to factors that are out of their control.
3. Oily skin
Having oily skin means you have increased oil production all over your face, and not just on the T-zone. Oily skin is often prone to acne because sebum can become trapped in the pores and cause breakouts. However, it doesn’t always mean that having oily skin makes you acne-prone.
4. Combination skin
Downie explains that combination skin is oily in the T-zone and dry on the cheeks. As such, you tend to get breakouts around your forehead, nose, and chin, where oil typically builds up. After cleansing, your skin may feel tight on your forehead and cheeks, but shiny on your nose and chin.
5. Sensitive skin
Most experts define sensitive skin as one with a compromised barrier. Sensitive skin cannot tolerate harsh cosmetics products, environments, or diets since they can cause uncomfortable reactions, says Purshiva Patel, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare.
It’s important to note that any skin type can be sensitive, but since dry skin often comes with a compromised skin barrier, those two skin types seem to go hand in hand.
The best skincare ingredients for your skin type
For dry skin
Board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, M.D., recommends ingredients like ceramides, colloidal oat, aloe, and shea butter for dry skin. These ingredients lock in moisture and restore the skin barrier. She also recommends using cleansers and soaps that don’t contain harsh surfactants that can strip the skin’s natural oils and cause further dryness.
For moisturizers, opt for a thick and rich moisturizer, and top it with an oil to lock the water in.
For acne-prone skin
Use non-comedogenic ingredients that unclog pores, like salicylic acid. Downie suggests avoiding products that contain heavy oils, mineral oil, and shea butter.
You may also try incorporating some AHAs or BHAs to unclog pores, and tea tree oil to soothe inflammation and kill acne-causing bacteria.
For oily skin
For oily skin that is acne-prone, try mixing and matching here with the ingredients mentioned above. But if you’re not prone to breakouts, Idriss suggests using oil-balancing ingredients, like niacinamide, to regulate sebum production, mattifying moisturizers, and products with charcoal and clay to draw excess oil from the pores.
For combination skin
Clarifying and hydrating products can address combination skin. If you want to use acids to unclog sebum plugs, use a soothing, calming moisturizer to balance it out. You may also try applying different moisturizers to different areas.
For sensitive skin
For sensitive skin, Downie recommends limiting the use of irritating ingredients, such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and retinol. She suggests hyaluronic acid, squalane, ceramides, shea butter, and colloidal oat to help support the skin barrier.
Source: Mind Body Green