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Identifying Your Skin Type

We all have a skin type, and most of us actually experience various skin types due to variables like the weather, elevation, age or hormonal changes. Skin types tend to change over time, from puberty through adolescence and well into mature adulthood.
Your skin care regimen should depend on the type of skin you have. Choosing the right products for your skin is important because generic products meant to accommodate "all skin types" can exacerbate problems such as an overproduction in oil, problematic breakouts, redness, dryness and more.

In order to help you easily identify your skin type and find the most appropriate skin care products for you, we've compiled a list of the most common skin types, their symptoms, their causes and some affordable remedies you'll find right here at Skin Obsession.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is a common problem for many. If you have oily skin, you'll most obviously notice an overproduction in sebum, the clinical term for your skin's oil, but you'll also be more prone to other symptoms. Because an overproduction in oil causes pores to clog, oily skin is also commonly associated with:

  • large pores
  • blackheads
  • blemishes
  • pimples

Oily skin tends to be made worse by puberty, stress and humidity, but did you know that taking excessive measures to remove oil from your skin also contributes to the problem?

We tend to think of oil as a problem, but without it, your complexion would become dry, flat and saggy. Sebum protects the skin and keeps it healthy as well as naturally plump and vibrant.

The answer lies in using skin care products that remove excess surface oils without over-drying. By allowing your skin to maintain its own balancing moisture, you reduce the excess production of oil your body uses to overcompensate after a complete removal of oils from the skin.

Tips for accomplishing this balancing act:

  • Use a toner and not an astringent. Toners gently restore the pH of the skin while an astringent contains alcohol, which causes skin to dry out. Apply a charcoal mask to draw out dirt, bacteria and toxins from pores. Charcoal masks also provide gentle and natural exfoliation, leaving skin smooth without over-drying.
  • A gentle peel can go a long way. Use one of our gentle chemical peels that incorporate lactic acid derived from milk or glycolic acid derived from sugar to remove bacteria and impurities from pores while promoting cell turnover. The result is a fresh complexion that's free of excess oils and blemishes.
  • After using products designed to draw out oil, dirt and toxins, replenish your skin with the right kind of moisture. While adding moisture back in might seem counterintuitive, products like jojoba and emu oil actually mimic the natural components of your own sebum. Your skin will readily absorb these oils, restoring balance to stressed skin that's previously been stripped of moisture.

Combination Skin

When we say combination skin, we are referring to:

1. A skin type where oil is seen most commonly on forehead, nose and chin while other areas of the face are predominantly dry.
2. Skin that is affected by various skin conditions such as acne and dryness or rosacea and wrinkles.
3. Skin types that change with times of year, throughout hormonal changes or your location.

Combination skin tends to be affected by genetics, using the wrong kinds of skin care products, weather, aging and hormonal changes.
When dealing with combination skin, we are forced to address several skin issues at once. This tends to be difficult as most products are geared toward one specific skin type. Having combination skin may mean using several products on different parts of the face. However, there are some general guidelines to live by when dealing with combination skin.

  • Use a toner to restore the pH balance to help reduce your skin’s overcompensation for too much or too little moisture.
  • Use a gentle soap-free cleanser, and stay away from cleansers containing too many ingredients, harsh chemicals or fragrances.
  • Use a gentle exfoliant to increase cell turnover. Exfoliating will uncover new skin that's free of oils, blemishes or fine lines.
  • A gentle peel can even help with skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. Wear sun screen to prevent additional damage to the skin.

Sensitive Skin

Having sensitive skin can be frustrating, and trying new products tends to be a gamble most of us won't take. From skin care products to detergents to sunscreens, providing for your sensitive skin can be a struggle. Most commonly, those suffering from sensitive skin will experience:

  • uneven skin tone
  • breakouts
  • rosacea
  • redness
  • itching
  • burning
  • dryness
  • eczema

These conditions tend to be made worse by soaps, fragrances, certain types of sunscreens, makeup and stress.

In order to soothe sensitive skin and prevent irritation, we recommend sticking with products that are made from natural or organic ingredients which have been appropriately tested (never on animals) and whose chemical makeup closely resembles your skin's natural components.

  • Use gentle, soap-free cleaners that contain soothing ingredients that don't strip away moisture. Exfoliate using only gentle products, and don't over-exfoliate.
  • Stick to moisturizers that are light and those that mimic your skin's own sebum, such as emu or jojoba oil.
  • Use a toner, not an astringent. A toner will restore your skin's natural pH balance while an astringent contains alcohol that will dry out sensitive skin.

Acne-Prone Skin

No one is immune to acne breakouts. From puberty to hormonal changes and genetics, acne can happen to anyone. If you're suffering from adolescent acne, sporadic breakouts or adult breakouts that won't clear up, you require a skin care regimen that's tailored to you.

We've all heard the "facts": Acne is made worse by eating greasy foods, consuming chocolate or not washing enough. But the truth couldn't be further from it. Acne is caused by hormonal changes and bacterial infections in pores, not by what you eat or how often you wash your face.

While a cleanser specifically formulated to treat and prevent breakouts should be a daily part of your skin care routine, breakouts can't simply be contained by over-washing. As a matter of fact, breakouts are made worse by over-washing because by stripping moisture from the skin, you are stimulating an over-production of sebum which clogs pores and perpetuates the breakout cycle.

Breakouts are also made worse by touching your face, washing with harsh products, picking at or popping pimples, as well as using too many products or products that simply don't work.

To get the clear skin you wanted yesterday:

  • Keep skin clean but not by over-washing. Be aware of how often you touch your face to reduce the introduction of new bacteria to already-infected pores.
  • Choose toners over astringents.
  • Use professional products designed specifically for the treatment of acne to remove impurities from pores and increase healthy cell turnover. Avoid grocery store treatments.

Dry Skin

Dry skin can be the result of genetics or age, but many people also experience dry skin when travelling, during the winter months or at higher altitudes. Whether you have sporadically dry skin or your skin is consistently dry, you are likely familiar with symptoms such as:

  • rough and dull complexion
  • reduced elasticity
  • visible lines
  • itchiness
  • scaling
Dry skin is made worse by aging and hormonal changes, weather, sun, heat, extended exposure to water, products containing soaps and inadequate moisturizers.

But having dry skin doesn't exclude you from being able to use the same quality and types of skin treatments used by people with average skin. The key is to use products most appropriate for dry skin: those that can clean, exfoliate and purify without over-drying. Replenishing skin with the proper moisture after your treatments is crucial, and a moisturizer that will absorb quickly and readily is therefore also a must.

To reduce that dull complexion for smooth and beautiful skin all over, try the following:

  • Use a light peel or microdermabrasion crystals to slough away rough skin, revealing new skin that will readily accept moisture.
  • Use a quality night cream that's designed to rehydrate skin with proven ingredients and few additives.
  • Use a serum alongside a moisturizer to allow moisture to penetrate where topical lotions alone can't.
  • Avoid facial products containing soap or alcohol.

Aging Skin

If you're not familiar with aging skin yet, you will be eventually. As skin matures, you'll notice common and unavoidable symptoms such as:

  • uneven skin tone
  • lost elasticity
  • sunspots
  • wrinkles
  • dryness
These symptoms are exacerbated by time and are inevitable, although everyone experiences aging on a slightly different timeline.

But we're not here to scare you out of aging. Getting older comes with many benefits, and we don't believe in taking drastic measures to hide your mature beauty. At Skin Obsessions, we simply aim to provide every skin type with treatments that work best for optimal results that will leave your skin nourished, soft and radiant no matter what your age.

Because your skin will be prone to dryness as it ages, we recommend a similar treatment regimen as for dry skin types. Add an overnight moisturizer, don't use soap-based products, use a peel or microdermabrasion product, and supplement your daytime moisturizer with a serum.

Unsure about the difference between a serum and a moisturizer? Check out this additional article on the topic.

Additionally, we recommend that you:

  • Use an under-eye cream because the skin under your eyes is thinnest, and this is where wrinkles and sagging commonly begins.
  • Occasionally include a medium-level chemical peel to your regular skin care regimen to promote healthy cell turnover while removing the upper layers of skin where wrinkles and discoloration form.

Our goal is to provide you with thorough and informative literature about all of our facial care products. If you're not sure which product is right for you, contact us with your inquiries.