Have you ever wondered why certain skincare products work well for some people but not so well for others? Well, there are a number of reasons for that. But one of the main reasons is because people have different skin types. The main types are oily, dry, and combination, and they require different things to stay clear and healthy.
Understanding your skin type and tailoring your skincare routine is key to achieving a beautiful, glowing complexion. There are really only two things you need to do: identify your skin type and purchase the right skin care products. Here is your guide to fighting acne no matter what skin type you have.
Step 1: Identify Your Skin Type
Knowing your skin type and building your skincare routine accordingly will improve the look and feel of your skin. It’s also the first step to treating a skin concern such as acne. If you don’t know, you won’t be able to tailor routines and treatments to your specific needs.
For instance, your skin type can significantly impact what acne treatment works best for you. Different skin types have varying levels of sensitivity, oiliness, dryness, and overall tolerance to specific ingredients or formulations. A treatment effective for oily skin may not be suitable for dry or sensitive skin and the reverse is also true. Here is what to look for when determining your skin type.
How do I know if I have oily skin? If your skin has a shiny, greasy appearance, then you probably have oily skin. Excess sebum and natural oils often result in clogged pores, trapped bacteria, and, occasionally, a less-than-ideal appearance. Those with oily skin deal with breakouts due to the overproduction of oil. Not only does it clog pores, but bacteria can thrive in those conditions.
What causes oily skin? People with oily skin have sebaceous glands that overproduce oils. But there are various reasons as to why someone might have oily skin. It tends to run in families, so it can be genetic. It can also be due to environmental factors, so weather and where you live can be causing it. Lifestyle factors such as a poor diet can also be an underlying cause.
How do I know if I have dry skin? If you have dry skin, you might experience a feeling of tightness or itchiness. Your skin may also appear to be flaking or red. Overall, your skin might just look and feel rough. When you have overly dry skin, your body naturally responds by trying to produce more oil. When the skin goes into oil production mode, the combination of oil with dry, flaky skin can clog pores and cause breakouts.
What causes dry skin? Many people who deal with dry skin only experience it temporarily or seasonally. In the winter months, you may notice that your skin is more dry. Whether or not you have dry skin also depends on your age, living environment, amount of sun exposure, and overall health. The best thing you can do is moisturize, drink plenty of water, and make necessary tweaks to your skincare lineup.
How do I know if I have combination skin? Combination skin is when dry skin and oily skin co-exist. If you hear someone say they have an oily t-zone, then they have combination skin. The areas on your face known as your t-zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) have more oil glands. So, it’s natural to be more oily in those spots. You may also experience more breakouts in these areas. Needless to say, treating two entirely different skin types can be a pain.
What causes combination skin? Combination skin is a very common skin type, and several factors contribute to it. Oftentimes, it’s just genetics. Other factors like weather, hormones, and aging can cause you to have this trait.
Step 2: Find the Right Skincare Products
Once you know your skin type, it’s time to find the right products for treating acne. Each skin type comes with its own unique challenges and must be treated differently.
What it really boils down to is perfecting every product in your skincare routine. Additionally, when you add new products to your routine, make sure they’re right for your skin (more on that later). Here’s how to treat acne for every skin type:
Oily skin – Find a cleanser that removes the excess oil that causes acne without stripping the skin of too many natural oils. Foaming cleansers are a great option for this type of deep clean. Use a lightweight moisturizer, perhaps a gel formula. Consider a retinoid for oily skin, too. It can help regulate oil production and prevent breakouts.
Dry skin – Choose a gentle, hydrating cleanser with minimal ingredients. Wash your face one to two times a day at most. Using a cleanser with fragrance or too many ingredients can bother an already irritated dry face. Over-cleansing can also cause issues. Avoid sun exposure as much as possible, always wear SPF, and spot-treat pimples. And obviously, moisturize often.
Combination skin – Use a gentle cleanser and a balancing toner. Exfoliate a few times per week to clear out clogged pores that you might have in oily zones. Knowing how to moisturize combination skin can be tough, so it may take some experimentation to find out what you like. In general, look for something noncomedogenic so it won’t clog pores. If you have an extreme case of combination skin, two moisturizers may be best. Use a lightweight moisturizer for oily areas and a richer formula for dry areas.
Ingredients to Look for and Ingredients to Avoid
When looking for any new products, it’s important that you know what to look for and what to avoid. Those with oily skin should look for oil-free, water-based skincare products. If you have dry skin, hyaluronic acid can be beneficial, but avoid products with too many ingredients. More specifically, avoid fragrances, parabens, alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid. Lastly, if you have combination skin, follow similar rules as if you had dry skin. Don’t use anything too irritating, and look for hydrating products that won’t make you look greasy.
Each skin type has its own unique challenges. But once you assess your skin and determine your skin type, treating common skin concerns becomes much easier. So many people struggle because they’re using products that aren’t right for them. But when you take the time to learn and understand your skin, you’ll reap the benefits.