We don’t want to scare you but finding out your skin type is the first step to knowing how to take care of it, so you want to get it right, RIGHT? Getting it wrong could mean increased irritation and breakouts, which no one has time for.
We just wish that working out what the heck it is was a bit simpler. Some days we are convinced we are one type but by the next, we’re just not sure. Anyone else find themselves with this predicament? We thought as much, which is exactly why we recruited the help of Dr Munir Somji, professional dermatologist and expert in all things skin, to help us understand once and for all how to figure out your skin type.
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Dr Somji told us how the biggest misconception is that we all only have one skin type, which would explain our occasional mystification. He says that skin type is determined by a number of factors – environmental, hormonal and lifestyle. So while you could have dry skin for the majority of the month, around your period you may experience oily days and have to adapt your skincare regime accordingly.
“The starting point to determining skin type is working out your sebaceous gland activity and these can vary around the face and at different times of the month. So your skin type can change throughout your cycle. This means you could consider changing your skincare routine to align with your period,” he told us.
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Dr Somji recommends using salicylic acid around your period if things are getting oily.
“Most people have combination skin and a common mistake is treating the whole face the same. People need to tailor their skin regime for the individual needs. No two skins are the same ‘type’.”
He suggests keeping a ‘skin diary’ to get to know your own fluctuations.
“Look at your face – for example, if you go outside and then inside, do you have a flush – you might have sensitive skin. Pore size is normally indicator of a lot of fluctuating sebum production – skin that goes from dry to oily,” Dr Somji says.
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It can be tempting to reach for stronger cleansers but keep things gentle as oily skin can be easily aggravated. Then opt for a mattifying moisturiser to keep sebum at bay.
He also suggests taking lifestyle factors into consideration: “For example, sweating at the gym – this could affect your skin and cleansing regime. You need to figure out a routine for your lifestyle.”
Your skin type can also vary throughout your life and it will evolve as you age. It’s about finding a skincare routine that matches your skin for the stage it’s at.
60% is down to genetics; the rest is down to lifestyle and hormonal factors but Dr Somji reassures us that with the right self-diagnosis, anyone can have glowing skin.
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“Basic skin problems are usually a case of simple errors – over cleansing the skin strips skin and disrupts the balance of skin. Beaded exfoliators make problems worse by over-drying. It’s simple science, if you never washed your face it would clean naturally so don’t overdo things,” he advises.
Basically, your skin type isn’t as simple as the cosmetics counter might have you think so stop thinking in categories and try a more individualistic approach to get the results you want.