What do you mean by skin type?
The different skin types were first identified in the early 1900s. And, even as different alternatives began emerging over the years, the original ones continue to be the most popular across the globe.
Depending on your family history and environmental conditions, you are born with a particular skin type. But, over the years, as your skincare routine changes and the sun and age start to take their toll, you may experience an alteration in the type of skin you have.
Before we get into identifying your skin type, let’s find out why it’s important to know this in the first place.
What makes it so important to know your skin type?
It's essential to understand your skin type in order to practice the most effective skincare. If you misdiagnose your skin type and use the wrong products, it can irritate the skin, causing it to dry out, produce extra oil, cause irritation, breakouts, and accentuate wrinkles.
It's essential to be aware of your skin type and its unique requirements in order to build a skincare routine that keeps you looking your best.
What are the different skin types?
There are five major types of skin that a person can have:
- Dry skin - Dry skin is characterized by a lack of moisture and appears thin, taut, dull, and rough. If your skin barrier is impaired or if you're exposed to too much heated and dry air, you may end up with dry skin. Severe dryness can cause the skin to develop patches, flake in parts, crack open, or peel, leaving it looking dull and tight. The natural process of ageing also causes your skin to become drier.
- Oily skin - The production of sebum, the skin's natural oil, is more than usual in oily skin. Excess oiliness may make the skin look greasy or glossy, and it's frequently accompanied by skin problems like blackheads, whiteheads and enlarged pores. Because blocked pores are a key cause of breakouts, persons with oily skin are more likely to experience them.
- Combination skin - Dryness on the cheeks is common in people with combination skin, so finding a moisturiser that isn't too heavy but substantial enough to maintain moisture where it's needed most is critical. Combination skin is less likely to experience breakouts on the cheeks and has a well-moisturized T-zone.
- Sensitive skin - Sensitive skin has an increased sensitivity to stimuli, including certain skincare products. Some people only experience slight irritation when exposed to stress, while others suffer from redness, itching, and pain on a daily basis.
- Normal skin - People with normal skin have a balanced complexion that is neither dry nor oily, and it has low sensitivity or irritation susceptibility. A smooth texture, small pores, and adequate circulation characterise normal skin, resulting in a bright, even complexion.
The best skin type tests to find out yours
One of four easy tests can quickly establish your skin type, and these tests are easy to perform as they rely mostly on touch and observation, and are carried out by evaluating skin in its natural form, paying close attention to the amount of oil present.
- The blotting test
Leave your face alone for three hours after washing it with a gentle cleanser. To measure the amount of oiliness on your skin, place a piece of blotting paper over various regions of your face for several minutes.
If the paper sticks to your skin and you see oil spots after removing it, you probably have oily skin. If the paper clings but there are no greasy areas, your skin type is probably normal; if it doesn't stick at all, your skin type is probably dry.
When the paper on combination skin comes into touch with the T-zone, oily patches appear on the paper. But, this test will not reveal whether or not you have sensitive skin.
- The pressure test
The purpose of the pressure test is to determine the suppleness of your skin, where you simply have to apply pressure on your face to test its suppleness.
Dry skin is caused by a lack of natural oils and lipids, which make your skin elastic and flexible; if your skin does not bounce back soon after applying pressure, it is most likely dry. After applying pressure, normal and oily skin types will immediately return to normal.
- The wash test
If you don't want to wait an entire day for your findings, you may do the wash test, which has the added benefit of producing quicker results. Simply wash your face with a gentle cleanser, pat dry gently, and go about your day for the next 30 minutes.
Examine your skin at the conclusion of the waiting time and search for the indications described above to establish your skin type.
- The day test
Use a gentle cleanser in the morning, gently pat your skin dry, and leave it bare for the rest of the day. Examine the appearance and texture of your skin at the end of the day, and search for the unique indications associated with each skin type:
- Dry skin is tense and harsh to the touch, with a flaky appearance.
- Oily skin has a lustrous appearance and a smooth feel to it.
- The T-zone of combination skin is oily, while the rest of the face is dry or normal.
- Itchy and irritated sensitive skin might seem red or blotchy.
- The skin on normal skin is smooth and supple, with no symptoms of oiliness, dryness, or irritation.
Does dermatology define skin types the same way?
The dermatological community has always been critical of the five-type skin model because of the loopholes in it. People are often prone to displaying traits of more than one skin type and the change is often seasonal.
The Baumann Skin Type Indicator is just one of the many alternatives adopted by the dermatological community because of the level of accuracy that these systems impart.
Baumann Skin Type Indicator
In 2004, Dr. Leslie Baumann developed a skin type indicator that categorizes skin into 16 unique types. There are four parameters within the skin type indicator that can come up with unique combinations for each person.
- Dry (D) / Oily (O)
- Sensitive (S) / Resistant (R)
- Pigmented (P) / Nonpigmented (N)
- Wrinkle-prone (W) / Tight (T)
When identifying a person’s skin type, all four of the parameters are considered, which can result in 16 different combinations. Like, DSNT refers to someone who has dry, sensitive skin that is non-pigmented and tight.
The Baumann Skin Type Indicator is a much more holistic approach to skin type identification and makes it easier to pick out products that are going to be better suited for your skin. In short, you have a higher chance of going right with your skincare.
So, now what?
Now that you know your skin type, you should work with it to build a solid skincare regime that will keep your skin healthy, nourished and protected for much longer. If you happen to have sensitive skin prone to hormonal acne breakouts, try our Carmesi Hormonal Acne range, formulated with the most powerful acne-fighting ingredients - salicylic acid and Shatavari.