It would seem that it is rather difficult to analyse your skin properly. Research shows that four out of five women cannot correctly identify their own skin type. If you want to keep your skin healthy and beautiful, it is essential to know your skin type. After all, if you treat your skin with products that don’t suit your skin type, it will do it little good. For facial care, skin types are divided into the following categories:
Normal skin feels soft and supple, and has a smooth, even complexion without redness. The skin is neither greasy nor dry and the pores are barely visible. No irritations or blemishes (spots) are visible. Even though your skin has no problems, it is important to have the correct skin care to keep your face in balance and to counter ageing and wrinkles.
Moisture-deficient skin often feels rough, less supple and taut. Moreover, you can often see dehydration lines and a shine. The skin loses too much moisture due to damage to its external barrier. Lack of moisture can be a major cause of skin problems. You may also have problems with blemishes, because these are often caused by fatty emissions such as sebum, and these may well be present in a moisture-deficient skin. Moisture deficiency frequently results in dry skin. Care for moisture-deficient skin starts with hydration.
With dry skin, the skin’s barrier has been damaged and the skin has lost its natural capacity to function correctly. As a result, the skin may feel rough, taut and unpleasant, and exhibit flaky patches, crevices and dehydration wrinkles. One’s face may also appear dull and greyish. With dry skin, the amount of oils in the skin is reduced. This causes microscopic openings to appear in the top layer, through which the skin loses too much moisture. Dry skin is therefore sometimes referred to as oil-deficient skin. Care of dry skin starts with feeding and restoring the skin’s natural protective layer.
Oily skin is frequently a direct result of increased sebum production. The main feature of oily skin is that it shines and feels greasy. This gets worse throughout the day. With oily skin the pores are highly visible. Oily facial skin can be very troublesome, especially when it manifests itself as spots, blackheads or a shiny face. Such cases are also referred to as impure skin.
Impure skin can have a variety of causes. One of these causes is excessive sebum production. Sebum production is often affected by your hormonal balance. Teenagers and pregnant women are more inclined to be affected by it. You can recognise impure skin by the presence of spots, blackheads and widened pores. These impurities are often found on the forehead, nose and chin (also referred to as the T zone), but they can also occur on the cheeks, neck, shoulders, cleavage and back.
Most people have combination skin, with some oilier patches and some dryer patches. With combination skin, the cheeks are often dry while, conversely, the skin of the forehead, nose and chin (also referred to as the T zone) feels oilier. The pores of the T zone are often enlarged, whereas the pores on the cheeks are smaller. Furthermore, you may have problems with blackheads and be troubled by a shiny T zone during the day.
Fifty percent of people have a sensitive skin to some extent. This means that the skin reacts quickly to external stimuli and is more imbalanced than normal, which can lead to over-sensitivity and minor irritations. The skin is often thinner and has a finer structure. These stimuli therefore result more frequently in reactions, such and redness, blotches and a feeling of tautness. A sensitive skin often has extreme reactions to stimuli such as changes in temperature or weather, or the application of cosmetics.
Ageing skin from 35 years onward
After the age of 30, skin may start to display the first signs of ageing. For example, fine lines can appear on the forehead, between the eyebrows, around the mouth and next to the eyes (also known as ‘crow’s feet’). These are caused by a slowing of the body’s production of collagen and elastin in this period. Due to a lower collagen and elastin content, the skin starts to lose its elasticity. The main cause of ageing in the skin is UV radiation, which breaks down the elastin in the skin and accelerates the ageing process.
Ageing skin from 50 years onward
With skin over the age of 50, the ageing process is often very apparent. This is because the skin contains less collagen and elastin, and the capacity of the cells to retain moisture is lower. The skin is thinner and less elastic, and often feels dry. Moreover, wrinkles and deeper lines are frequently visible, and pigmented blemishes may appear. The skin may also become duller in colour.