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Article: What's your Type

What's your Type

What's your Type

It's so easy to get confused about skincare.  I find for many it is because they have their skin type all wrong when they come in to see me. Possibly because many counter clerks just ask you to tell them what your skin type iss rather than checking to see for sure. Let's see if we can shed some light on figuring out your skin type.

Dry, Oily, or Combination

Honestly,  there are only 3 skin types, Oily, Dry and Combination.  A skin type is something you can't change, you are born with it (although age and medication can strongly affect it).   All those other things like dehydrated, sensitive, acne, rosacea, those are just skin conditions just like aging, they are things that happen to your skin.  I promise to get to all of those later, but for today let us focus on skin type.

We need to know our skin type when we are picking out products to use because it is very easy to change the skin condition if you use the wrong one.  I see this so often on clients when they had super oily skin when they were teenagers that they continue to use products for oily skin way into their 40s and 50s.  Using the wrong products in this case often results in dry, tight, dehydrated skin that very quickly gets red and irritated.

Although it's nice to be called a genius when I take their Oxy away from them and give them something more skin type appropriate, I would love to just have people avoid this mess all together.

So how do I tell?  I ask a few questions...

How many hours after you wash your face do you feel like you see oil on your skin?

  • A: almost immediately or in 1-3 hours. Their skin is oily.
  • A: midday or 3-6 hours. Their skin is combination.
  • A: 6-9. Their skin is dry.
  • A: Never. Houston we have a problem.

How does your skin feel after you just wash it?

  • A: fine. Most likely oily
  • A: like I need moisturizer. Most Likely dry.

These are my first clues, but what if you are used to wearing the wrong moisturizers or something to mask the amount of oil you produce? This is a really common issue now that skincare has gotten so much more advanced, and why the answers to my second question are so vague.  This is when I like to use my spidey sense...touch.

The Touch Test

To check for oil production I start at the nose I glide my fingers lightly across the skin. If I feel my fingers start to 'drag' that's where the oil production stops. If they drag right as I move off the nose then I'm dealing with dry skin.  Mid cheek, just about under the iris then we have combination skin. and if I feel no drag all the way to the ear that's pretty obviously oily skin.

If you are lucky enough to see me at my spa, I always like to double check my findings with my Woods lamp (also referred to lovingly as the Black Light of Doom by one of my clients).  With this light I can see which oil glands are active as well as other spooky things you never wanted to know about your skin, MUWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA...

Do you think you may have your skin type all wrong?

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