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What’s Your Skin Type?

Signs You Have NORMAL Skin

  • You have little pores along the T-zone
  • You rarely experience breakouts
  • You experience a slight oily shine at the end of the day
  • You rarely are sensitive to products

Here’s the deal: You’ve basically hit the skin jackpot. Almost anything you put on your face, whether it has a heavy, medium, or light consistency or a formulation that’s more oil-in-water or water-in-oil, is going to work fine for you. You’ve also probably skated through life with few blemishes, and your skin is relatively soft, bright, and firm. Skin-care focus: Maintain and protect your healthy skin through cleansing, hydration, and sun protection.

Signs You Have DRY Skin

  • You have very few visible pores and blackheads
  • You have flaky or rough skin
  • Your skin constantly feels tight or itchy
  • You don’t experience an oily shine

Your skin is flaky and rough and it needs to be nourished! Apply products with more of an oily, emollient base to protect your skin’s barrier function. With your skin, you’re more prone to visible signs of aging (fine lines and wrinkles). The upside of dry skin? You have small pores, you don’t have to deal with an oil slick forehead, and you rarely have blemishes or acne.

Skin-care focus: Be vigilant about moisturizing and hydrating. Look for humectants that will bring back moisture to the skin and support a healthier barrier function.

Signs You Have OILY or ACNE-PRONE Skin

  • You frequently experience breakouts and blackheads
  • You have dilated or enlarged pores across the face
  • You experience an oily shine and can feel oily residue when you touch your skin
  • You are currently experiencing a breakout

Unlike your dry-skinned counterparts, your skin has lots of oil. This means your barrier function will be protected with natural oils, so you’ll be looking youthful for longer. Unfortunately, excess oil also means the danger of acne breakouts! Gel creams (water-based formulas) work well with your skin type. Also, oil cleansers work wonders to gently remove sebum in the morning and at night

Skin-care focus: Avoid clogged pores and control oil production by exfoliating with an ingredient such as salicylic acid. Use lightweight geltype, water-based products to keep from adding oil to your skin and avoid emollients such as shea butter and lanolin. Finish off with oil-free makeup. Cleansing is important here, especially if you have acne-prone skin.

Use a gentle oil cleanser to remove your natural sebum. Don’t use harsh exfoliators (with granules) over active breakouts. You’d benefit from antiinflammatory and antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil. Make sure you protect with sunscreen, as acne eruptions are technically wounds and are subject to post-inflammatory pigmentation, meaning that they can darken permanently from sun exposure.

Signs You Have HORMONAL ACNE

  • Your acne doesn’t respond to topical treatments
  • Your acne is primarily below the cheekbones and underneath the jaw
  • Your acne is cystic, which means pimples are deeply embedded in the skin and painful
  • Your acne flares up the week before or the week of your period

If you think this might be your case, talk to your dermatologist about having your hormone levels checked, or speak to an herbalist or nutritionist who can help you identify lifestyle tweaks to help find balance in your body and skin.

Signs You Have COMBINATION Skin

  • You have visible pores along your T-zone (nose, forehead, and even some on your cheeks)
  • You are oily around the T-zone, but rough and dry elsewhere
  • Your skin is really indecisive—you’ve had to deal with flaky, dry patches and acne at the same time

Skin-care focus: Don’t be afraid to use targeted treatments for different areas of your face. If you have an oily T-zone, use a BHA exfoliator and lightweight gel-type moisturizer there and a creamier, oil-based moisturizer in the dryer areas.

Signs You Have SENSITIVE Skin

  • Your skin burns or itches when exposed to certain products or environments
  • Your skin turns red or becomes bumpy easily

I would recommend making sure the products you use don’t contain fragrances or dyes, both of which can be irritating. Avoid products that are highly alkaline and strong chemical exfoliators. Also, if you can, first do a patch test of a product on your arm before purchasing.

Skin-care focus: Whether your skin is oily or dry, your first priority is to find gentle skin-care products that don’t contain added fragrances or abrasive scrubs to avoid breakouts, redness, and irritation.