It is important to know the type of skin you have in order to follow the proper skin care regime. Skin types fall under four different categories – dry, oily, normal and combination skin. An easy way of finding out your skin type is by performing a simple test when you get up in the morning. Use a soft tissue to wipe your face first thing in the morning.
If the tissue turns greasy it indicates oily skin type; if the tissue only has traces of grease on it then you have a combination skin type with an oily T-zone; if the tissue does not have any grease on it then you have dry skin or normal skin. To find out whether you have dry skin or normal skin wash your face with soap and cold water. Let the face dry naturally. If the skin feels stretched out and cries for moisturizing then you have dry skin. Suppleness and smoothness after washing the face with soap and water indicates normal skin type.
Let us look into the four skin types individually to understand each skin type better.
A skin without acne, pimples, pigmentation, blackheads, whiteheads or dead skin cells is indicative of a normal skin type. Usually normal skin is healthy in appearance and has plenty of elasticity and suppleness. The skin is smooth and blemish free. A pimple or two might make an appearance during hormonal changes in the body. But these will fade away soon without any treatment and not even leave scars.
People with normal skin can get away without following any specific skin care routine. However, in order to maintain a healthy skin washing the skin with a mild cleanser is important. In the morning wash your face with a mild soap or facial cleansing beads. If you don’t want to invest in expensive cosmetic products then simply wash face with a paste of one tablespoon Fuller’s earth and a pinch of turmeric. Use baking soda three times in a week to exfoliate and clean the pores of any dirt and grime. Remove stale makeup with rose water in summer and baby oil in winter. Use a mild alcohol free toner to maintain the ph balance of the skin. Moisturize your skin before going to bed and wear a sunscreen in the morning under your makeup.
People with dry skin are prone to flaky and unhealthy looking skin. The skin looks dull and has no glow to it. Cheeks and areas around the eyes and lips are powdery white in appearance. Dry skin causes wrinkles to appear sooner. Some people start getting wrinkles in their teenage years itself. Harsh winters further deteriorate the appearance of dry skin. Broken veins, dry patches on the skin, dry and painful blisters on the heels are some of the problems that dry skin faces during winters. Dry skin is the result of sebaceous glands not producing enough oils to moisturize the skin. Hence the skin becomes dehydrated. The magic mantra for taking care of dry skin is moisturization and lots of it. Dry skin requires plenty of external moisturization in order to maintain the oil balance of the skin.
Those with dry skin should prefer using creams instead of lotions for moisturization. Creams are oil based unlike the water based lotions. Hence creams are ideal for moisturizing dry skin. There are a variety of creams and oils available in the market. Ideally, creams with almond oil, mineral oil and coconut oil are best for dry skin. Body butters are also a great way of moisturizing dry skin and keeping it smooth and supple.
Regimes like cleansing should be done with baby oil. Use natural scrubs like oatmeal-cream mixture for getting rid of flaky skin. Do not use harsh scrubs for exfoliation. Moisturize after every cleansing. Blot any extra cream using a tissue.
In appearance oily skin is dull and greasy. The skin is shiny and has visible enlarged pores. These pores are filled with dirt and grime. The extra oil secreted by the sebaceous glands fills up the pores and attracts the dust and bacteria in the atmosphere. Oxidization of these accumulated dirt and oil results in formation of blackheads which give rise to acne and pimples. Hence people with oily skin often suffer from extreme forms of acne.
It is important to take good care of oily skin in order to avoid formation of acne and pimples. Cleansing the skin properly is the first step in doing so. Wash the face with a medicated face wash and lukewarm water. Moisturize the skin using a mild lotion (never a cream). Use minimal makeup on the skin. Always remove the makeup using rose water and cleansing milk. Wash the face with the medicated soap after removing the makeup. This will help remove traces of cleansing milk on the skin. Dry the face and use a witch-hazel based toner to maintain the ph balance of the skin. Do not use alcohol based toner as this will dry out the skin and tempt you to use cream on the face. Exfoliate using mild scrub like paste of coarsely powdered oatmeal and honey.
People with combination skin type have to be extra careful in following a skin care regime. Combination skin usually means dry cheeks with a greasy nose and forehead. The nose and forehead should be cleaned using an astringent or rose water. This will help keep the areas non-shiny and non-greasy. Dry areas like cheeks and areas around eyes and lips should be kept moisturized using a mild lotion. Select a proper face wash for combination skin. The market has many brands offering soaps and liquid face washes for combination skin. Tea tree oil based washes are the best for combination skin since tea tree oil is good for both oily as well as dry skin because of its anti-bacterial properties.
Use of makeup on the T-zone should be minimal. However, cheeks can be highlighted using cream based blushes. Remove makeup using mild cleansing milk. Moisturize cheeks and eyes at night before going to bed.
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