Have you ever gone up to the skincare counter and asked for a new face cream and found after a couple of days that it just wasn’t moisturising enough or it was too rich?
That’s because knowing your skin type is only a small part of the problem.
There are 3 main skin types: Oily, Combination and Dry.
Lots of large open pores, blackheads especially on the forehead, nose and chin, and some spots. A layer of grease on your skin by midday and your skin is fairly often shiny and can be a little thick in texture.
Finer, drier skin on cheeks but open pores on nose, forehead and chin and some shine or oil on skin, especially on your nose by midday or tea time. This is the most common skin type.
No shine on skin. Often feels tight and sometimes a little flaky. Your pores are mostly quite tight and small and your skin is a fine, smooth texture.
The next thing to know is what your skin condition is.
Feels irritated easily by most products and reddens easily when exposed to many products. Make-up can make it feel irritated or suddenly very dry or sore. Sensitive skin can be caused by using skin care that is too harsh or perfumed for you. Exhaustion, stress and worry can make your skin easily irritated too.
Skin roughly over the age of 40 that may show lines around the eyes especially or have sagging in the skin tone. Although everybody’s skin gets to being “mature” in time, some lifestyle habits can worsen it, such as over exposure to the sun, too much booze, cigarettes or unhealthy food.
Can have the look sometimes of being silvery. If you look closely in the mirror and gently press your skin you see a lot of very tiny lines all over your face. Dehydration can be caused by not drinking enough plain water, too much salt in our diets, not enough fruit and veg, having the heating on when its cold (although we’re all going to, right?) and even air conditioning.
Very angry spots with yellow heads coming up frequently, very open pores, blackheads, may be very oily. It’s caused by fluctuating hormones and is most common in teenagers though it can occur at any age. The very first thing to do with acne is to see a doctor in order to find out what you are dealing with and to explore options.
When you know this you can go to the next (and best) bit.
What is your concern? Or: What bothers you about your skin the most?
For example, my skin is combination, mature and dehydrated. My concern is the mature part, I’m not very bothered about the combination part, but I can’t use too many heavy creams without it getting a bit blocked. So I use cleanser for normal skin or dry skin, exfoliate once a week with a scrub, a little clay mask once a fortnight and moisturiser for dry, dehydrated skin and a night oil for anti-ageing to keep lines at bay. This takes care of the little oiliness that I have but addresses my concerns with ageing as my main focus.
So what bothers you? Is it lines? Worry about it getting older? It feels tight? It’s really greasy? Firmness? Sagging under the eyes? Wrinkles around lips? Be honest with yourself because it really is important that you know what you want to work on.
Remember these items as you learn about your skin and remember that knowing your skin will help you choose the right skin care first time.
By the way, I love to hear how you get on so go ahead and share your own tips or questions, or if you found this useful, please do leave a comment.
Ps. My new book with lots more helpful information is available here