A commitment to a regular program of basic skin care is one of the best steps you can take to improve your health as well as self-esteem. The cosmetic industry has identified 4 skin-type categories namely; normal, oily, dry and combination. The last one is the most common type, and yet the most confusing. How do you care for this all-encompassing skin type?
Finding Your Skin Type
Almost everyone at some time or another, if not all the time, has combination skin. Physiologically, the T-zone have more oil glands than other parts of the face. So if you were to follow the usual tests done by beauty experts, everyone would have this. But that’s not true. To determine the type you have, do this test instead:
- Wash and dry your face as you normally would.
- Leave your face free of any products for an hour or so.
- After one hour, do the blot test and press a tissue against your forehead nose, chin, and cheeks.
- Look at the tissue. If there are no residues, then you have normal skin. If there are skin particles or flakes, then you have oily skin. You have combination if the oil is limited to your T-zone.
What Influences This?
Aside from the test above, you should know what influences your skin’s type so that you can effectively evaluate the proper skin care to follow. The factors that need to be considered are:
A. Internal Influences:
- Hormonal changes
- Genetic predisposition (oily vs dry, prone to breakouts, sensitive, etc.)
- Medications that you may be taking
B. External Influences:
- Skin care routine
- Failure to wear sun protection or inadequate SPF
- Secondhand smoke
These factors sometimes overlap, so keep that in mind when determining your type.
Changing Skin Type
Remember also that your skin type is not forever. If your routine focuses on one type alone, it can become obsolete the season changes, or your stress levels increase, or you experience hormonal changes, and/or whatever life may bring you. Listen to your body, and adjust accordingly.
Following a Routine
Once you have determined the type, the next step is to develop a routine specifically for that type. The good news is that a routine need not be complicated to be effective. The basics still apply, that is, cleanse, tone and moisturize. With combination skin, organic products work best. Use raw honey to clean. It has healing ingredients to stave off dryness, as well as moisturizing properties. It’s rich in antioxidants and has antiseptic properties to ward off acne.
Toning, the next step, is very important step because this will help create balance. The uneveness is usually due to the dirt and make-up residue that is left on. Use a cucumber and distilled water solution or rose water to remove excess dirt. Avoid astringent product as it may strip away the natural oils.
Finally, apply moisturizer on the skin. A mixture of glycerin and distilled water is good for this skin type. Massage it on your face. During winter time, add a drop of almond or lavender oil for added moisture. You can choose other kinds of oil if you like. If you are on your way out, do not forget to slather sun protection.
Caring for combination skin is not rocket science. The key is choosing the right ingredients. Learn what your skin likes, taking the factors stated above in consideration when following a proper routine.