What Is Your Skin Type?

Dry skin

Thin, delicate, transparent, matt surface, the pores are not visible. This skin type is intolerant to soap, sensitive to the wind, cold, UV rays. Dry skin is caused by dehydration, the insufficient activity of the sebaceous glands and by aging, common in people with fair skin. The feeling of tightness, reduced elasticity, redness on the cheeks and chin is inherent to the dry skin; wrinkles appear early on dry skin. While taking care of dry skin, it is important to compensate for the weak activity of the sebaceous glands by ample hydration and nutrition, to retain moisture in the skin. Dry skin ages faster.

Causes of dry skin

Heredity. The level of skin hydration, as well as, for example, eye color, tendency to gain weight, thinking abilities and thousands of other traits we inherit from our parents and grandparents, by a rather complicated mechanism of inheritance.

Age. With age, the production of sebum and sweat decreases. After about 45, the skin becomes dry; this is a drastic change especially if it was thin and delicate in younger ages.

External factors. Hereditary features in different environmental conditions may reveal themselves in various ways. Good skin condition will persist for a long time under ideal conditions of ambient temperature and humidity, the optimal level of solar irradiation, proper nutrition, and some other factors.

The other extreme – the constant aggressive attacks on the skin by both external and internal factors, leading to a rapid decline in its ability to self-regulate. Thus, the regular use of soap or improper cosmetics can cause severe dehydration of the skin layers.

Internal factors. The skin reflects the condition of the whole organism. The most common adverse effects on the skin caused by irregularities in the digestive, excretory and nervous systems. Dry skin can be one of the manifestations of various diseases, both internal and external, such as atopic dermatitis.

Sensitive skin

This skin type may be found in any age group. Its distinguishing features are the red veins and capillaries which are translucent through the skin. The appearance of such veins – the result of the bad elasticity of blood vessels, which is worsened by spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, the difference in temperature, ultraviolet rays – all that makes the blood vessels overly expand and contract. Such skin is very irritable and very sensitive to fragrance agents, so the sensitive skin care products do not contain fragrances.

Normal skin

Clean, smooth, fresh, matt surface, no visible pores.  The skin does not flake. No hypersensitivity. It produces enough moisture and sebum; it does not require special care. But, normal skin in its pure form is rare. It’s the perfect balance of naturally secreted moisture, sebum, and acids. The pores of the normal skin are not expanded. It feels soft; it is not shiny or scaly. As we age, it becomes prone to dryness. Needs supportive care.

Oily Skin

Has oily shine, slightly grey shade. Excessive skin oil affects nose, forehead, chin, cheeks, back, chest, head wherever there is hair. This kind of skin needs thorough cleansing in the morning and in the evening. It needs moisturising, but oily creams are contraindicated. Oily skin is the result of hyperactivity of the sebaceous glands. Signs of oily skin: enlarged pores, oily shine, and, often, comedones and acne. Oily skin stays elastic longer, is thicker, and ages slower, since oil production normalises with age. It is important to know that trying to completely clean the face from oil will lead to even more active oil secretion. It is necessary to remove just the excess of secreted oil.

Oily Skin and Hormones

Hyperactivity of sebaceous glands, which is characteristic of oily skin, is regulated by sex hormones to a considerable extent. Because of this, the skin is oilier during adolescence, the period with the highest levels of sex hormones. Towards the old age the hormone levels, as well as skin oil secretion, decrease. Sebaceous glands react to changes in hormone levels in all people, but their degree of sensitivity varies by person depending on genetic factors. Therefore, different people can have different skin oil levels with the same hormone levels.

Women may have noticeable changes in their skin complexion depending on the phase of their menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.

Comedones

One of the problems typical for oily skin is development of comedones. These may be either “blackheads” that block gland openings – black comedones (open comedones), or “whiteheads”. Unlike pustular elements whiteheads are not accompanied by inflammatory processes (reddening) – these are white comedones (closed comedones, milia).

Comedones appear because the sebaceous gland openings are blocked. The colour of black comedones is considered to be due to the “dirt” that has gotten in it from the outside. However, this is not true, since dust and other outside contaminants do not play an important role in this.

The black colour is due to the products of fat oxidation in skin oils, as well as dead cell residues containing melanin (the dark pigment), flaking off from the sebaceous gland walls.

The colour of white comedones is due to the colour of skin fat it contains. Since in the case of a closed comedone the fat makes no contact with the oxygen in the air, it does not get oxidised and thus retains its light colour.

Combination skin

Oily T-zone: forehead, nose and chin; in other areas, the skin is dry or normal. This is the most common type of skin, as the T-zone has the highest concentration of the sebaceous glands. The combination skin type requires different ways of care for each area. The skin care should depend on the season: In winter, the skin is exposed to cold weather conditions and central heating, those factors cause the skin to dry up. The skin becomes easily irritable and sensitive. During summer, the skin loses less moisture and becomes denser. It needs protection from UV rays.

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