You hear a lot about skin type and skin conditions or ‘concerns’ when you’re looking into skincare treatments and products, there can be a little confusion at times about what your ‘type’ is and whether it has an effect on any skin ‘conditions’.
There are also combinations of skin types, just to confuse the issue further!
Your skin needs will be determined by which category your skin falls under, a combination of its natural type and any conditions you have. Once you know this you can really make sure you get the right treatments and products for your needs.
The Most Common Skin Types
If you have dry skin, you’ll often find that it feels sensitive, flaky and occasionally sore. If your skin seems to be lacking in moisture, it’s a sure sign that your skin is too dry and needs extra hydrating.
If you’re lucky enough to have normal type skin, it will be smooth in appearance, with very few overly visible pores. You will have hardly any blemishes, if any at all and your skin will feel well hydrated and not irritated.
Many people have oily skin and just don’t seem to know how to best deal with it. The over-production of oils by the sebaceous glands create the oily skin appearance and feel that often leads to blackheads and acne. Oily skin types are very susceptible to pimples and blemishes.
Oily But Dehydrated
Oily skin can also be dehydrated. Many people mistakenly diagnose their skin as being dry when it’s actually oily – but lacking
water. Dehydrated skin will protect itself by producing more oil, giving you the feel of oily skin when what you need is more water. Underneath it’s tight and flaky but with a layer of oil on the surface.
Combination skin tends to be dry in some places and oily in others. In most cases of combination skin, it’s the T-zone that’s oily while the rest of the face can tend to be dry if it’s not cared for properly.
Sensitive skin is as it sounds – prone to dryness, flakiness, soreness and inflammation.
But is it naturally sensitive, or has it been sensitized? One is a condition and one is a skin type.
Most people diagnose their skin as sensitive because sensitive skin and sensitized skin look and feel similar - but sensitized and sensitive skin are completely different. If your skin is naturally sensitive, it will always have been that way. You’ve probably always had to watch the products you use because you flare up at anything. Sensitized skin tends to develop over the years, often because of environmental factors, using unsuitable products, certain medications and lifestyle factors. It can be treated and restored to non-sensitized whereas sensitive skin, you’re stuck with.
Added to this, your skin type can change with the seasons, hormones and environmental factors which may cause dryness, sensitivity or oiliness.
Skin conditions are quite different from skin types and may develop at different times in your life. These include:
Acne - The bane of some of our teen years, but it can also affect (even for the first time) adults too.
Rosacea - Affecting mainly adults, this causes redness and sometimes raised rashes that can be distressing.
Sun Damage - A more or less preventable skin condition that leads to visible hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and crepiness.
Dehydration - Shows up in dull skin and is caused by a lack of water and good hydration.
The difference between skin types and skin conditions is all in how they are treated. Your skin type sets your daily routine and core skincare products, while long term and temporary skin conditions are treated separately by an esthetician who will be able to advise you about how to minimise symptoms and stop the condition from coming back once it’s treated.