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e s t i e  b e s t i e

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Determining Your Skin Type

It’s important to use products meant for your skin type. If you have oily skin and use products for dry skin, it may clog your pores.  If you have dry skin but use oily skin products, your skin may become dehydrated and dry. Finding the right products for your skin type can help your skin function properly and minimizing side effects each skin type has.  

Understanding Skin Type VS. Skin Concern 

It is crucial that you understand the difference between your skin type and your skin condition.  Your skin type depends on your skins natural oil production and pore size. This is from genetic internal factors.  Oily, dry, thin and acneic skin in some cases can be genetic. A skin condition is a particular concern you may have that is temporary based on external factors. This is easily fixed with treatments. This can include dry skin, some acne like black heads, and oily skin if you are treating your skin with the wrong products.

What is so confusing about dry skin?

Dryness can actually be considered a skin type and/or a skin concern.  When it’s your skin type, we simply call it dry skin.  When dryness is considered a condition, we (professionals) call it “surface dryness”. You May here this from time to time in media or from professionals you seek help from so it’s important to understand.

Surface Dryness in Depth

Surface dryness is an aesthetics term to define dehydration on the epidermis of the skin. Dehydration can make the skin feel dry, textured, and uncomfortable to the touch.  Our skin can’t function properly without being properly hydrated.  All skin types can suffer from surface dryness and it can be especially confusing to oily skin types who are suffering from it.  

A sign of surface dryness can be that your skin looks, feels, and gets oily but still has that dry skin discomfort.  Another sign of surface dryness is if the texture of your skin is rough and textured to the touch.  Signs can be visbale as well, like texture and flakiness.  Surface Dryness is considered a condition because it is usually caused by environmental factors and can be fixed by finding the balance of hydration in your skin.  

How to avoid surface dryness

  • Include hydrating products to your skin care routine. (aloe, hyaluronic acid, glycerin)

  • Use products that are only meant for your skin type.

  • Balance exfoliation.  It’s important to exfoliate, but it’s also important not to over exfoliate or under exfoliate.  

Understanding the Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturizing

Oils are a huge skin care trend right now but they are often misused.  People who tend to use facial oils are skipping out on serums and moisturizers because oils are marketed as “hydrating” or the “do-all” potion.  Oils can be great, but if your not Hydrating your skin with products underneath, your skin will become dehydrated and this can create more oil and surface dryness. This is counter-productive and your skin will overcompensate in one way creating more discomfort and confusion with determining your skin type.  

**Remember : Hydration- brings water to the skin.  Moisture brings oil to the skin.

Hydrating ingredients to remember: 

  • Aloe

  • Stone Crop 

  • Glycerin 

  • Hylauronic Acid 

  • Sodium PCA  

  • Lactic Acid

  • Squalane

Oily skin types don’t “need” oil because their skin usually produces enough oil.   Although oil products are not necessarily bad for oily skin.  Oily skin types should still use an oil free moisturize or a moisturizer with light, non-comedogenic oils. Its a personal preference if oily skin types want to top off these moisturizers with oils. Keep in mind your kitchen olive oil and coconut oil will clog your pores. All oils that touch the face should be cosmetic grade.

Drier skin types need moisture and hydration added to their skin routine because their skin doesn’t have the ability to create enough oil or even retain hydration.  Oils can be used to help combat dry skin but there will always have to be hydrating products underneath.  Otherwise your skin will get dehydrated making your condition worse.  

What about combination skin?

Combination Skin types have to play the balancing act. This is one of the most difficult skin types to treat so these two tips will help.

Tip 1 : you can always spot treat oily recommended products in oily areas and dry skin products in dry areas.

Tip 2 : I tend to avoid oil all together with these skin types and focus on hydration. Hydration balances oily skin and dry skin and is your best bet.

How to Determine Your Skin Type 

Rule out environmental factors that can effect your skin...

  • hormones

  • skin disorders (eczema, psoriasis)

  • genetic predisposition

  • medications

  • climate

  • diet

  • improper skin care

  • stress

  • drinking

  • smoking

Here are some tests you can do at home to see what skin type you have: 

  • Wash your face with Lukwarm water no cleanser.  Pat dry and don’t apply any products.  Then set a timer on your phone for 2 hours and wait. After 2 hours look in the mirror.  If your skin is oily already, then you most likely have oily skin.  If your skin is dry or tight, the you most likely have dry skin.  If your skin a bit of both in different areas, then you most likely have combo skin.  If you don’t have any sensation, you might be one of the lucky ones with well balanced normal skin.   

  • Look in the mirror and examine your pore size.  Are your pores visible?  If you have oily skin, you will have a larger visible pore size.  If you have dry skin, your pores will be small or hardly visible.  Combination skin types tend to have larger pores on the nose, middle of forehead, and chin and then smaller pore size on the cheek area.  It does depend on person to person.  

  • You can also get your skin type confirmed by an Esthetician.  Estheticians are trained to examine and determine skin types and know exactly how to take care of your skin at home.  If your unsure, it may be a good idea to get your skin type confirmed by a professional.  

Sensitive Skin and Acneic Skin Are NOT Skin Types

Sensitive Skin is not a skin type, it’s a condition.  Sensitive skin is a condition most likely formed from misuse of products and environmental factors.  Medication, over exfoliation, and fragrance all could the the cause to sensitive skin.  My biggest advice if you think you have “sensitive skin” is to go fragrance free with all skin care and makeup products.  You should also be considering the products you use, the amount you exfoliate, and how often you hydrate.  You can use the words “prone to sensitivity” but sensitive skin is something you can combat.  

Acne skin isn’t a skin type either, it’s a skin condition.  Although it can be from internal factors with people coming from family's who are acne prone, its still a condition that can be manageable. Oily skin types are more likely to develop acne, but dry skin suffers can also develop acne.  Acne can be combated with diet changes, medication, balancing hormones, and using proper skin care.  Although it can take up to months to see a difference, it’s still a skin condition.  You can use the words “break out prone” but it doesn’t define your skin type.  


In conclusion, understanding your skin and it’s behavior is the first step you need to take before continuing your skin care journey.  Using proper products, understanding hydrating and moisturizing, and learning the difference between skin type and skin concern will be able to help you choose what’s right for you and your skin.  More blog posts will be dedicated for your specific skin types in the future to help guide you if your still having trouble customizing a routine for yourself.    Everybody deserves great skin and it all starts from understanding and determining your skin type.  

Still need guidance on determining your skin type? Book a virtual consultation with me.


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