“What skin type are you?”
You’ve heard this before…chances are that you’ve been asked this question at your local spa, salon, Estee Lauder counter or Avon party.
My thought is…”If you are the professional, why are you asking me?”
But that’s beside the point.
Why do we feel the need to categorize out skin into one set of adjectives and treat it with products made to cater to only a few skin symptoms? We are not categorizing apples and oranges here, we are talking about our skin, with its unique set of characteristics and DNA.
I will tell you from experience that this does help to narrow the choices at the cosmetics counter, but it doesn’t really take into consideration that you could be 3 or 4 skin “types” at any given time, that you could change skin “type” each season (or sometimes daily.)
Not to mention that there are only 5 skin types out there:
Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive, Combination
And for that matter, haven’t we learned anything from prevention medicine recently? Why are we still treating skin symptoms instead of focusing to fixing and preventing the problems (or imbalances?)
I have never much liked skin types. Mostly because I never really fell into any of them completely.
At bien-être spa, we say, forget your skin type!
Instead, take a look at your skin (or come in for a free consultation and we’ll do it with you.) What do you see?
- Is it dry in some areas? – Dryness (probably from dehydration, over-exfoliation or climate change)
- Does it feel tight in some areas? – Dryness or dehydration
- Is there a shine anywhere? – Oiliness and dehydration
- Are your pores enlarged anywhere? – Over exfoliation, oiliness or dryness (see other questions to specify)
- What about fine lines or wrinkles? – Skin aging
- Is your skin completely even in tone and texture, or do you have some hyper-pigmented spots? – Sun damage, hyper-pigmentation, dryness
- Where is there redness? – Sensitivity
- Do you have dark circles, or water retention anywhere? – Static lymph glands, too much stress on system, lack of circulation
- Can you see any little capillaries? (They look like red threads just under the surface) – “broken” capillaries from thinning skin
- Any breakouts or clogged pores? – Acne, oiliness or dehydration, Rosacea, hormonal imbalance
- Is your skin not quite as taught as is used to be? Has it lost some firmness or elasticity? (The bounce-back effect) – Skin aging
- Do you have any scars? What are they from and what do they look like? – damaged cell DNA
Based on your answers, you will determine which skin CONDITIONS you are currently experiencing. Skin CONDITIONS are the result of an internal imbalance or topical duress. You can have as many skin conditions as you want, and they can change based on what season it is and what your stress level or diet is like.
My suggestion is to choose treatments, products and ingredients that work to balance these skin conditions. If you are dealing with more than 3 skin conditions, choose just a few to focus on first.
The upside to treating skin conditions instead of skin types is that many skin conditions are connected and when you balance one, you are balancing the other as well!
If you are a NORMAL skin type and have no skin conditions: Skip this article and keep up the good work!
Now take a look at your lifestyle:
- How’s your diet?
- Do you exercise?
- How much water do you drink a day?
- How often do you sweat?
- How much do you sleep on average?
- How much sugar, caffeine and alcohol do you consume?
- What supplements do you take internally?
- What skincare products do you use at home?
- What facial or medical treatments do your receive on a regular basis?
WOW! That’s alot of questions, right? Well, all these things need to be taken into consideration before choosing the best skincare products and treatments for your skin because they all play a role in why your skin is experiencing imbalance.
This blog category is devoted to providing you more information on specific skin conditions, as well as tips and suggestions!
Jennifer Laz, licensed esthetician and owner of bien-etre spa
P.S. If an esthetician or cosmetic specialist asks YOU what your skin type is, go somewhere else for your skincare.