What is my skin type - oily, dry or mixed; what is the difference?
There are typically four skin types that are talked about in skincare and these are normal, combination, oily and dry. Our skin type can change depending on our life stage and most of us are born with normal skin, but as we age and enter puberty; our genes; hormones and environmental factors can lead to changes in skin types.
With many of us wondering what skin type am I, Olay’s outlined the key traits to help you identify what skin type you are.
Possibly the most common skin type, it is characterised by the following:
- A clear appearance and even colour
- Feels neither tight or greasy
- Is soft and supple when touched
- Has good elasticity and moisture
- Has small, less visible pores
- Not sensitive to normal external stimulation
For those who have normal skin we recommend Olay Total Effects Anti-Ageing Moisturiser with SPF 15.
Dry skin is characterised by ‘poor epidermal function’ and potential damage to the epidermal layer, the protective outer layer of the skin.
Some people who have dry skin can attribute it to a genetic predisposition or inappropriate skincare habits but for others, there is no apparent reason. It is common for dry skin to be an issue for women entering menopause.
The following characteristics are common in those women who suffers with dry skin:
- Skin feels tight and irritable
- Often looks flaky
- Shows fine lines
- Has visibly small pores
- Slow secretion of sebum
- May be hard to apply make up
As dry skin can be extra sensitive to external stimulation, it is important to choose a dedicated skincare routine which is gentle on your skin. Olay recommends Regenerist 3-Point Treatment Cream.
Oily skin is caused by an over-secretion of sebum, an oily substance our skin needs in order to function properly. Too much of this sebum can cause acne and too little can cause dry, cracked skin. The main characteristics of oily skin include:
- Shiny and often has breakouts
- Less visible wrinkles
- Visible and enlarged looking pores
- Make up may wear off easily
Whilst oily skin is typically thought of as occurring during adolescence, it can be seen at any age.
People often hear about yet wonder, ‘what is combination skin’. When talking about combination skin, it means we have at least two different types of facial skin and may need to adjust our skincare habits accordingly. The main variations of combination skin are typically:
- Either oily or normal skin around the T-Zone area of the face. This includes the nose, forehead and chin
- Dry or normal skin around the U-ZONE, which is the cheek, mouth and eyes
For combination skin, Olay recommends using Total Effects SPF30 7 in 1 Anti-Ageing Moisturiser as part of your skincare routine every morning.
But What About Sensitive skin?
Sensitive Skin is a skin condition that can be found in any skin type. Those with sensitive skin must treat their skin with special care including treading carefully when using any new products on their skin. Sensitive skin needs special attention. Its main characteristics are:
- It is very sensitive to external stimulation such as heat, surfactants and exfoliation
- Gets irritated and may have allergic reactions and become red / swollen more easily than others without sensitive skin
- It’s often sensitive to certain chemicals in skin care products (e.g. fragrance and colourants)
For those with self assessed* sensitive skin, it’s important to test new products via a patch test prior to application to avoid any potential allergic reactions. To patch test a product, apply a product to a small area on the inside of the arm or behind your ear.
If after 24 hours no skin irritation or sensitivity appears, try a small amount of product onto facial skin. If skin irritation or sensitivity develops over time then discontinue use immediately.
For those with sensitive skin, we recommend Olay Complete Day cream SPF 15 Sensitive and as a cleanser, Olay Daily Facials in a Box.
* Any skin conditions can only be diagnosed/treated by a trained medical doctor.