Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Basic Skin Types

There's not much you can do about the skin type you're born with. But by taking care of it properly, you can control and maintain texture and radiance from your 20s right through to your 50s and over.
The types of skin are normal, oily, dry and combination.

They are determined according to the degree of oiliness or dryness. Generally, skin type correlates with pore size. To determine your own skin type, wash your face and wait 30 minutes. Then put a single piece of tissue paper against each area of your face: forehead, nose, chin, cheeks. Your oily areas will leave oil on the tissue paper.

Dry skin has a rough texture and may become flaky. There are no shiny areas; in fact, the skin looks dull. Pores tend to be smaller because less oil is produced. Without adequate moisture, dry skin can easily become chapped. As dry skin ages, it’s more likely than other types to become wrinkly.

Normal skin has an equal balance of water and oil, making it naturally well moisturized. The pores are medium-sized. When you pull the skin away from the bony structure, it springs back to normal position. Lines and wrinkles are appropriate for age.

Oily skin has a coarse texture. Usually oily areas tend to shine. Oily skin results from overactive oil glands; the oil helps retain dead skin cells in the hair follicles. Pores tend to be larger. The dead skin cells may darken with exposure to the air, forming blackheads. Often, individuals with oily skin have a tendency to develop acne in their teen and middle years, and overgrown oil glands, or sebaceous hyperplasia, in the middle and late years.

Combination skin is a mixture of dry and oily areas of differing degrees. Usually the T-zone -- the forehead, nose and chin -- is prone to oiliness, whereas the cheeks and neck tend to be dry. More people have combination skin than severely dry or oily skin. Ideally you would need to treat these two areas separately.

Help your skin by…
Sticking to a healthy diet – beta carotene converts to vitamin A (essential in strengthening the skin tissue); vitamin C helps collagen production; vitamin E is good for conditioning; and vitamin B is good for repairing.
Supplementing your diet with evening primrose oil; it contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that strengthens the skin cells and stimulates moisture content.
Getting enough sleep, allowing the skin to repair itself.
Exercising, which boosts blood flow.
See also "Good Skin is a Reflection of Inner Health".