Great skincare is personalized skincare. There is no “one size fits all.” Each skincare product is designed for a particular skin type to achieve specific results. With so many skincare products available in the market, it can be challenging to find the best ones for your skin.
Whether your objective is to maintain healthy skin, promote youth or specifically address skin disorders, the first step in identifying the right skincare products for you is knowing your skin type.
Know your skin type
Typically, skincare products tell you what skin type they’re for, either through the label on the packaging or through inserts in their boxes. But that information would be useless if you didn’t know what your particular skin type is. Though genetics determines your skin type, other factors can affect your skin condition, such as lifestyle choices, diet, hormonal changes, etc. Read on to know which skin type is yours.
Does your face regularly feel greasy to the touch? Does it look glossy, especially in the T-zone area of your forehead, nose, and chin? Get closer to the mirror. Do you see enlarged pores? Are acne and blemishes your constant companions? If your answer is yes to all these questions, then you have oily skin. Though this can be disconcerting, one comfort is that your skin is less prone to wrinkles and fine lines because it is already naturally moist.
Tightness, a rough texture, hardly visible pores if any, visible white lines when you run your fingernails on your skin—these are some of the symptoms of dry skin. Aside from genetics and other internal and external factors, it is also likely that you have dry skin because you are dehydrated and not drinking enough water.
You will need, though, to distinguish everyday dryness from excessive dryness. The latter is what you have when your dry skin constantly feels itchy, peels off, and is excessively flaky. You may also experience some bleeding from the cracks on your skin. These may be symptomatic of underlying conditions for which you will need to see a doctor.
Combination skin is a combination of oily and dry skin brought about by uneven oil production. Is your T-zone oily (look out for enlarged pores and blackheads) while the rest of your face looks dry (dull or even flaky)? Then you have the most common skin type.
If you have a radiant complexion, fine pores, and close-to-zero blemishes, then good for you! You have the most enviable skin type: normal or well-balanced skin. Note, though, that even if your genetics, lifestyle decisions, and overall good health have blessed you with good skin, with environmental pollution and other factors, you will still need to maintain it with the right skincare products.
Sensitive skin isn’t more of a skin type as it is a skin condition. However, you need to consider if your skin is also sensitive (in addition to your skin type) to know what products can work best with it.
Skin that is more prone to inflammation because of several factors, including genetics, age, race, etc., is called sensitive skin. You may not be inherently allergic to pollen and dust, but your skin can develop a reaction to the ingredients of certain skincare products. Dry skin can also become particularly sensitive as it may no longer have the natural lipids that act as barriers that protect skin against infection and inflammation.
Look for the good stuff
These ingredients are proven to be beneficial to your skin. However, these may produce side effects over prolonged or excessive use by themselves or in conjunction with other ingredients or products. You may also have health conditions that may cause a reaction even with just minimal use. Always be on the side of caution, do your due research diligence, and consult with your doctor or dermatologist.
Alpha Lipoic Acids
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a substance naturally found in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects DNA, shields the skin from inflammation caused by free radicals, regenerates vitamin C and E, and revitalizes collagen production. This super substance is one hundred times more potent than the antioxidant vitamins C or E.
DMAE or NTP Complex is an organic compound that is particularly helpful in improving skin tone. Both the skin on the face and neck can substantially benefit from the toning benefits of this compound.
The primary moisturizing skin agent is phospholipids, which go through the cell plasma membrane and replace fragile phospholipids. When free radicals attack the cells, PPC creates an antioxidant response, making PPC effective against inflammation that causes aging.
Tocotrienol is a compound found in Vitamin E. It is a highly effective antioxidant and moisturizer, making it powerful in addressing skin redness and flaking.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant in skin care products. They are organic compounds that work by locking in moisture. They can also draw moisture from the dermis or second layer of your skin onto your epidermis or top layer to keep it lubricated.
Avoid damaging ingredients
The list below is not exhaustive but includes the more infamous ingredients to watch out for when you’re shopping for skincare products.
Parabens are preservatives that act like hormones. Not only do they disrupt hormone production, but they can also result in reproductive organ and fertility issues and birth defects.
Formaldehyde is used as an industrial disinfectant and also as a preservative. They can cause headaches, skin irritation, coughing, wheezing, and nausea. High levels are also linked to myeloid leukemia and cancer.
Hydroquinone is very popular as a lightening ingredient. However, studies in 2001 showed that hydroquinone could result in complete depigmentation, exogenous ochronosis (bluish-black caviar deposits on the skin), and even cancer and fertility issues. More conclusive research has since been conducted, leading the U.K. LGA (Local Government Association) to call the chemical “the biological equivalent of a paint thinner” to be avoided at all costs.
Consult your dermatologist
While you can go DIY in looking for causes and treatments for pimples and other skin conditions and choose the best skincare products on your own, it is best to first clear everything with your trusted dermatologist. From there, you can do self-maintenance, especially if your skin is generally healthy, by regularly reading up on the latest developments on skincare routines and skincare products. On the other hand, if you have chronic conditions, you can manage them alongside the help of your doctor.
Last few reminders
Do remember to follow the instructions on the labels or packaging, and be diligent in incorporating these products into your skincare routine. No matter how carefully you have chosen the best skincare products, these won’t work if you don’t actually use them. Be disciplined and diligent for the best results.