The 21st Century Herbalist

DIY Skin Care Month: What's My Skin Type?

So we all want healthy, glowing, blemish-free, perfectly hydrated skin, right?  But how to get it?  Stores are filled with countless products and it can be difficult to figure out exactly what products you need, what order you’re supposed to use them in and how often you should be using them.  This month, we’re sorting through it all and starting from scratch. Starting with step 1 and building on it until we end up with a complete skin care routine for your face, customized for your skin type. I’ll even include DIY recipes made with simple, all-natural ingredients, many of which are the basis for most of the skin care products on the market today.

Before we get started on DIY Skin Care Month, you’ll need to define your specific skin type because your skin care routine is a lot like an exercise routine.  You know exercise works, but you have to customize your routine based on your body type and fitness goals for it to work to its greatest potential.  Skin care is the same way.  For it to be effective, you need to start by defining the skin type for your face, using the guidelines below.

Dry Skin
Dry skin can be caused by a number of different things, including hormones, hydration or weather.  If most of the skin on your face is dry, itchy or flaky then you definitely have dry skin.  If you experience dry patches, then you probably have normal to combination skin and you should select a skin care routine for combination skin.

Normal Skin
Normal skin may have occasional dry spots or break outs, but overall the skin is normal and is able to maintain proper moisture levels without much intervention.  Sometimes during winter months, people with normal skin may experience some dryness over most of their face.  If this happens, you may need to change your skin care routine temporarily during dry months or in dry climates.

Oily Skin
Oily skin is usually defined by an overall oiliness beyond the t-zone (the t-shaped area just above the bridge of your nose, about midway over your eyebrows and part way up your forehead).  Pores tend to be large and blackheads and blemishes are common.  After cleansing the skin it is oily within 45 minutes to an hour and has an overall sheen.

Combination Skin
People with combination skin have oily t-zones along with normal to dry skin on the cheeks and chin.  The skin care routine is usually closer to those for oily skin, rather than those with dry skin.

Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is usually prone to break outs, dryness or rash.  It will react quickly to most products, usually in an adverse way.  You may suffer from dry skin due to the inability to cleanse and moisturize properly.

Next week we’ll talk cleansing.  Until then, stay hydrated because the quickest and easiest fix for almost any skin problem is to drink plenty of water.  Remember that consuming large amounts of caffeine in coffee and tea can actually dehydrate you, so stick with pure water whenever you can.

Next Week: DIY Skin Care Month – Step 1: Cleanse

image via: istockphoto

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