Decoding Your Skin Type

15 Apr

Let’s face it. We all know someone who ALWAYS has radiant, beautiful skin. You know that glowly skin that makes they look like they just walked off the set of a Maybelline photo shoot. Not a winkle, age spot, or zit in site.


Well it’s time to finally get to the bottom of our different types of skin and decode what’s really going on with our skin.



Dry Skin-Decoded

Dry skin feels tight, itchy and parched. It also tends to flake, have rough or reddish patches and makeup doesn’t go on smoothly. It can look thin or dull, have fine, crepe-y lines and act sensitive. But there’s some justice: People with dry skin also tend to have small pores, rarely break out and don’t have to worry about looking shiny in photos.

The science: Sebum and sweat create your skin’s natural moisturizer, an acidic mixture of lipids and waxes that protects the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of your skin. The stratum corneum is made up of dead skin cells that lay flat like shingles on a roof and holds water in the skin. When the acid mantle on top of the skin is stripped (often from harsh cleansers or extreme heat or cold), the stratum corneum is damaged and moisture escapes, leading to dry, damaged skin.

Causes: Hormones play a role, since they determine the amount of sebum your skin produces. According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, CEO of the Baumann Cosmetic and Research Institute in Miami, and author of “The Skin Type Solution,” the most likely cause is a damaged protective barrier, often from cold, dry winter air, wind, harsh cleansers and toners. Also dry skin can result from thyroid problems. And while drinking tons of water won’t directly moisturize your skin, your skin can’t function at its best if you’re dehydrated, so fill up on hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables.


  • Drink Water
  • Use face oils and cream lotions
  • Sleep with a humidifier



Oily Skin- Decoded

This skin type is shiny an hour after you wash your face or applypowder, especially on your forehead, nose and cheeks.

The science: The “male” hormone dihydrotesterone (DHT) triggers your sebaceous glands to produce sebum (oil). This mixture of waxes and lipids like squalene and fatty acids protects and conditions your hair and skin. When there’s a spike in testosterone, your DHT levels rise as well and your skin produces too much oil.

Causes: Hormones control how much oil your skin produces, says Dr. Fusco, so anything that throws off their balance can affect sebum levels. During puberty, testosterone levels rise and are metabolized into DHT, which is why teenagers tend to have oily skin. Stress can also send your hormone balance into a tailspin, as can your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, birth control pills (especially when you go off of them),menopause, stress, medications like Lithium and cortisteroids—even smoking and diet.

Oily skin vs. acne-prone skin
While acne-prone skin is usually oily, oily skin does not have to be acne-prone: Pores only get clogged if dead skin cells get trapped with bacteria and sebum, explains Dr. Fusco. People with acne tend to have “sticky” skin cells, meaning they clump together and are more likely to clog pores. If your skin sheds dead cells efficiently, overactive sebaceous glands can simply mean your skin is shiny.


  • Look for products labeled “non-comedogenic”, “non-acnegenic” and “oil-free.”
  • Don’t punish your skin with harsh cleansers—they can irritate your skin but won’t reduce the amount of oil it produces.
  • Use a toner that contains salicylic acid to exfoliate dead skin that can clog pores.



Now that these two types of skin types have been decoded, it’s time to take care of your skin and treat it the right way! Love your skin!


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