A Look at Skin-Types (2)

Toner and masque for a dry skin
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Rinse the skin initially using warm water, but follow up using a cool water rinse, which helps to close the pores and can slow the oil production. After cleansing, use a good, skin freshening astringent, either store-bought or you can make your own, to complete the pore-tightening process.
After applying the astringent, allow the skin to dry and use a very light moisturizer. I actually recommend using a “hydrating spray” which contains a suspension of very light emollients and is designed to offer some SPF protection and light moisture coverage.
Dry Skin
Dry skin is the type that seems to always feel tight and itchy, and absorb moisturizers readily and greedily. In some cases, the dryness is severe enough to result in flaking and shedding of skin in tiny flakes.
This can sometimes be confused with more serious conditions like psoriasis and eczema as it is often accompanied by some redness and irritation. The true differences lie in the severity of the symptoms and the fact that simply “dry skin” is easily treated and soothed by moisturizing.
When it comes to cosmetics and dry skin, the key is moisture. Prior to applying a foundation, apply a base layer of moisture cream to help hydrate the skin. If you need a foundation color, use a liquid or cream foundation that has light fruit oils that will both smooth the skin and seal in moisture. If you aren’t a fan of traditional foundations, look at the tinted moisturizers which can serve dual purposes of evening skin tone and hydrating and soothing the skin.
Cleansing and caring for dry skin means being very gentle. Use a rich, hydrating cleansing cream to remove make-up and cleanse the skin, followed by a warm water rinse and a pat dry. Remove any residue from the cleanser using a mild astringent such as those containing rosewater, or the do-it-yourself astringent for dry skin in the graphic. Follow up with a creamy moisturizer containing fruit oils and emollients that will not only add moisture, but help lock-in the moisture already there.
Combination Skin
Combination skin is pretty self-explanatory: the skin has areas that are dry and some that are oily. Commonly this results in a T-zone of oily skin across the forehead or the tops of the cheeks and straight down the nose and chin, accompanied by dry patches along the jaw or other peripheral areas of the face and body.
With combination skin, you can look for those hybrid cosmetics such as the “liquid/powder” make-ups which have hydrating emollients that absorb into the skin and dry to become oil absorbing finishes thanks to the cosmetic clays that are incorporated. In this case, mineral cosmetics are also beneficial since you can use moisturizer in areas where you need the extra softness, while the mineral powder cosmetics will help to absorb and control oiliness in those places where it’s important. Again, NEVER sleep in your cosmetics.
Caring for combination skin is also a matter of using what is needed where it’s needed. Start with a good, gentle cleanser, and repeat the cleansing step in the “T-zone” if you need it. After rinsing the face with warm water, use a good astringent in your T-zone and perhaps a milder one in the other facial areas. Finally, use a light moisturizer and reapply after a few minutes in your traditionally dry zones.
Sensitive Skin
The final two classifications of skin types I use overlap with the common skin types in most cases. With sensitive skin, I find that it is also often dry skin as well. In sensitive skin, the skin often reacts negatively to relatively minor irritants and may have specific allergens that cause reactions. It often is not only dry and itchy, but becomes blotchy and shows inflammation and irritation when exposed to allergens and harsher products.
Those with sensitive skin need to look for cosmetics that are hypo-allergenic and are specifically lacking the ingredients that most often cause irritation for that person. The new mineral make-ups are often good choices because the base products and pigments tend to be very stable when it comes to whether or not they react with certain skin types. Even more than other groups, it is very important to avoid prolonged exposure to cosmetics for those who have sensitive skin.
Very often, some cosmetics that may not irritate when applied fresh can undergo minor chemical changes as the age on the skin or combine with biological or environmental contaminants, resulting in irritation over longer periods of exposure. In some cases, it’s simply that the make-up may make an irritant adhere to the skin and facilitate irritation. Removing the make-up when it’s not necessary is always the best course of action.
Cleansing sensitive skin requires using gentle products and literally handling the skin with care. Use light cleanser that are hypo-allergenic and formulated to rinse clean. Use a very mild astringent and a soothing moisturizer (like Eucerin and others) to help salve irritation while moisturizing the skin.
Problem Skin
Just as sensitive skin most often is an overlap of dry skin, what I refer to as “Problem Skin” is usually also oily or combination skin. The excess oil products often results in clogged pores and then inflammation and eruptions in the skin because of the impacted pores. As a child it was widely held that “acne” was caused by eating chocolate, drinking sodas and eating fried or greasy foods. The implication behind this was often that those whose skin was problematic were responsible for the condition.
Fortunately, I encountered a dermatologist my senior year of high school who diagnosed my cystic acne condition and explained to me that the root cause had no connection to what you ate or how often you washed your face. He explained that while a diet high in junk food, combined with a lackluster cleansing routine can result in acne breakouts, in most cases, the cause was more involved – ranging from hormonal shifts to low-grade systemic infections. To really understand the cause of your particular problem skin, you should always see a doctor.
For problem skin sufferers, make-up is a double-edged sword. It often seems necessary in order to conceal and camouflage the blemishes and breakouts, but the very products that hide the flaws can make them worse. If you have problem skin, you MUST make sure that any cosmetic you use is tested to be non-comedogenic. That means that it won’t clog your pores and create more problems for you. It is also MOST imperative that those who have problem skin always remove their make-up as soon as possible and NEVER, EVER sleep in their make-up.
Cleansing problem skin should usually include a medicated cleanser. If you aren’t under a doctor’s care and using a specific medicated cleanser, you can find mild skin cleansers that contain salicylic acid to help cleanse the skin, open the pores, and remove bacteria and dirt. Any astringent used should be formulated to really pull the residue and oils out of the pores. Getting the skin as clean as possible may not resolve the root cause, but it will get you on your best footing – minimizing your breakouts as much as possible.
See also: Make-up How To