"I ain't got no type/ being healthy is the only thing that I like."
One of the first things you're told to learn when you develop an interest in your skin is your skin type. It's the oldest scam in the book. And from a marketing perspective, we wish we would've thought of it first!
The concept of distinct skin types has long been a cornerstone in both dermatology and the cosmetic industry. However, emerging research challenges this paradigm, suggesting that the classification of skin into types such as normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive may be overly simplistic and not reflective of the skin's complex biology. Skin types were originally developed during early dermatological studies as a basic framework for skin care and treatment. While this system could be useful for general guidance, it often overlooks the dynamic nature of skin, which is influenced by a myriad of factors including genetics, environment, diet, and lifestyle. Our skin is constantly responding to internal and external stimuli. Factors such as age, hormonal fluctuations, climate, and even daily activities can significantly alter the skin's condition. This variability challenges the concept of static skin types. For instance, someone categorized as having 'dry skin' may experience periods of increased sebum production, typical of 'oily' skin, under certain conditions.
WHAT IS A SKIN TYPE ANYWAY?
Traditionally, there are 5 main skin types that could be used to categorize skin. But the concept of skin types has been a marketing hit in the skin care industry so you will see articles stating there are 9, 15, or even 30 different skin types! Here's a quick breakdown of the 5 main skin types that you are probably already familiar with.
Normal Skin Type: characterized by a balanced oil-water ratio, minimal blemishes, and uniform follicle size, exhibits a healthy glow.
Oily Skin Type: identified by increased sebum production, enlarged pores, and a propensity for blemishes. Factors like hormonal fluctuations, stress, and climate can intensify these traits.
Dry Skin Type: lacks natural oils, making it more susceptible to environmental damage and aging signs. This type often presents as rough-textured, with small pores, diminished elasticity, and a dull complexion.
Combination Skin Type: exhibits varying characteristics, such as an oily T-zone (forehead, nose, chin) with normal to dry cheeks. This type may experience enlarged pores, blackheads, and occasional breakouts, particularly in the T-zone.
Sensitive Skin Type: requires meticulous care due to its fragility. Common indicators include redness, thinness, susceptibility to sun and product irritation, and visible capillaries (telangiectasia).
IF SKIN TYPES ARE A SCAM THEN WHAT DO I DO?
You visit us at Glowdega so we can talk to you about your skin's health! We provide our clients with comprehensive skin scans using a dermatological imaging machine. This diagnostic tool examines skin hydration, pore size, sebum levels, bacteria presence, scarring and pigmentation concerns not visible to the naked eye, sensitivity and more. We also provide informative guidance on skin conditions (the real categorization we should all be paying attention to) and how that may affect your personal skin care journey. We recognize the ever-changing nature of your skin and possess the knowledge and experience that looks at your skin condition(s), nutrition, and lifestyle. If you were thinking we were your run of the mill "spa" or estheticians that only provided fluff facials that only look good on social media, you're in for quite the surprise! We take your skin seriously.
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If you can't visit us just yet, then you want to focus on your skin condition(s). Skin conditions are specific issues or disorders that affect the skin. They can occur in any skin type and are often influenced by a wide range of factors, including environmental exposure, lifestyle choices, underlying health issues, and even the products used on the skin. You can book a virtual consultation with us if you can't find an esthetician near you.
WHY SHOULD I FOCUS ON MY SKIN'S CONDITION?
Focusing on the specific condition of your skin, rather than adhering to a predetermined "skin type", can lead to more effective results. For instance, if you've been labeled as having "oily skin" yet experience red or flaky patches in areas typically considered oily, you might actually be dealing with eczema. In such cases, products designed for oily skin could exacerbate the issue. Similarly, if you've been categorized as having sensitive skin but continue to struggle with breakouts, it's possible that the products for sensitive skin are not addressing the underlying causes of your acne, leading to persistent problems.
The skin type model has significantly influenced skincare product development and marketing. However, this model may lead to inappropriate skincare choices, as it does not account for the skin's dynamic nature. Personalized skincare, which considers individual differences and the skin's changing conditions, is emerging as a more effective approach. This is why visiting an esthetician is key to learning what will work for YOU. Even dermatologists agree and are increasingly recognizing the need for personalized treatment plans that consider a patient's unique skin characteristics and environmental exposures.