Beauty

Do you know your skin type?

Elle Canada
Beauty

Do you know your skin type?

Normal, oily, dry, combination. Skin care types, and how to define yours, can be confusing. If your skin type still seems like a mystery, we put together a guide to get you reacquainted with your complexion.

Knowing your skin type will not only keep you looking younger for longer, but it will actually save you money in the long run since you won’t waste money on products that don’t work for you. “Information about the type of skin you have is useful in choosing the correct products and treatments,” says Natalia Weinraub, skin care expert and aesthetician at Kimara Ahnert Makeup Studio. “This will also prevent any kind of irritation to the skin.” We asked for her insight into how best to customize your skin care routine.

1. Get to know your skin type
Weinraub gives us skin care tips to help identify the main characteristics of each skin type so you have a better idea of how to care for your complexion.

Dry skin

This skin type is characterized by a lack of oil. This often renders skin flaky, thin and with some redness. Skin that feels tight after you wash it (but before you apply products) can also indicate dry skin.

Oily skin


When it comes to oily skin, your sebaceous glands produce too much oil creating blackheads, whiteheads and acne. If your pores are more visible (with blackheads and/or whiteheads) and your complexion has a tendency to look shiny through the day your skin is oily.

Combination skin

Sometimes skin doesn’t quite know what it wants to be – dry or oily. If you see large pores in the T-zone and normal cheeks, you have combination skin.

When you have combination skin it can be oily to normal, but never too oily or too dry, Weinraub says.

Normal skin

Normal skin can feel dehydrated but never to the extent of truly dry skin. The skin type we all covet is normal skin, because it has the right balance of oil and water (read: it’s never too dry nor too oily).

Learn more about your skin type on the next page ... 1-do-you-know-your-skin-type.jpg

2. The ultimate skin care routine
Cleanse


Wash with cleanser best suited to your skin type. This can be tricky with the plethora of products that line store shelves but a good rule of thumb is to stick with creamy, soap-free cleansers if you have dry skin and foaming or gel cleansers for oily, normal or combination. If your skin is acne-prone, seek out a medicated cleanser (look for salicylic acid) that can help keep breakouts at bay.

Exfoliate

If you want smooth, soft, youthful skin (and who doesn’t?), exfoliation is key, says Weinraub. “Exfoliate to remove dry skin and cleanse pores of oil and debris,” she explains. “Those with dry and normal to dry skin should exfoliate once or twice a week. Oily and oily to normal skin types should exfoliate every other, or sometimes every day depending on the skin's condition.” When it comes to what kind of exfoliator to choose, use a granular scrub for oily  and oily/normal skin, use a light/mild scrub for dry, sensitive skin and use benzoyl peroxide scrub on acne prone skin. All types of skin can use an enzyme peel, Weinraub explains.

Tone


Skip this step if you have severely dry skin and avoid an alcohol-based toner in the winter months so you don’t dry out your complexion. But in general, for normal, oily and combination skin a toner is important, Weinraub says. “Use a toner to remove oil and remove excess cleanser from the pores.”

Hydrate


One of the most important skin care steps is making sure your face is properly hydrated, no matter your skin type. Opt for an oil-free gel formula for oily skin, a lotion (or lighter textured cream) for combination and normal skin and choose a creamier product for dry skin. If your skin is very dry, consider adding a hydrating serum to your routine. Let it dry and then finish with your face cream.

Finish off your skin care routine with more skin care tips on the next page ...
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Treat

No matter your skin type there is a mask available to treat your main complexion concerns. Weinraub advises using a mask once or twice weekly to target any issues you may have. Use a hydrating mask for dry skin, an exfoliating or blemish clearing mask for oily skin and a skin brightening mask for normal skin. If you have combination skin consider using two masks at the same time – something for oily skin on your T-zone and a hydrating formula on your cheeks.  

3. More skin care tips
Weinraub shares her top skin care tips for getting all skin types looking great.

If you are flying anywhere this winter, be sure to use a hydrating cream in-flight to combat dryness. You should also exfoliate before and after flying to counter the effects of dry airplane air, which can cause skin to look pale and lacklustre.

Apply a hydrating mask before and after exposure to extremely cold weather.  

Use both day and night cream and serums (which can be tailored to your skin type) for optimum moisture.

Use sunscreen daily to ward off visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, uneven texture and crow’s feet.

Be sure to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated from the inside out helps ensure skin looks supple and bright.

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Do you know your skin type?