January 19th, 2016

 What Your Skin Says About You

The first step to healthy skin is figuring out your skin type and its needs. Skin type is determined by genetics; however, the condition of our skin can vary based on the various internal and external factors it is subjected to. There are four basic types of skin: normal, dry, oily and combination skin. Those with normal skin means it is well balanced, not too oily or too dry, whereas oily, dry and combinative are skin types that need more attention.


Oily Skin

‘Oily’ is used to describe a skin type that has overactive sebaceous glands, which results in a glossy shine and visible pores. Oily skin can also cause a dull and thick complexion, blackheads, spots or other blemishes. Your face will feel and look shiny, especially at midday, when oil is at its peak. However, on the plus side having oily skin means that it is not prone to much ageing and wrinkling.

In order to improve the quality of oily skin, those prone to it should avoid rich creams and instead use oil products. Many people will use stripping products to combat the problem, which only makes the issue worse as they dry out skin and then it overcompensates by producing even more oil.

Counter-intuitive as it sounds, using oil products can help oily skin as many contain anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and soothing elements. Oils are also packed with vitamins, amino acids and anti-oxidants to heal, protect and hydrate sore skin, without clogging up your pores or making skin more oily. Switching to a gentle cleanser and avoiding scrubbing your face at all coasts will also help oily skin, along with solely using products labelled as ‘noncomedogenic’ as they tend not to clog pores.

Your diet can also have a big impact on your skin and there are foods that you can eat to help enhance your beauty. If you are prone to oily skin, you should avoid dairy products, added sugars, salty snacks and fatty meats. Instead you should eat more fiber, cucumber, grapefruit and foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids.


Dry Skin

‘Dry’ is used to describe a skin type that does not produce enough oil. Dry skin can feel tight, rough, and uncomfortable and also look dull. It also causes sallow tones, wrinkles, fine pores, and is prone to ageing and irritating. This type of skin can be caused by genetics, changes in hormones, weather, taking long baths or showers or ingredients in beauty products.

A couple of simple lifestyle changes can help improve dry skin, for instance cutting down your bath/shower time and only doing it once a day. When you are bathing or drying it is important to not scrub and if you apply a rich moisturiser to skin right after having a bath it will help lock in moisture.

Those prone to dry skin should avoid products containing retinoid and benzoyl peroxide, as it can be too harsh for people with dry skin leading to irritation. Another ingredient to stay away from is salicylic acid, whilst it can help soften skin it is dangerous to buy it over the counter without the recommendation of a dermatologist on the correct dosage.

Changing your diet can also help improve skin and won’t cost you much. If you have dry skin, you should eat avocados, fish containing omega-3 fats (such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and anchovies), fruit (especially water dense tropical fruit), nuts and seeds, spinach and other dark leafy greens, and eggs. All of these foods will help keep skin healthy by retaining moisture, repairing damage and hydrating.


Combination Skin

Combination skin is a mixture of skin types; it is dry and oily. Those who are susceptible to it will need to treat particular facial areas differently. If your forehead, nose and chin are oily and have the tendency to break out, you will benefit from frequent and thorough cleaning. The dry zones on your face are your temples, eye area and cheeks, and these should be treated with rich creams and moisturisers.

People with combination skin can produce overly dilated pores, blackheads and shiny skin. This type of skin is due to genetic or hormonal factors that cause an imbalance in how much and where lipids are produced. If you are using the wrong type of skincare products this can cause combination skin. For example, if you are using a product that consists of an irritating ingredient, this can incite oil production in the T-zone area and create more dry skin on the rest of your face, thus giving you combination skin. Using the wrong products can worsen skin conditions so the appropriate products need to be used on the correct areas.

There are a couple of lifestyle changes that can help combination skin, such as eating more salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, and people should consider taking a fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement. Doing more exercise can help too as it will get your blood pumping and will deliver key nutrients to your skin. Stress is another factor that can make skin flare up and become more problematic in both the dry and oily areas; therefore you should try meditation, yoga, tai chai or anything to help you relax.

Avoiding certain products will also help people prone to combination skin, such as harsh cleansers or things like sulfates, alcohol or soap because they can strip your skin of its natural oils. Pore-clogging products should be avoided too, instead use ones that are made for oily or combination skin. Using fragrance free products is better for those with combination skin as well because it is less likely to irritate it.

19 / 01 / 2016

This is What Skin Needs Natural Skincare blog. Here we share tips for skincare, skin conditions and health.