Knowing your skin type is one of those things many of us second-guess:
Am I oily or normal-combination? Am I normal or dry? Or is it just winter?
The skin is an incredible and involved organ (in fact, the body’s largest organ). We often don’t realize it, but our complexion can give us a lot of clues about internal imbalances and other health issues.
In the day-to-day, once you know your skin type and its specific needs, you can find skincare tailored to nourish your unique skin. What works amazingly for your sister or your office mate might give your face a totally different reaction. With targeted natural cleansers, moisturizers and more, your skin can become its healthiest and most radiant.
So, how do you find out your skin type? Here are two options: a quiz or what we call ‘the bare face method.’ Once you know your type, read on to learn more about your unique skincare needs and get pro tips and product picks.
Option 1: Bare Face Method
- Step 1: Thoroughly cleanse your entire face with a mild cleanser and then pat your face dry.
- Step 2: Allow your skin to dry completely without any products for a full 30 minutes. Examine the skin around your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead for any shine.
- Step 3: Wait for another 30 minutes (a total of 60 minutes with a completely bare face) and then check to see if your face feels tight or dry when you smile or make facial expressions.
If your skin feels tight, you likely have dry skin. Do your nose and forehead have a little sheen? You most likely have combination/normal skin. If there is visible shine on your cheeks along with your nose and forehead, then your skin type is likely oily.
Oily skin tends to be more supple and appear younger because it has more natural moisture. This can also mean that oily skin will develop fewer fine lines and wrinkles! At the same time, oily skin can also feel problematic for some as the excess oil/sebum can contribute to enlarged and blocked pores. This skin type can be prone to acne and breakouts because of the excess oil.
One major misconception about oily skin is that you should use products that will ‘dry it out’ with harsh ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. That’s a myth. Using ingredients that dry out your skin will actually make your skin compensate by producing more oil. We want to work with the oil instead of against it!
Look for a gel or foam cleanser that contains salicylic acid, mandelic acid or kaolin clay such as Pure Creations Anti Wrinkle Alpha Hydroxy Cleanser or Back to Earth New Moon Facial Cleanser.
Exfoliation is a very important step in caring for oily skin. I highly recommend using a gentle chemical exfoliant that contains salicylic acid or lactic acid to help get rid of sebum buildup, dead skin cells and any other debris that could be causing breakouts.
A great chemical exfoliant I often recommend is Verum Beauty Labs Alpha Hydroxy Acid Toner with Tea Tree. And if you prefer a physical exfoliant, we suggest Antipodes Reincarnation Pure Facial Exfoliator. Just make sure you apply it in a gentle, circular motion, being cautious about the pressure you apply.
Do not skip the moisturizer! Find a lightweight gel or oil-free moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated and soft. Skipping a moisturizer can trigger your glands to secrete more oil to maintain your skin’s moisture. The Nena Moisturizing Cream is a great option for oily skin types.
Lucky you—those with dry skin often have almost invisible pores. However, your skin may be prone to wrinkles, dry patches, tightness and general irritation.
Many factors can contribute to dry skin: genetics, lifestyle, diet, climate and dehydration. Ensuring your body is properly nourished and hydrated can make a difference with how your skin looks and feels.
It’s important to avoid any harsh cleansers. Look for cream, milk or balm cleansers and stay away from foam cleansers. Look for cleansers that contain a humectant such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin, and nourishing squalene. A great gentle cleanser to try is Heritage Store Rosewater Cleanser Gentle Milk Wash.
Often, people with dry skin will avoid exfoliation since using harsh abrasives can result in micro tears and inflammation. It’s actually very important to use an exfoliating product but make sure that it’s a gentle one that doesn’t require physical rubbing (no crushed shells, coffee grounds, etc.).
An ingredient to look for in a gentle chemical exfoliant is lactic acid or glycolic acid. These will help to loosen the dry, dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover, making it easier for your skin to absorb the beneficial skincare. My favourite is DERMA E Overnight Peel.
Moisturizing dry skin is an important step in replenishing hydration. Look for a thicker moisturizer, typically in the form of a cream. The more oils found in the moisturizer, the better it will be absorbed through the epidermis. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramides and plant-based oils rich in fatty acids. Here is one that’s sure to hydrate: Annemarie BÖrlind LL Regeneration System Vitality Revitalizing Day Cream.
Combination & Normal Skin
People with combination skin might experience dry areas on their cheeks but slight oiliness in their T-zone. Finding the right skin care for combination skin is all about balance.
For cleansers, most people with combination to normal skin can use a variety of cleansers—from balms and milks to gels and foams. A really great combination/normal skin cleanser is Viva Health Skincare Bio Foaming Cleanser or Verum Beauty Labs Cleansing Gel with Hemp Seed Oil.
Regular gentle exfoliation is important to keep the T-zones balanced. A chemical exfoliant containing lactic acid, glycolic acid or malic acid will be beneficial. Another great option is glycolic or ferulic peel pads. Two great options are Mad Hippie AHA Exfoliating Peel or DERMA E Ferulic Acid Resurfacing Pads.
Moisturizer for combination skin can sometimes be tricky. You might find you need a richer cream for your cheek area and a lighter lotion for the T-zone. To avoid needing two different moisturizers, I suggest applying a lightweight lotion all over your face and adding a small amount more in the areas that might need an extra boost of moisture. Here is a great one that can easily be layered for extra moisture: Pure Creations Oil Free Soothing Day Moisturizer.
Think you’ve got a handle on your skin type? Well, it can change from season to season or because of hormones. Fortunately, the skin is adept at communicating what it needs. If you notice more oiliness or dryness, rashes or redness, revisit this guide or get help from one our skincare experts in-store.
Come in to Nature’s Fare Markets and visit us for any help with clean skincare recommendations!
Brianne Rempel is just as passionate about clean beauty and skin care as she is about self-growth and kindness. As our health and beauty specialist, Brianne helps us select plant-based personal care products that are eco-friendly yet effective, and she trains our team members so you can make the most of your skincare regime. Brianne brings 20 years of retail experience, where she enjoyed the chance to positively impact store culture and perfect the workplace hug.
Article was published in The Good Life magazine.