Common assumptions about skin type
Skin. We all have it. It's our largest organ after all. But caring for it the right way can be complicated. Over the course of your life, you've probably made a few of the below assumptions:
“My mother/sister/aunt has oily skin, so I do too." It's natural to think your skin must be like your family's but this isn't always the case.
“My friend recommended this, it worked so well for them.” Just because it works for them, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Using the wrong products can cause more problems than they solve – clogged pores, uneven skin, flakiness, and blemishes, just to name a few. Whether you need skincare for sensitive skin or oily skin, deciphering your true skin type gives you the power to find the products that will help you achieve the clear, glowing, healthy-looking skin you are looking for.
What are the 5 basic skin types?
Oily skin types produces a higher-than-average amount of sebum, which causes your skin to appear shiny and feel greasy and is often accompanied by other skin concerns like blackheads and enlarged pores. This is especially noticeable throughout the T-Zone area (forehead, nose and chin). If you have oily skin, you may experience clogged pores, and as clogged pores are a contributor to breakouts, those with oily skin may also be prone to blemishes.
Dry skin types is the opposite of oily, because it produces too little oil. It’s typically dull in appearance and may become rough, flaky, itchy, red, irritated or even scaly. It often feels tight or less bouncy and may be prone to visible fine lines and dry patches caused by dehydration. Dry skin and dehydrated skin are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing at all. Dehydration is caused by a lack of water, and that can happen to anyone, regardless of their skin type.
Combination skin types includes areas that are dry here, and oily there. It displays two or more defining characteristics in different areas, like the T-Zone being commonly oily, and the cheeks either dry or balanced.
Sensitive skin is regularly referred to as a skin type, but you can be any other skin type, plus have sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is characterized by an increased sensitivity to stressors and display itself as redness, itching, flaking, dryness and discomfort. These symptoms can be related to having a compromised skin barrier that is more vulnerable to external irritants and may be triggered by certain chemicals and ingredients as well as environmental factors like changes in the weather.
Balanced skin, sometimes referred to as a normal skin type, is just that – balanced. It doesn’t feel too dry or oily. It isn’t prone to blemishes and breakouts, flakiness, feeling greasy or tight. Pores are generally smaller in appearance, the skin's texture is smooth, and it is less likely to be prone to sensitivity or blemishes.
Can your skin type change?
Yes, your skin type can change, and most likely will change at some point. Your skin type naturally changes with age. Take teenage skin is typically oily or blemish-prone, but these concerns rarely last into adulthood. At the opposite end of the skin spectrum, older skin is typically drier because oil production within the skin declines with age. Other factors like a change in climate may also influence your skin type. Heat and humidity are frequently linked to oilier skin, while the cold and dry is often associated with dryness and sensitivity.
How to determine your skin type
If you’re still wondering, “how do I know my skin type?” we’re here to help. If the descriptions of the different skin types didn't help you come to a conclusion, there are simple steps you can perform at home to help you determine what type of skin you have.
How does your skin feel?
An easy way to determine your skin type is to get to know your product-free skin. Start by clarifying with a mild foaming cleanser like Evercalm™ Gentle Cleansing Gel, which is formulated specifically for sensitive skin types. Gently pat your face dry and refrain from applying any skincare products for at least half an hour. After that time has passed, observe how your skin looks and how it feels. If it feels dry and uncomfortable, it’s most likely that you have a dry skin type, while if it’s greasy or shiny then your skin type is probably oily. If your skin has both oily and dry areas, you likely have a combination skin type, irritation indicates sensitivity, and having none of the above concerns probably means you’re one of the lucky ones, blessed with balanced skin (oh to be you!).
How does your skin look?
Take a look at your pores from a few different angles. What do you see? If your pores appear small and tight, then you most likely have dry skin. If they are enlarged or clogged, then oily skin is on the cards. If they are a mixture of both, then say “hello” to combination skin, and if they are neither mentioned then you are perfectly balanced. Note: Everyone has pores. You. Me. Even models, actors, and influencers – some might say, they’re porefectly okay!
How to care for your skin type
Knowing your skin type is just the first step. You also need to know how to meet the needs of your skin type in order to build the right skincare routine for you.
Oily skin is vulnerable to natural oil-based concerns, such as blemishes, greasiness and clogged pores, which can result in blackheads. However, this is not to say that you should skip the moisturizer. This skin type still needs moisture but doesn’t need any more oil added into the mix. If you have oily skin, you’ll want to look for products that deliver lightweight hydration and help balance excess sebum at the surface without stripping your skin’s natural moisture barrier. To boost and balance hydration in blemish and breakout-prone skin, reach for Clearcalm Balancing Gel Cream. This soothing lightweight moisturizer is formulated with Liquorice Extract to help even post-blemish pigmentation and calm the complexion without any heaviness or oily residue.
Dry skin has far less oil, which makes it less able to retain vital moisture. Without sufficient moisture, the skin’s natural barrier becomes compromised and can’t work as effectively as it needs to, which leaves the skin vulnerable to a host of concerns and aggressors. The key to caring for dry skin, therefore, is to choose products that help to lock moisture into the skin. Evercalm™ Overnight Recovery Balm is a rich, thick balm designed to be used locally to target very dry or scaly skin. It helps to support your skin during its natural overnight regeneration process by feeding it with essential fatty acids and forming a physical barrier to prevent water loss. You’ve most likely heard of slugging by now – meet the ultimate slugger.
Combination skin can be difficult to manage because you’re not just targeting a specific concern but contending with several conflicting concerns (all at the same time). If combination skin is causing complexion chaos, we recommend looking for rebalancing products that provide lightweight hydration without drying or stripping your skin. We recommend incorporating an oil-balancing cleanser like Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser to your everyday routine and a treatment mask like Clearcalm Invisible Pores Detox mask once or twice a week. Enriched with Kaolin Clay, these purifying products help to draw out pore-clogging dirt and impurities and detoxify the skin.
Sensitive skin and skin sensitization ultimately stem from a disruption of the skin’s natural moisture barrier. When the barrier becomes compromised, external stressors that your skin should usually be able to resist can get past its weakened defense shield and cause chaos beneath, resulting in redness, irritation and discomfort. To help keep your skin feeling calm and comfortable, we recommend reaching for products specifically formulated to help support sensitive skin. Clinically proven to help repair and strengthen the skin barrier within 7 days, Evercalm™ Barrier Support Elixir is created to comfort sensitive, stressed or irritated skin, replenishing it with naturally nourishing oils that rapidly soothe the signs of skin sensitivity.
Balanced skin – last but by no means least. Since those with balanced skin don’t have any major concerns to address, your priorities should simply be maintaining your skin’s natural balance. Your everyday routine should include a gentle cleanser, a lightweight moisturizer, and SPF like Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 to help protect your skin from damaging UVA/UVB rays.
Find Your Skin Care Routine With REN
No matter what type of skin you have, it can at times be sensitive or prone to breakouts. However, with the right products you can care for your skin while addressing sensitivity or blemishes. Understanding how to determine skin type and identifying the right product to use in each step of your skincare is important.
To find the right skincare for your specific skin type and concerns, take our Skincare Quiz to unlock your personalized clean routine in only 5 minutes.