Do you sometimes wonder if it would have been a boon if you knew your skin type? Do you feel this would have helped you take care of your specific skin concerns in a better way?
Well, all of us have beauty goals and having smooth, clear and beautiful skin ranks top on the list. However, your skin type might react differently to different skincare ingredients. Hence, it’s best to identify your skin type first to take care of it properly.
Scroll down to learn everything about the various types of skin, how to identify your skin type, and how you can build a skincare routine based on your skin type and concerns.
What Are The Different Skin Types?
You may have come across terms like sensitive, combination, dry, oily, or normal skin types. However, do you know your current skin type? You will be surprised to know that skin types may change with time and advancing age . For example, at a young age, many people have a normal skin type which may change with growing age.
The skin type you have now primarily depends on factors like:
- Sensitivity to external and internal triggers
- Optimal level of sebum, which determines its smooth and soft texture
- Levels of water retention, which determines its elasticity
1. Normal Skin Type
This skin type is neither too oily, nor too dry. It generally includes:
- A glowing complexion
- Less prominent pores
- Less skin sensitivity
- Less blemishes or imperfections
2. Combination Skin Type
Your skin can be normal or dry in a few places and oily in other places, especially in the T-Zone (including your chin, forehead, and nose). This is a common skin type in many people and includes:
- Shiny skin
- Large and open pores
3. Dry Skin Type
Dry skin can easily become inflamed, irritated, itchy, and may peel or crack. When it becomes excessively dry, the skin can appear scaly and rough, especially in and around your legs, arms, and hands. The skin type includes:
- Prominent and visible lines
- Less elasticity
- Red patches
- Rough, dull complexion
- Small, closed pores
Dry skin can be further aggravated by:
- Chemical ingredients in cleansers, cosmetics, or soaps
- Hot, long showers and baths
- Indoor heating
- Harmful UV A and B rays
- Harsh weather conditions like extreme cold, heat, or wind
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Advancing age
4. Oily Skin Type
This skin type is signified by excessive sebum production. The level of sebum may fluctuate based on the weather or season. This skin type includes:
- Pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, or other skin flaws
- Thick, shiny or dull complexion
- Enlarged, open pores
Factors which may further aggravate the skin type include:
- Excessive humidity or heat
- Stress and anxiety
- Other hormonal fluctuations
5. Sensitive Skin Type
If you have sensitive skin, then you should try to identify the triggers so that you can keep away from them.
The skin type includes:
The various factors that can aggravate sensitive skin include
- Specific foods
- Weather conditions
- Skincare products etc
The Ayurvedic Approach To Understanding Skin Types
The ancient and holistic Ayurvedic approach to skincare encompasses various aspects of an individual’s lifestyle. Starting from the sleeping pattern and exercise to overall emotional well-being and nutrition, Ayurveda focuses on the complete lifestyle and surrounding environment of an individual.
According to the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, the natural glow and resilience of your skin is regarded as a true reflection of your physical and mental health. Additionally, the quality and appearance of your skin is ruled by your primary dosha and prakriti , which circulates in your body and regulates all physiological activities. Skin types can thereby be classified as under:
1. Vata Skin Type
This skin type is usually rough and dry in texture, and a shade darker. Often thin and cool in temperature, vata skin type is prone to damage under stressful conditions. It tends to break out to form rashes which cause skin unevenness such as excessive flakiness and dryness.
2. Pitta Skin Type
This skin type is usually fair or pale, oily, and soft with a warm undertone. It is usually medium-thick. Also, it is susceptible to sores, acne, and rashes when undergoing any physiological or hormonal imbalance.
3. Kapha Skin Type
This skin type is cool, very fair, oily and thick. It usually has a high water retention. The appearance of blackheads, whiteheads or pimples, and large open pores during hormonal fluctuations can be seen.
Any noticeable change in your skin may indicate a change in your health as well!
How Can You Identify Your Skin Type?
Apart from general observation, there are various methods to identify skin types. The Fitzpatrick Scale is a commonly used classification system by dermatologists.
The Fitzpatrick Scale is also classified as the Fitzpatrick Phototype Scale and Fitzpatrick Skin Typing Test. Devised by Thomas B. Fitzpatrick in 1975, the original test was based on the skin colour and eye colour, but the results were not accurate. The scale was then modified to include genetics and actual reactions observed after sun exposure in an individual.
Nowadays, it is known that acne and sun exposure cause similar effects, and knowing your skin type can help you to prevent breakouts and burns. The test is still popularly used to study the effects and causes of skin pigmentation.
The scale aims at understanding the skin’s potential for hyperpigmentation, irritation, and burns. These can help to indicate how specific invasive treatments and topical applications may affect your skin. The skin types classified according to the Fitzpatrick Scale are as following:
Susceptibility To Tanning
Pale fair skin, green/blue eye colour, red/blond hair colour
Doesn’t tan, always burns
Fair complexion with blue eye colour
Tans poorly, easily burns
Medium fair complexion
Tans post skin burn
Light brown complexion
Easily tans, minimal burn
Easily tans dark, rarely burns
Dark brown to black complexion
Always tans dark, never burns
In order to understand your skin type based on an Ayurvedic perspective, it is important to know your prakriti, which can be determined by an Ayurvedic doctor.
Types Of Skin Conditions & Factors Affecting Skin
The condition of your skin can differ greatly in the various stages of your life. There are several external and internal factors which may determine the condition of your skin. These include sweat, genetics, stress, medication, pollution, climatic conditions, as well as the skincare products you choose for yourself.
The different types of skin disorders and conditions include:
Considered as a widespread and common skin disorder, acne appears in various forms. These include:
- Cysts, which are thin, pus-filled large boils that appear just underneath your skin
- Nodules, which are lump-like painful structures which appear beneath your skin’s surface
- Papules, that are red and raised boils which occur due to abnormal hair follicles
- Pustules, which are red pimples and appear as acne breakouts in your skin
These are itchy and irritating welts which appear slightly raised from your skin’s surface. There are various causes of hives including tight clothes, illnesses, stress or any allergic reactions.
They appear as raised lumps on your skin’s surface and occur due to the infection caused by human papillomavirus. This skin disorder is highly contagious and may infect any area of your body.
Blisters are clear, watery, pus-filled lumps which appear on the surface of your skin. They may either appear as single or multiple bumps, and can appear in any area of your body.
These are white or yellow-coloured scaly patches that gradually dissipate as flakes. The affected skin may be oily, greasy, itchy, or red. Some people may experience hair loss in the affected area.
It is important to consider your skin type and skin condition while selecting skincare products. A skincare expert identifies your skin condition by considering the following factors:
Your skin type can change with advancing age. If you had an oily complexion in your teen years, you may observe a dry complexion in your 20s. With advancing age, all skin types tend to lose their natural density and volume. This gives rise to the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines as well as pigmentation . Identifying and understanding these early signs of skin ageing can help you to know your skin condition.
B. Skin Tone
Your ethnicity and skin tone determines how your skin behaves when exposed to external triggers like inflammation, irritation, pigmentation disorders, and sunlight. Your natural skin tone is classified by the presence of melanin and the density of epidermis.
The ability of your skin to turn red is also considered as an important measure as it helps in understanding the amount of blood circulation. Additionally, it helps in detecting conditions like rosacea and couperose.
C. Skin Sensitivity
Skin sensitivity is easily triggered by various factors, which are normally endured by well-balanced skin. These factors include extreme low and high temperatures as well as skincare products and makeup.
In a few individuals, skin sensitivity is a permanent condition whereas for others it is aggravated by specific external and internal conditions. This happens when your skin’s natural barrier is harmed, which leads to exposure to irritants and loss of natural moisture.
D. Sweat & Sebum Production
The level of sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands in your skin regulates the potential of your skin’s natural barrier mechanism. It also determines the condition of your skin. Excessive sebum production leads to acne-prone, oily complexion, whereas less sebum causes a dry complexion.
In order to help regulate your body’s optimal temperature, the perspiratory glands present in your skin produce sweat. Low or excessive production of sweat can affect the condition of your skin.
Please consult a knowledgeable dermatologist or Ayurvedic doctor to address and treat your specific skin condition.
How To Take Care Of Different Skin Types?
1. Oily Skin Type
Many people who have oily complexion tend to splurge on skincare products which claim to dry and clear the skin, such as acne ointments containing harmful chemicals like benzoyl peroxide. This can instead damage your skin and aggravate your acne. Hence, it is important to avoid using chemical-laden skincare products to address your skin concerns.
Always remember to gently exfoliate your oily complexion, since the sebum build-up may cause dead skin cells and acne-causing bacteria to accumulate in the pores, leading to blemishes and acne.
Even though you may think of using harsher cleansers, it is crucial to use mild exfoliating agents such as salicylic acid. This natural exfoliant helps in gently removing dead skin cells which may cause blockages.
A. Treating Acne
Excessive sebum secretion may cause acne breakouts, and many people with oily complexion face the continuous challenge of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. If you have been experiencing frequent acne-breakouts, then you can try using skincare products that contain salicylic acid as an active ingredient.
Many skin experts suggest salicylic acid to those who experience mild to moderate breakouts. The gentle ingredient penetrates into the pores and removes the build-up of debris, dead skin cells, and sebum which may further aggravate your skin condition, if left untreated.
B. Combating Signs Of Aging
If you have an oily complexion, you don’t have to worry too much when it comes to advancing age. People with oily complexion don’t have many wrinkles, meaning the effects of aging are less visible. Also, they have a thick skin due to their genes, which ensures less visible lines, as they have high water retention in their skin.
C. Lifestyle Changes
Adapting healthy lifestyle choices may control excess sebum production and shine. Maintaining normal sleeping patterns, daily exercise and a healthy nutritional diet plan benefits your skin and overall health in the long term.
D. Makeup Regime
Stay away from chemical-laden, heavy, and thick cosmetics and ingredients which may cause blockage in your pores. Always remember to use non comedogenic and oil-free skincare and makeup products formulated for oily complexion. Ensure that you take off your makeup every night before going to sleep. Additionally, ensure that you properly rinse and clean your makeup scrubs and brushes daily to prevent bacterial infections.
E. Use A Light Moisturizer
You may think that you can skip using a moisturizer. However, your skin can become oilier and greasier if you don’t moisturize daily. The sebaceous glands in the skin begin to produce and secrete excessive sebum in the absence of a proper skincare ritual. Use an oil-free and lightweight moisturizer which keeps your skin nourished, hydrated, and supple.
F. Stop Touching Your Face
People with oily complexion face constant blemishes and breakouts. However, it is important to avoid popping or picking them which may worsen the existing condition, leaving behind scars. The tips of your fingers may spread the acne-causing bacteria further into your skin, resulting in an acne breakout.
2. Dry Skin Type
In a dry skincare regime, the most essential step is to find a moisturizer which helps in hydrating and moisturizing your skin. People with dry complexion often experience allergic reactions which can be alleviated with the help of creams. When compared with lotions, creams contain rich and dense moisturizing elements.
Vedix Tip: Before you select and include any moisturizer in your daily skincare regime, it is important to do a patch test (apply the moisturizer onto a small area on your arm) to know whether you have any allergic reaction.
A. Avoid Harsh Facial Cleansers
Don’t use any chemical-laden facial cleansers, especially if they contain benzoyl peroxide as they adversely affect the production of sebum in your skin. You can instead opt for mild, moisturizing, and replenishing ingredients like green tea extract to cleanse your skin. This ensures that your skin remains supple and hydrated.
B. Drink Adequate Amount Of Water
Drinking water is crucial for overall good health as it ensures that your body’s physiological and metabolic functions are properly regulated. It also hydrates your skin as it replenishes the lost moisture and water content.
C. Showering & Bathing
Stop taking long, hot baths and showers as it tends to dry out your skin further. Use only lukewarm water while showering and bathing, and limit your time to 5 minutes.
3. Combination Skin Type
Combination complexion is considered as one of the most common complexions. However, it can be a difficult task to build a skincare routine for this skin type. Your skin in the T-Zone remains oily and shiny, which includes your chin, nose, and forehead. This occurs due to the presence of more active sebaceous glands in these locations as compared to other locations such as your cheeks.
A. Choose Natural Ingredients
People with combination skin type often experience extreme dryness while using chemically-laden, harsh skincare products. Such products tend to aggravate the dry skin condition and stimulate excessive sebum secretion in the T-Zone. Hence, it is important to use skincare products which are formulated with mild and herbal ingredients such as chamomile, cucumber, and green tea which calms inflammation and soothes your skin.
B. Don’t Use Fragrant Products
You will experience dry and flaky skin condition with combination skin type. Your skin gets easily irritated by specific products and ingredients, including fragrance-based products. Ensure that you opt only for natural, scent-free skincare products which calm and soothe your skin.
C. Use Two Different Types Of Moisturizers
Your moisturizer needs to address the dry skin on your cheeks and the oily skin in and around the T-Zone. As a perfect solution is difficult to achieve with one product, it is important to include two different types of moisturizers in your daily skincare routine. You can use a dense, creamy moisturizer on your cheeks, and an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer on your T-Zone.
D. Remember To Exfoliate
Exfoliating is an integral step in your combination skincare routine. This needs to be done without aggravating or damaging the skin. Gentle exfoliation ensures that the dead skin cells and debris are removed from the dry areas, and blocked pores are cleared and unclogged. Use natural and mild ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal to gently exfoliate your skin.
4. Sensitive Skin Type
A. Cleanse Your Skin
Begin with a mild, sulphate-free facial cleanser. This will not form any lather on your skin. A mild, cream-based cleanser removes impurities and dead skin cells without damaging your skin.
B. Tone Your Skin
Always opt for ingredients which are effective in calming and soothing your skin. Chamomile and green tea extracts are renowned for their anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and soothing properties.
C. Moisturize Your Skin
Ensure that you select a moisturizer which is scent-free, as fragrant products can result in irritation and allergic reactions. Also, don’t use alcohol-based skincare and makeup products.
D. Always Wear Sunscreen
Ensure that you apply sunscreen lotions or creams with a SPF factor of 30 or above. Don’t skip the step even when the outside weather is cool and cloudy. You may use sunscreens which contain zinc oxide, as it doesn't cause any allergic reaction or irritation.
E. Remove Your Makeup Gently
Sensitive skin type is more susceptible to irritation and redness. Hence, it is imperative to be very gentle and careful while removing your makeup in the night, keeping friction to a bare minimum.
D. Alleviate & Minimize Redness
Sensitive complexion can even lead to red patches in your face. External irritants like UV rays, fragrances, artificial colours as well as internal irritants like stress can wreak havoc on your sensitive skin.
When you come in contact with an irritant, the blood flow to your skin’s surface is elevated in order to reduce and heal the inflammation. You may place a damp and cold washcloth on the irritable and affected skin after cleansing gently with a mild face cleanser.
Always look for natural ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties such as aloe vera and cucumber. This can help to minimize redness and restore the normal balance.
E. Shower & Bathe In Lukewarm Wate
Hot and long showers and baths definitely feel good, but they can leave your sensitive skin irritable and red, as they strip away all the essential oils. Hence, avoid hot showers and baths to prevent any further aggravation.
Ayurvedic Skincare Regime
1. Vata Skin Type
Due to its delicate and fragile nature, vata skin needs maximum care and attention.
- Geranium essential oil can resolve dry skin issues and frankincense essential oil helps in battling the signs of aging and fine lines by turning over the skin cells.
- Citrus essential oils like orange and neroli ensure proper absorption of Vitamin C into your skin cells. This helps in reversing the signs of pigmentation and damage, issues that the vata skin is highly susceptible to as compared to other skin types.
- Pomegranate is an excellent carrier oil as it is a powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamins, as well as punicic acid which is extremely beneficial for the production of collagen.
- Cleanse your skin gently to avoid aggressive exfoliation or excessive drying out. Nut or rice powder combined with pure rose water, or milk can work wonderfully to cleanse and nurture your skin without causing any damage.
- Aggravated skin quickly becomes flaky and dries out, leading to the appearance of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. In such cases, essential oils extracted from chamomile and helichrysum are beneficial as they heal and restore your skin.
- A thick carrier oil like hemp, rosehip, or avocado works wonderfully when applied on the affected regions which heals your skin from deep within.
2. Pitta Skin Type
Pitta skin tends to be highly sensitive and vulnerable to sun damage, aggravation, and redness.
- Essential oils extracted from rose and sandalwood are extremely soothing and calming. Sandalwood helps in balancing pitta, which ensures you have a glowing and flawless skin. Rose is popularly known for its astringent properties which minimizes redness and retains the moisture content in your skin, preventing further irritation.
- Lavender is known for its calming and soothing effect.
- Moringa and jojoba oils are excellent choices as carrier oils as they have high nutritional value but are light in weight.
- Application of pure aloe vera gel onto your face and neck for 10 minutes twice a week followed by cleansing with cold water can calm and soothe your skin.
- If you’re suffering a sudden flare-up like rosacea, then avoid cleansing your face in the morning. Instead, apply a thick layer of honey on your face, leave it for 10 minutes and gently wipe off with a warm washcloth.
- A chamomile facial compress is also considered beneficial for aggravated pitta skin as it is an amazing natural solution for minimizing redness.
- A few thin, cold slices of cucumber also provide quick relief from inflammation and redness.
3. Kapha Skin Type
For kapha skin type, gentle cleansing followed by mild exfoliation is considered as the essential ritual for maintaining good skin health.
- Understanding its natural tendency of excessive production of sebum, essential oils extracted from clary sage and turmeric can be beneficial. Both the natural ingredients are known to help prevent inflammation and maintain your skin’s natural oil balance.
- Grapeseed oil is a wonderful carrier oil as it is light in weight, and contains high amounts of linoleic acid, antioxidants, and Omega-6. All these skin-friendly elements help in staving off inflammation occurring due to acne breakouts.
- Gently exfoliate your face and neck with a combination of honey and sea salt. Apply a herbal steam including mint leaves after exfoliation. Follow these steps 2-3 times a week for preventing excessive sebum secretion and unclogging blocked pores.
- When aggravated, this skin type experiences skin conditions such as rashes, blemishes, and acne breakouts. Essential oils extracted from clove and tea tree oil can gently control the sebum production, manage and alleviate redness, as well as address various other skin concerns accompanying acne breakouts.
Which Foods Are Good For Your Skin Type?
Flaxseeds are small brown seeds which are a powerhouse of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a form of Omega-3 fatty acid naturally present in plants. These fatty acids are extremely beneficial for your skin health as they minimize the adverse effects of pollution and UV radiation. Additionally, they reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles and nourish dry skin.
The oil extracted from the pressed seeds is renowned to make your skin look less scaly, giving you a smooth, clear skin . Other natural food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.
These skin-friendly fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant prevents free radicals within the cells. A few studies have shown that Vitamin C can help in protecting your skin from UV A and B damage, hydrating your skin from within, and boosting collagen production .
Always consume fully ripe kiwis as they have the highest amounts of antioxidants. Some other rich sources of Vitamin C are broccoli, strawberries, parsley, red peppers, guava, citrus fruits, blueberries, and blackcurrants.
Kiwis are known to contain more amounts of Vitamin C than oranges.
Avocados are rich sources of Vitamin E and C, which are considered powerful antioxidants that protect the skin cells from external damage. Additionally, they contain zeaxanthin and lutein that benefit the skin by improving its appearance. They are also a powerhouse of monounsaturated fats which help in absorbing specific vitamins such as A, K, E and D.
Dark leafy vegetables such as spinach are powerful nutritional sources. They provide all types of vitamins as well as high amounts of antioxidants which are beneficial for your skin health. A few studies have shown that individuals who consume at least 2-3 servings of green, leafy vegetables every week are less susceptible to skin cancer .
5. Green Tea
If you wish for smooth and clear skin, then swap your cup of coffee with the potent green tea. It is a rich source of polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidants. These help in minimizing the excessive sebum production in your body, as well as fight the acne-causing bacteria. Also, it is known to contain flavonoids that help in DNA repair and prevent fine lines from appearing.
6. Oily Fish
Coenzyme Q10 is naturally found in your body which slightly resembles vitamins. It helps in cell growth and regeneration and protects from free radical damage. It also helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, giving a smooth texture to your skin. Some natural sources of this skin-friendly enzyme are cold-water fish like tuna, salmon, and herring.
The Last Word
You are naturally blessed with a specific type of skin along with a set of unique skin concerns. Hence, it is imperative to devise and follow a skincare regime that works for your skin type and age. A simple, regular skincare routine follows three essential steps: cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Apart from following a personalized skincare regimen, it is equally important to adopt a healthy lifestyle including better sleeping habits, exercising and a nutritional diet.Know Your Dosha Now
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