Different Types of Skin & How To Choose The Perfect Sunscreen?
Introduction to Different Types of Skin
It is important for us to know what type of skin we have to choose the perfect skin care product to include in our daily routine. Skin type is determined by genetics and usually changes with age, as the skin adjusts based on different external and internal factors. Our diet, lifestyle and the amount of water that we drink also influences the different type of skin problems that we may be facing. There are five basic skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry, Sensitive, and Combination.
Normal Skin Type
In normal skin type, the oil glands produce sebum at a moderate rate resulting in a balanced state of skin. Normal skin type usually has no greasy or dry spots, and it has a healthy glow. In normal skin, pores are generally small and not easily visible. This type of skin is not excessively shiny, nor is it flaky or chapped. Norma skin usually has fewer lines or wrinkles. Normal skin type has even skin tone with few or no blemishes. However, this does not mean that it does not need care and attention, normal skin type benefits from regular toning, cleansing, and moisturising. Those with normal skin type should avoid products that cause excessive dryness or are excessively greasy. It is important to use products that are gentle, yet still have the ingredients that your skin benefits from. Though normal skin type is low maintenance, it is important to be regular with your routine so that your skin keeps on being healthy.
Oily Skin Type
Oily skin type is a skin that is shiny, especially in the T-zone (forehead and the bridge of your nose) area. This skin type exhibits enlarged pores that are quite visible. Oily skin has a dull or shiny and thick complexion. The excessive oil makes the skin plump, resulting in fewer lines or wrinkles. Oily skin may be a result of either genetic or hormonal changes experienced by an individual. Those that have a genetic predisposition to active oil glands produce a large amount of sebum (a substance that helps skin stay hydrated and soft). When there are fluctuations in hormone levels, it signals the production of androgen (a male hormone present in both male and female), which results in an increase in sebum production. An overproduction of sebum is known as seborrhea. Oily skin is characterised by enlarged and clearly visible pores. Oily skin is prone to comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and to different forms of acne. With mild acne, there are a significant number of comedones that appear on the face, and often on the neck, shoulders, back and chest too. In mild and severe oily skin, papules (small bumps with no black or white head) and pustules (medium size bumps that have a noticeable yellow or white dot at the centre) appear on the skin and become red or inflamed. With oily skin, it is important not to use products that completely dry out your skin, as this may trigger your skin to produce more oil, resulting in oilier skin. Try to look for the word “noncomedogenic” in your skin care products, which means that it will not clog your pores. The build-up of oil can cause dead skin cells to become trapped inside the pores, leading to acne and blemishes; thus, it is essential to lightly exfoliate dead skin cells. Ensure that you wash your face twice daily, and whenever you sweat excessively. Those with oily skin may presume that they do not need to use a moisturiser; however, skipping skin care products in your daily routine may result in your skin becoming oilier. Find a product that is oil-free and lightweight, this will help your skin stay hydrated and soft. Oily skin is prone to breakouts or pimples, and people often pick at them, it is important to leave your face alone and not touch it excessively; your fingers can easily spread bacteria and worsen your skin condition.
Dry Skin Type
Dry skin can feel tight, rough and dull to look at. There may be scaly or flaky patches. Pores are small and are almost invisible in this type of skin. This type of skin may be prone to irritation and premature wrinkling. Dry skin may be a result of various factors. For some dry skin may be hereditary and it also may affect the amount of sebum produced by their oil glands. Many assume that a lack of moisture may be the reason for dry skin, however, the water content of dry skin is found to be the same as oily skin. In order to take better care of your dry skin, try to avoid taking long showers or baths in hot water, as hot water can actually strip your skin of the essential oil that is needed by your skin to keep it looking healthy and soft. Creams contain more oil than lotions making it thicker and more moisturising, thus, those with dry skin may benefit more from creams than lotions when it comes to moisturisers. People with dry skin are often prone to allergic reactions; hence, before adding a daily moisturiser to your skin care routine, make sure to test it on a small patch of your skin. It is important to use gentle or mild cleanser that are not too harsh; many cleansing products that are geared towards dry skin often contain products that replenish the oil in your skin. People with dry skin type may benefit from the use of humidifiers, especially if they live in places where the atmosphere is quite dry. Make sure that indoor temperatures do not get too hot. People with dry skin type should avoid scrubbing their skin while bathing or drying. When using cleaning agents to wash dishes etc., make sure that you are wearing gloves.
Combination Skin Type
Combination skin is the most common skin type. This means that a person has two different skin types on their face. People with combination skin type usually have dry skin on their cheek area while having oily type of skin in their T-zone area. Breakouts, blackheads and acne may occur specifically in the oily area of the skin. This type of skin has pores that appear larger than normal, because they are more open. Though combination skin type is the most common, it can be difficult to identify it and take care of it. Those with combination skin type may benefit from using two different types of moisturisers; use a heavier moisturiser on the dry areas of your skin and opt for a lightweight one for the oily parts of your skin. With combination skin type, it is often difficult to find the right balance; products with chemical ingredient may dry out your skin or cause it to become excessively oil. Those with this type of skin may find it useful to stick to products that use more natural ingredients. Fragrant products usually get their scent from chemically created fragrance that may further irritate combination type of skin. It is important for those with combination skin type to exfoliate their skin daily. The dead skin cells from the parts of your face are washed away while simultaneously unclogging your pores in the oily parts of your face.
Sensitive Skin Type
As the name itself indicates, this type of skin type is very delicate. Sensitive skin may exhibit the different characteristics of dry, normal, oily or combination skin, but it comes with extreme proneness to irritation and redness. Those with sensitive skin type are often prone to react adversely to cosmetics that contain alcohol, synthetically manufactured oil type ingredients, fragrant oils and artificial colours. Those with sensitive skin type should avoid harsh chemical based cleansers and try and stick to products that have natural ingredients.
How to Choose The Perfect Sunscreen For Your Skin Type?
Now what is a perfect sunscreen? Well the simple thing is, a sunscreen which is suitable for a person’s skin type is a perfect or an ideal sunscreen. So, a Perfect Sunscreen is essential to our skin care routine to protect us from the damaging UV rays and sunburn when outdoors. Using a sunscreen decreases our chances of acquiring sunburn, and can prevent malignant melanoma and skin cancer. Sunscreen also protects us from premature wrinkling and ageing of the skin. It is important to use a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects us from both the harmful UVA and UVB sun rays. UVA rays cause ageing of the skin and age spots if your skin is overexposed; while UVB rays burn your skin.
When buying a sunscreen you should consider the following to acquire the perfect sunscreen:
- Date of Manufacture. The fresher the product, the better protection it will offer for your skin.
- Cream Based Sunscreen. Opt for a creamy sunscreen rather than a spray or powder. Spray or powder sunscreens are mineral based and may contain some nanoparticles that may enter the bloodstream and cause other health issues. Avoid such risks by sticking to cream based sunscreens. With creamy sunscreen, it is also easier to ensure that you have applied an adequate amount of your perfect sunscreen.
- Absence of Harmful Ingredients. Some sunscreens may contain oxybenzone, which is a hormone disruptor that can cause allergic reactions. You should also be on the look-out for titanium oxide or zinc oxide and avoid sunscreens, which contain these ingredients. These products are added to the sunscreen to protect you from UV rays; however, zinc oxide can make you look pale and ghostly. Zinc oxide may also be harmful for your skin.
- SPF in Sunscreen. It is also important to remember that higher SPF (Sun Protection Factor) does not always mean better sun protection. SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% UVB rays; while SPF 50 blocks about 95% UVB rays. Thus, it is evident that SPF 50 does not offer a significant increase in protection from SPF 15.
Choosing the Sunscreen for Normal Skin Type
- If you have normal skin type it may benefit you to use SPF 30 sunscreen. This can be a Perfect Sunscreen for normal skin type.
- As with other products it is beneficial to ensure that your sunscreen is neither too oily nor to drying for your skin.
- Make sure to pair your SPF sunscreen with your regular lightweight moisturiser.
Sunscreen for Oily Skin Type
- Those with oily skin type may benefit from using sunscreens that are gel based.
- You may want to use sunscreen that has SPF 50 if you have oily skin type.
Sunscreen for Dry Skin Type
- Those with dry skin type may want to use sunscreen that also offers you an extra bit of moisture while also protecting your skin from the damaging rays of the sun.
- You may use any type of SPF depending on the number of hours that you will be out in the sun and how easily your skin burns.
Sunscreen for Combination Skin Type
- Those with combination skin type may want to opt for sunscreen with SPF 15.
- It is also important for people with combination skin type to pair their sunscreen with their regular moisturiser.
Choosing the Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin Type
- For people with sensitive skin type, it is essential to first test out whatever sunscreen they prefer on a small patch of skin.
- Those with sensitive skin type should try to avoid products with aphelia ingredients.
In conclusion, it is important for you to know what type of skin you have in order to take better care of it and also to protect it from damage and premature ageing. Knowing your skin type is essential to select the right skin care products. Sunscreens are essential to protect your skin. Not only is it important to choose the correct sunscreen based on your skin type, but it is also important to note that different skin complexions react differently to the sun. Those with fair skin tend to burn easily in the sun, while the darker skin tones are more resilient to sun exposure. Those with skin that burns easily in the sun should use products that contain a higher SPF than those with less sensitive skin type. You should also keep in mind that your face has a more delicate skin than the rest of your body. It is important to use different products for your face and body. It is also important to ensure that you apply adequate amount of sunscreen, and keep reapplying it every few hours, as the sunscreen that you apply will only protect you for a few hours. Most importantly, make sure that you use your sunscreen whenever you go out into the sun rather than keeping it stored away in your cupboard.