It feels good being back after a mini-break, but here’s what’s been keeping me busy: I have taken over a new role, and I’m currently heading the training programs for a Pharmacy group in the United Arab Emirates. And so, while I was preparing a skincare module for the team, it just struck me; what can I do to simplify the learning process for them? I mean, yes, give them all the basics of skincare, talk about different skin types, conditions, common ingredients and so on. But what if I could help them identify the the five top ingredients that their skin would need and help them understand how to factor this into their daily practice. For me, as an educator and trainer – it’s all about simplifying the basics. So, get’s get moving to our topic for today: how to choose the best ingredients for your skin type?
Know Your Skin Type
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recognizes five main skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination and sensitive skin. Each skin type has its unique characteristics, and knowing them can help you take better care of your skin.
To start, wash your face with a gentle cleanser then gently pat it dry. If after 20 minutes your skin appears shiny throughout, you likely have oily skin. On the other hand, if it feels tight and is flaky or scaly, you likely have dry skin; if the shine is only in your T-Zone, you probably have combination skin; and if your skin feels hydrated and comfortable, but not oily, you likely have normal skin.
Characteristics of Each Skin Type
- Normal skin is the one that is neither too oily nor too dry. It hits the perfect balance. You will have very few to no skin imperfections, no visible pores, no sensitivity, and your skin will age beautifully. However, it doesn’t mean that you should take it for granted and not take care of your skin.
- Dry skin typically makes the skin look and feel rough, itchy, flaky or scaly.
- Oily skin can be determined by shiny skin. It is generally more prone to breakouts and acne.
- Combination skin is just that, a combination of dry and oily skin. Your t-zone (nose, forehead, and chin) may be oily while your cheeks are dry and flaky.
It is important to note that any skin type (as indicated in the above chart) can also be classified as sensitive skin. If your skin is particularly sensitive, be sure to pay close attention to the products and treatments used on the skin to avoid irritation.
Now let’s move to the ingredients that works best for each skin types …
For Oily Skin
Look for products containing alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic acid or lactic acid), salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and retinol. Clay masks are also a good option for oily skin since it helps absorb excess sebum, or oil. Additionally, some clay masks also incorporates anti-inflammatory ingredients to soothe the redness resulting from blemishes.
Collectively, these ingredients are effective at controlling the excess sebum production while some of the work via its pore cleansing properties. On the other hand, the hyaluronic acid helps with maintaining the skin hydration.
For Dry Skin
For dry skin, look for products containing both moisturizing and hydrating ingredients. Basically, your hydrating serums mainly contains hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera and will require other products to seal the water they provide into your skin. That’s where ingredients like ceramides, squalane, shea butter, urea and lactic acid comes in handy.
For Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin needs gentle, soothing ingredients. You don’t want anything astringent or abrasive that will add to the irritation. Look for products containing aloe vera, oatmeal, green tea, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, allantoin, ceramides and shea butter. They are not only good moisturizing ingredients, but also they don’t make your skin break out.
For Acne Prone Skin
The best ingredients for acne prone skin are benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, retinol, tea tree oil, and sulfur. They have antibacterial properties which help kill acne-causing bacteria.
Now that you have learnt how to choose the best ingredients for your skin type, do share with me your skin care routine! Leave us a comment below, and don’t forget to share this on your social media.