Thursday, 15 August 2013

Skincare Series | How your Skin works & Analysing what Skintype you have

Trying to determine what kind of Skintype you have is not always easy and I find quite a few people don't actually know what kind of skin they have. Everyone's skin is different and not all of us have perfect skin. In fact, very few of us are lucky enough to be born with naturally perfect skin. 
In today's post, I will be starting the first installment of a new series of write-ups all about Skincare. I will be discussing everything from how to assess your own Skintype to what products you should avoid using on your face. To kick things off, I think we should first go through some Skincare basics to better understand how exactly our skin works.

Firstly, the condition of your skin can tell alot about your lifestyle. Daily factors like diet, exercise and stress can all take a toll on your skins appearance and these factors alone should be taken into consideration when trying to achieve that perfect (or almost perfect) complexion. I believe if you want your skin to look and feel healthy, then knowing a little bit about how exactly it works first can be a big help.
You may or may not already know, but your skin is made up of 3 layers. The deepest layer which is know as the Hypo-dermis. It contains all the vital parts like fat, nerves and blood vessels. This would also be the part of your skin that when burnt, is normally called a 3rd Degree burn. 
The middle layer of your skin is just called the Dermis. In this layer contains proteins like elastin (which give skin elasticity) and collagen (which gives skin its firm strength and appearance). The Dermis also contains hair follicles,  sebaceous glands and some more blood vessels. The nerves in which we sense touch, are also located in the Dermis. 
The final and outer-most layer of skin is know as the Epidermis. This is the top layer of skin which is exposed and also several layers deep. Cells are created in the lowest layer and then transported through to a hardened layer from which they then fall off the body. This is known as the Cell Renewal Process. It takes about a month for newly created cells to move themselves to the outer layer of the Epidermis, then falling off due to starvation of moisture and oxygen. These are the dead skin cells in which we remove when we exfoliate. The Epidermis also helps the skin to regulate the body's temperature.

On the surface of the Epidermis lies an oil layer. This helps protect skins surface and retains moisture content. The usage of harsh chemicals and strongly scented products can remove this protective layer from the skin. However, the use of a moisturiser can help to replenish this. Hydration is the key in achieving a smooth and even Skintone and using a moisturiser can greatly impact on how the skin looks and feels.
Your skin changes a lot from season to season and outside factors like wind, sunlight, stress, diet, hormonal changes and even pregnancy can all affect the condition of our skin. If you learn to recognize the various skin conditions, you will then be able to diagnose and manage your skins problems.

There are 5 main different types of skin. I have put together a few points on each type and it should help you in deciding which one you may have.

Skin feels smooth and even
Small pores (larger on forehead)
May experience small amount of shine
Both water and oil content in the skin is balanced
General 'comfortable' feel to skin

Dry or Extra Dry
Skin may be sensitive
Pores are quite small
Surface feels rough and dehydrated
Feels tight after washing
Overall dullness and flakeyness
Little or no oil on surface

Oily through the T-zone area
Larger Pores on forehead, nose and chin
Dry on cheeks or in certain spots
(Over 70% of population have combination skin)

Large and visible pores
May be prone to breakouts or acne
Oily or greasy apperance

Itchy or blotchy
Irritated easily by products
Can be either oily or dry

These are just general indications on what type your skin may be. But environmental factors can play a big part in your skins appearance. Things like diet, health and medical conditions can all affect the overall condition of the skins surface. Look at your clean, un-moisturised skin an hour or two after washing it. How does it feel? This is a good way to determine your Skintype. An accurate analysis of your skin will help you to decide what products are best suited to you and which ones will be most effective.

If you have any questions or maybe you're not sure what Skintype you have, please leave me a comment down below and I will be happy to try and help you find out. 

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