When we’re adolescents, and we’re figuring out our skincare routine, the kind of makeup we like, and how much we want to wear, we quickly come to realize that things aren’t quite as simple as we thought. You might wish for photo finish matte skin, but your genetics have gifted you an oily t-zone. You might wish for sunkissed rosy cheeks but end up with a spattering of acne.
“Life’s not fair,” your inner monolog screams to the heavens. We know! Unfortunately for us, you can’t order your skin type like a meal off a menu. If you could, we’d probably all look precisely the same, and that would be so boring!
For generations, people have been lamenting their natural, skin type and asking if there’s some secret way hidden in the pages of some sacred beauty text to change it. The short answer is no; you can’t change your skin type.
But that’s not to say it won’t change on its own as you age or as you spend time in environments with different natural conditions. At twenty, you might have had to shop for the foundation for oily skin, but at thirty or forty, you might need to look for an entirely different product.
Keeping up with your skin as it ages and changes is something that requires you to check in on it from time to time like you would with a friend you’ve known for a long time. Let’s take a look at how your skin might change over time and how to look after it as it does.
While you can’t change your skin type from one to the other on command, you can manage the skin type that you have by understanding what causes its conditions and what it needs to become a bit more balanced.
Normal skin, also known as eudermic skin, is relatively problem-free for the most part and naturally reasonably well balanced. If you have a smooth texture, no sensitive spots, fine pores, and an even complexion, this is you.
Normal skin still needs care, but it doesn’t usually need corrective care. Follow a basic cleanse, tone, moisturize regime, drink lots of water (this is a rule that everyone should follow), always wash off your makeup and wear your sunscreen (this is too).
Oily skin is a result of excess sebum or oil. If your skin looks greasy, if you have large pores and are prone to breakouts, this is you. Oily skin can be caused by a number of things: genetics, large pores taking in too much dirt and overproducing sebum, a hot or humid environment, or using too many harsh soaps or exfoliants which causes the skin to overcompensate.
Once you’ve figured out why your skin is oily, you can figure out how to balance it. Some good general tips are to wash your face often with a gentle, nourishing cleanser, moisturize with a lightweight moisturizer, and avoid touching your face too often.
Dry skin is often flaky and rough from a lack of moisture. If your skin looks cracked and uneven or feels itchy or tight, this is you. As with oily skin, there are a number of reasons why your skin might be dry: environmental factors like constant exposure to extreme cold or to air conditioning, your genes, aging, a harsh skincare routine, or spending a lot of time in the water.
Ways to combat and balance this are to moisturize often, pat your face dry rather than rubbing it, drink lots of water, use a humidifier and, as always, wear your sunscreen!
Combination skin is a mix of normal, dry, and oily in different areas. If you experience breakouts only on your chin and forehead, have an oily t-zone, and sensitive cheeks, this is you! This type of skin means that you’ll need to care differently for the different areas of your face: follow an oily regimen for the t-zone and a dry or normal one for the rest of the face as needed.
As you age, your skin type can change without warning. You might also have unusual issues if you have particularly sensitive skin as the seasons change or if you move from one type of climate into another. Check-in with your skin if what used to work isn’t working anymore. If you are unsure or need help figuring out what’s going on, consult a dermatologist or beauty therapist for assistance. You can only treat issues that you understand!
Whatever your skin type or issues, love the skin you’re in! Blemishes are normal, oil is normal, smooth skin is normal, pores are normal (yes, it’s true: everyone has them); having actual texture on your skin is normal (photo-shopped skin is not realistic). Yes, take corrective measures if you need to but remember that your skin is natural and normal, however it looks. Your skin type might change over time, or not, but you don’t have to stop loving it, ever!