Skin Types & Conditions

Natural facial in progress

Confused about what your skin needs? Wondering about the difference between skin types & conditions? Here’s a cheat sheet with everything you need to know. 

Your Skin Type - The Tissue Test

We are born with our skin type; it’s in our genes. It generally refers to the amount & distribution of natural oil in our skin. There are several skin types - balanced, dry, oily & combination. If you're not sure which you are, then try the one minute “tissue test”, a simple way to get an idea. 

Wash your face gently. After waiting an hour or so, note how your skin feels. Press a tissue gently into your face, across the forehead & cheeks, into the creases around the nose & chin. Hold the tissue up to the light. The results:

  • Balanced: there may just be a faint trace of sebum (oil). Your skin feels quite comfortable.
  • Combination/Oily: the tissue sticks and there are darker patches of sebum (natural oil) visible (likely from around the T-zone). Your cheeks may feel a bit tight. 
  • Dry: the tissue doesn’t stick to the skin & has no darker patches. Your skin feels in need of moisture.

Now you’ve got to know your skin a little better, let’s go further & see what might be causing concerns.

Your Skin Condition

The way your skin looks & feels is generally influenced by internal & external factors (nutrition, hormones, sleep, stress, pollution etc.) that may cause conditions such as skin sensitivity or dehydration, for example. Skin conditions may be temporary & we can often improve them by targeting the cause. A simple example - drink more water to rehydrate.

How to Choose Skincare Products

Before choosing products, especially if you have allergies or severe conditions, you may wish to have a skin diagnosis from a GP or Dermatologist.

If you’re happy that you know what your skin goals are & confident in your understanding of your skin type & condition, think about the ingredients and consistency of your skincare products.

Ask yourself if you want to invest in more natural or organic products. Think about what you might want to avoid, such as harsh foaming cleansers, for example.

If you have an oily or combination complexion then you may prefer fewer and lighter products. If your skin is dehydrated then look for moisturiser with “aqua” (water) as the first ingredient & use floral waters to moisten your skin.

Skin changes from day to day. You may need something different in the summer months to the winter. Richer, more nourishing products might work better at night.

Get to know your skin & once you’ve found a routine that works, stick with it for a while. If it’s not working any more, change it, but don’t be a skincare junkie (as this can create sensitivity).

We have to mention facial oils here. When choosing products, don’t automatically assume that if your skin is oily or combination then you can’t use a facial oil. There are ‘dry’ oils which leave a matte finish & can be incredibly soothing & balancing, like those in our Serene & Buoyant formulas.

Always carry out a patch test if you are unsure whether a product will suit your skin.  

How to do a Patch Test

Place a small drop of the product on the inside crook of your elbow or inside of your wrist and cover with a plaster. Leave for 24 hours (without washing the area). If irritation occurs, this indicates that the product probably isn’t right for you.

Still unsure? Come & see us for a natural facial treatment & some sensible advice.