One of the most frequently asked questions here at the Niche & Cult HQ is, what’s my skin type?
So, not only have we tried to make is extra simple with our “Find My Niche” category of our website. We wanted to give you a low down on it; keeping it as simple as humanly possible. These days, skin care and beauty companies will often try to blind you with science and big words, which simply add to the confusion, but end up doing an excellent job of selling you something that you do not really understand.
In short, the skin type you have is predominantly down to genes. However, not drinking enough water and hydrating the body, as well as ageing factors such as smoking, will impact the quality of your skin.
Remember the old adage “you are what you eat”, a smoking free, alcohol limited life and a healthy diet will reflect in the radiance of your skin, making you feel better on the inside and keep you looking fab on the outside too. That said, none of us are Saints, and we all want to balance the fun we can have, and the lifestyles we love, alongside looking our best. So we are not going to preach to you about healthy living.
It’s your life, so live it the way you choose, feel free to stick two fingers up at our recommendations, we don’t care! We will offer a few pointers, what you choose to do with them, is down to you! It’s just that, quite simply, the better care you take of your skin, the better its quality and healthy appearance lasts. After all, you wouldn’t take your best “hand was only” silk shirt and trample it on the floor, then chuck it the washing machine without the correct washing detergent, would you?
So, let’s just get serious for a moment. To asses your skin type, do the following:
Wash your face, removing any product or make-up
Now gently dry, DO NOT apply any products at all. Just wait. Give your skin two to 3 hours with nothing on at all. (Go on, chill out and watch Netflix, this is the perfect excuse!)
After this time, go check in the mirror and look, look very closely, what do you see?
Healthy looking, non-irritated smooth skin?
You have NORMAL skin. Congratulations; you are pretty rare, and the envy of many! Straightforward cleansing and hydration of the skin is key to maintaining this healthy skin type to prevent it look dull or devitalised.
Your skin looks shiny, feels slightly slick to the touch. Sometimes you get breakouts and spots (regardless of age; anyone can get spots).
You have OILY skin. It’s not the end of the world. Your skin actually will generally be better hydrated and age slower than other skin types! Every skin type has its perks! Just remind yourself of that when you get a breakout. You just need to manage the excess sebum production and cleanse well to avoid the build-up of blocked pores.
Your skin feels tight, it may look a bit dull, and it may even have some flaky areas too. You have DRY skin.
This skin type needs extra oils adding by moisturising. Cleanse with products that do not over strip or dry out the skins natural oils too much. Often associated with age, but often not the case at all. Drink plenty of fluid, and protect your skin from extreme cold or hot weather where possible.
Hmm…Can’t decide? It looks like a bit of everything? Shiny forehead and/or nose (that’s the area referred to as the T-Zone)? Yet areas of your skin feel tight or dry? Sometimes you get spots or pimples in the greasier places?
Well, you are a classic COMBINATION skin type! A little bit of everything! Usually, it’s the cheeks and sometimes the chin that have the dry or normal skin areas. This is all absolutely fine, and very easy to manage. Just ensure you are not over stripping the skin anywhere. Target the dryer areas with more hydration and ensure a good toner to manage your type. Look out for products designed specifically for your skin type. They will not over hydrate or over strip.
We shall cover Skin Concerns in another article. But do remember that conditions are very different to skin type. Redness, Rosacea, Eczema, psoriasis etc. are all skin conditions. A medical professional, pharmacist or doctor should be consulted if in doubt about the skin condition, or if something new develops that you are unsure about.
Just remember…Regardless of your skin type, always:
Cleanse thoroughly morning and evening. Never go to bed in make-up.
Look after your skin. You will be glad you did later on in life when everyone tells you “you don’t look your age” (By the same token, you will smugly and secretly be grateful of those that didn’t take care of their skin as they make you look even better on comparison!….Ooh, did we just say that?!)
Hydrate! Inside and out! If you have a booze binge, hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate. Replace lost fluids with drinking lots of water and moisturising your skin. (Perhaps lie with a facemask on and close your eyes whilst the paracetamol kicks in?)
Eat Healthily wherever you can; be kind to your body. But forgive yourself if you have an epic fail every so often. We all do it!
Protect from excess sun damage. Even if it looks like it won’t burn. It still can! Even in the depths of winter, sun bouncing off the snow can damage without you even realizing it!