A 411 on what we know about “skin types”

Even for a person who is remotely aware of or associated with beauty, the concept of skin types is not an alien one. You could be following a full-fledged 10-step skincare routine or a four-step C-T-M-P (cleanse-treat-moisturise-protect) routine—in any case, being cognisant of your skin type and its potential concerns and requirements are mandatory. After all, the entire efficacy of your skincare regimen is dependent on the kind of products you choose, which is unequivocally done on the very basis of your skin type. Here’s our guide on everything you need to know about skin types and what it takes to care for the different skin types.

What are skin types all about?

Christina Chung, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Philadelphia told i, “Skin typing is understanding how your skin exists naturally at a point in time. Everyone has a different biological setting for their skin and is genetically programmed to produce different levels of oil,” indicating the significant influence of sebum production in determining your skin type. More often than not, when we experience (or observe) a higher oil secretion, especially in the T-zone area (forehead + nose), we declare it to be an oily skin type. However, that very sebum secretion occurring in a bare minimum capacity is indicative of the skin being dry with bare minimum occlusion on areas of the face, which is known as dry skin. Of course, there are a couple of other skin types that find a spot between the broader classifications of skin types, but the point is that knowing your exact skin type is critical to curate an efficacious skincare routine for yourself (as different skin types have different needs at different stages in the day). Please note that your skin type is subject to changes at any given time in life due to multifarious reasons. 

The different skin types

Different skin types can experience different concerns; for instance, dry skin is equally susceptible to eczema as well as psoriasis. Here are some of the most common skin types:

  1. Oily Skin 

A report reveals that oily skin is the second-most common skin type in India, 39% of people fall under this bracket to be particular. With most of the country experiencing a tropical, humid climate for most of the year, it’s no surprise that oily skin scores that position. To identify oily skin is rather simple—excessively shiny- and greasy-appearing skin all day, every day. The sebum production is higher in this skin type which is why the skin perpetually looks as though there’s a film of shine sitting on it. Congested and clogged pores, blackheads and whiteheads and acne are common issues that oily skin experiences. 

  1. Combination Skin

How is combination skin different from oily skin? With the former, only the T-zone gets oily; the rest of the face may appear to be normal or can also tend to get dry. It’s a little tricky to curate a skincare routine for combination skin since it requires both oil-controlling as well as moisturising products. With combination skin, it’s also best to listen to what your skin is saying on a given day since how your skin feels can also vary from time to time, season to season. 

  1. Dry Skin

Much to your surprise, a whopping chunk of 42% of Indians falls under the dry skin bracket. Identifying dry skin is a no-brainer: peeling, flaking, red, irritated and parched skin are common signs of dry skin types. All the world’s nourishment may fall short for dry skin type as it soaks up everything under the sun. 

  1. Acne-prone Skin

An extension of oily skin type, acne-prone skin is also rather common in India. Extensive pollution, an exceedingly humid climate and augmented hormonal imbalances have contributed to the spurt in the number of people experiencing acne. Remember, skin with minimal blemishes or occasional breakouts doesn’t classify as acne-prone skin.

  1. Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin can be prone to eczema, psoriasis, flakiness, redness and itchiness. Those with this skin type should be very careful with what they’re applying to the skin and how much of it they are using. Sensitive skin may also have a weak barrier, resulting in more episodes of damage.

What’s best for your skin (type)?

Instead of plunging into the rut of skin type-based products, we, at Gunam, are advocates of a minimalistic skincare routine comprising products that are effective and multi-tasking so you’re free from the hassles of layering multiple products. Some ways of bettering your skincare routine are including multi-active chemical exfoliants, lightweight and deeply-nourishing moisturisers and facial oils that tick off multiple needs at once. Below are a few hacks to conquer triumph over your day-to-day skin concerns according to your skin type.

Dry Skin

- Limit the usage of cleansers to once a day.

- Avoid using a chemical exfoliant more than twice a week.

- Don’t hesitate to mix up your moisturiser with a few drops of facial oil for a smooth and well-nourished skin. Alternatively, it’s best to apply face oil on the skin above the moisturiser to seal it all in.

- You can also wear a thin layer of sleeping mask or indulge in slugging to relieve the signs of dryness.

Oily Skin

- Pick foaming cleansers that can rid the skin of excess sebum; in case of oily skin that is prone to acne, it may be of use to add a salicylic acid- or benzoyl peroxide-infused face cleanser that addresses both, acne and oil, effectively.

- Use a lightweight moisturiser that hydrates deeply.

- Be sure of including a non-drying chemical exfoliant like the Daily Exfoliant from Gunam Beauty to your skincare routine at least thrice a week.

- If your skin feels dry in certain areas, use a drop of oil for healing. As far as oily skin is concerned, it produces the least amount of sebum in the night, making that the best time to indulge in a facial oil. Doing so bestows adequate moisture to oily skin, thus, balancing out the imbalance in sebum production.

Combination Skin 

- Much like oily skin, combination skin can stick to the same guidelines.
- If opting for a chemical exfoliant thrice a week, don’t use it all over the face at all times; it’s recommended to limit the full-face application to once a week and focus on your T-zone while applying.
- It’s beneficial to apply non-comedogenic facial oils with ingredients like rosehip oil and Sea Buckthorn oil during the PM routine to boost nourishment and accelerate healing.

Sensitive Skin

- Be sure of using gentle, barrier-friendly skincare products at all times.
- Be careful with your cleansers and the frequency of using them.
- Use a solid moisturiser and feel free to layer a facial oil for added protection.
- In the case of chemical exfoliant, opt for a basic, non-irritating and mild formulation.