Skincare Basics: Skin Types, Skin Conditions and Sensitive Skin

5 June 2018


Skin types and skin conditions are the terms that you will come across a lot. However, there are still some confusions and misunderstandings within this topic. Therefore, we would like to explain this in today’s blog.

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Skin Types

We are all born with a skin type. This comes from our genes and determine how our skin function in general. Whether you like it or not, we cannot change our skin types. What you can do is to help with it: care for your skin using the appropriate products and skincare routine according to your skin type.

There are four basic types of skin:

Normal skin

Normal skin usually has very good tone and texture. It got even colours and is very well balanced.

Dry skin

Dry skin is often associated with older skins, although can be found on skins of all ages. It is caused by the sebaceous glands, a small oil-producing glands, being under-active. As a result, dry skin lacks the oil needed for the skin to build a protective layer against external factors. Dry skin will often have tight pores and dry flaky patches which may become red and irritated.

Oily skin

This is due to overactive sebaceous glands, which are controlled by hormones. Common characteristics of oily skin are enlarged and visible pores, red spots and a glossy shine of the skin. Oily skin is prone to black heads, white heads, and acne.

Combination skin

This is a combination of two skin types with the skin typically having an oily ‘T Zone’ which comprises forehead, nose and chin with the rest of the face and neck being either normal or dry.

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Skin Condition

Unlike skin types, a skin condition is normally something that has been created or triggered by external factors, such as environment, pollution, sun exposure, stress, lifestyle and product usage.

Skin conditions including dehydration, ageing, pigmentation, acne, rosacea, millia, broken capillaries…we will explain briefly of some common skin conditions.

Dehydration:

This is caused by the lack of water in the skin tissue. Using products which are too harsh for the skin may also cause the skin to become dehydrated. (Explained in our previous blog: Why it is important to use a pH balanced cleanser) The skin will feel tight and can become sensitive to irritants.

Ageing:

Signs of ageing including loss of elasticity, loss of volume, facial contours may become slack, lines and wrinkles appear and irregular patches of pigmentation may also appear. Generally speaking, about 80% of premature ageing is caused by external factors and lifestyle choices. These are actually highly controllable. We will explain this in more details in another blog.

Pigmentation:

This is a broader term refers to dark patches on the skin. They can be any sizes and shapes. It is caused by overproductive melanin in certain areas of the skin and can be triggered by many factors. There are various types of pigmentation: freckles, sun spots, age spots, melasma…and treatment methods can vary.

Acne:

Acne is probably the most common skin conditions. It is most common in adolescent skins but adults also suffer from this distressing problem. There are many grades of acne and various of treatment methods but we will leave it to a different blog.

Summary: Skin Conditions

During the course of our lives, skin conditions can vary. The good news is, a skin condition is something we can treat and rectify. When choosing skincare products, both skin type and skin conditions need to be taken into consideration. This is where you need to seek professional advice: to guide you to the right direction, recommend results-driven pharmaceutical graded products (click here to read about the differences between cosmeceutical and pharmaceutical graded products) and provide you with a personalised care to address your unique requirements.

Sensitive Skin

Now let’s talk about sensitive skin.

The truth is: sensitive skin is more of a skin condition than a skin type. There are people who are born with sensitive skin, but these are not common cases. In most cases, sensitive skin is caused by various external factors, and it can accompany any skin type. This explains why many people claim they have sensitive skin although they are likely to experience reactions on their skin due to some kind of irritants, whether it’s harsh skincare products, chemicals, allergy, pollution or else.

Sensitive skin happens because the protective layer of the skin surface becomes very thing. This allows irritants penetrate into the depth of skin and can lead to redness, swelling, scaling, flaking and you may also experience tightening, itching, burning and prickling sensations.

Have more questions about skincare?

We would recommend you to seek professional advice from a skin specialist or dermatologist, where you can have a thorough skin analysis and ask skincare advice bespoke to your needs.

At WPR Beauty, we offer Free Skin Consultations, where we will assess your skin condition and provide you with professional advice on how to look after your skin. Your therapist will also answer any questions you may have.

To book your Free Skin Consultation, simply call 01277 633907.