When it comes to skincare, as the famous hairstylist, Linden Tyler, said, “Invest in your skin. It is going to represent you for a very long time.” For many, this is easier said than done. With a plethora of skincare products and brands that stream non-stop into your social media feeds, each one shouting the praises of their “miracle creams”, oils, lotions, and potions, it’s hard to make an informed decision for your skin.
Before you walk into any spa to choose a facial treatment or purchase products for home use, the first and most important fact to be aware of is what your skin type is and the difference between a skin type and a skin condition.
What is a skin type?
Your skin type is the basis on which your full skincare routine as well as your choice of make-up will be based. Your skin type is determined by your genes and will never change regardless of what products you use (it can be improved but the type will always remain the same). Our therapists will be able to assist you in determining your skin type through a skin analysis (often done before a facial). There are a total of 4 different skin types:
This skin type produces less sebum (natural skin oil) and as such usually feels tight or dry (particularly after swimming or bathing) and can also flake, crack, or itch in addition to looking rough, dull, or ashy. Skincare products targeting this skin type usually contain oil to assist in replenishing and balancing the sebum level.
This skin type generally produces more oil than a dry or normal skin type and as such will present with shininess, large pores which may get clogged easily, greasiness and a higher likelihood of developing imperfections such as pimples and blackheads. Skincare products targeting oily skin usually have drying agents that help to reduce the skin’s excess sebum.
This skin type is a combination of the dry and oily skin types above with the oily areas usually (but not always) affecting the forehead, nose, and chin (known as the T-zone) and the dry areas comprising of the cheeks and eye area. While skincare for combination skin does exist, it is also effective to use skincare for dry and oily skin in the appropriate areas (that is, if your T-zone is oily, use products for oily skin on these areas and products for dry skin on the other areas).
The rarest of all skin types, the normal skin type has the perfect balance of sebum, fine pores, a healthy glow, no blemishes, flaking or grease and a smooth texture. Skincare for normal skin will usually focus on maintenance with ingredients including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
What is a skin condition?
Skin conditions are conditions that occur due to lifestyle choices (such as regular sun tanning), medication, hormones, weather, and incorrect skincare choices. Many of these conditions can be improved or even reversed in some cases with a careful skincare routine and change in lifestyle.
This skin condition occurs when pores become clogged with sebum, dead skin cells (and sometimes make-up) and subsequently becomes a breeding ground for bacteria causing swelling, redness, irritation, and pain. A mixture of internal (diet, exercise, supplements etc) and external (skincare products, facial treatments etc) measures are usually used to treat this skin condition.
Often confused with dry skin (which lacks oil), this skin condition occurs as a result of a lack of moisture (water). The skin can feel tight, rough, itchy, and dull and may have superficial fine lines. Skincare products that target dehydration usually contain ingredients that help to replenish and retain moisture within the skin.
Sensitive skin becomes irritated, red and inflamed easily. This can be in reaction to ingredients such as fragrances, alcohol or chemicals within make-up and skincare products and even within detergents where clothes have touched the face. Skincare products aimed at targeting sensitive skin usually contain soothing ingredients such as aloe vera or calendula that assist in controlling the production of histamines (the body’s inflammation compound).
This skin condition will eventually affect us all but may affect some people earlier than others. Diet, lifestyle, and sun exposure can make a big difference in the severity and how soon it affects your skin. When skin starts to show signs of aging in the way of lines, wrinkles, and a lack of tone, the skin’s elastin and collagen have started to breakdown, reducing the elasticity of the skin. Thus, skincare products aimed at preventing and reducing the appearance of aging usually contain collagen and ingredients that assist in replenishing and plumping up existing collagen and elastin as well as assisting in more efficient skin turnover.
For professional skincare, our therapists at Camelot Spa at the Seven Hotel will be able to assist you in discerning your skin type and conditions in addition to giving you advice on not only skincare products, but lifestyle advice and recommended facial treatments that will assist in giving you the radiant, balanced, beautiful skin of your dreams. Request a booking today.