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The best way to figure out your skin type, according to an expert.

Your skin type. It’s probably the most important factor to consider when finding the skincare routine. But do you actually know what kind of skin you have? Because chances are, you may be using the wrong type of products for your skin.

Eek! Anyone else feel like they need a few pointers?

That’s why we asked skincare expert and founder of Skin Virtue Nina Gajic how to figure out your skin type, so you can find the best skincare routine for your skin’s personality.

So! Here’s the ultimate guide to discovering your real skin type.

What are skin types?

Fact: Every person’s skin is unique. But there are a few common skin concerns that may help identify what kind of category your skin falls into.

Chances are you’ve heard of skin types such as normal, combination, oily, dry and sensitive, yes? It’s usually slapped all over packaging. But it can get a little… confusing.

For example, while the phrase ‘normal skin’ is thrown around a lot, experts say not only is it rare, but it doesn’t technically exist at all. “In our experience, there is no true normal skin!” said Gajic.

Interesting!

So, what exactly are skin types? Let’s break down the definitive signs, according to an expert.

  1. Normal skin.

When it comes to ‘normal skin’, or what is considered ‘normal skin’, Gajic explains this is usually characterised as skin that is well-balanced and more resilient.

The downside?

“With age this skin type frequently ends up dry, and if not nourished adequately it tends to show signs of premature skin ageing earlier than oilier skin types.”

  1. Combination skin.

“Combination skin, or what is considered to be combination skin is in most cases oily and dehydrated skin that needs hydration,” explains Gajic.

Sooo, how do you know if you have combination skin? Apparently, there are a few key things to look out for.

“Combination skin is usually a case of an oilier skin type that has been over-treated with harsh active ingredients or over-washed, which in-turn has stripped and compromised the skin barrier.”

“This can result in dehydration, leaving the skin feeling parched in certain areas and oily in others. Hello combination skin!”

  1. Oily skin.

If your skin gets progressively shinier as the day goes on and you’re prone to breakouts and enlarged pores – you might be the proud owner of oily skin.

“Oily types have overactive sebaceous glands that overproduce sebum, the degree of oiliness and severity varies between individuals,” explains Gajic.

“The best way to treat oily skin is to incorporate products with ingredients that regulate oil production. They should be gentle and non-drying (keeping combination skin at bay) with purifying and clarifying properties,” recommends Gajic.

  1. Dry skin.

Tight skin? Rough patches? Hello and welcome to dry skin, friend.

“Dry skin types have under-active sebaceous glands that don't produce enough sebum to protect and hydrate the skin,” explains Gajic.

According to Gajic, drier skin types are usually characterised by a lack of moisture in the epidermis and an inability to retain moisture. They can feel dry to touch and have a dull, rough and scaly quality. This kind of skin just feels… uncomfortable.

Sound familiar?

When it comes to the best way to treat dry skin, Gajic said to include “high-quality lipids that help to strengthen the skin barrier function” and “reduce transepidermal water loss from the skin.”

Meaning? Bulk up on moisture-boosting products and steer clear of specific products that can lead to dryness.

  1. Sensitive skin.

While sensitive skin is not technically considered a skin type, Gajic said it is a concern that any skin type can experience – so it’s worth knowing some of the common signs.

“Sensitive skin is compromised, highly sensitised and reactive skin that is unable to protect itself from irritants,” she explains.

So, what causes it?

In most cases, Gajic said sensitivity is caused by the prolonged use of harsh ingredients that have stripped the skin barrier and aggravated the skin.

“In other cases, it is caused is by direct contact with an irritating substance, leading to an allergic or adverse reaction.”

When it comes to what you can do, Gajic said sensitive, allergic and reactive skin requires “gentle products to soothe and strengthen the skin”, which will in turn “make it less reactive and more resistant to irritants.”

How do I know which products are right for my skin type?

So, you’ve figure out your skin type. Go you! Now, you need to select a skincare routine that’s going to help tackle your common skin concerns. Wondering where to start?

Luckily, Skin Virtue makes this easy (phew!) - creating a specific, personalised skincare collection for each skin type.

“Our approach to identifying skin types and finding the correct Skin Virtue products to use is simple,” said Gajic.

“We have three collections, two of these collections are for skin type categories, Balanced to Dry Skin and Balaanced to Oily Skin, and one collection that addresses all your Skin Concerns that is suitable for all skin types.”

Outlined below, are the prescribed collections for each skin type:

Balanced to dry skin - Pure Nourish Collection Balanced to oily skin - Super Clear Collection Skin concerns for all skin types - Future Advanced Treatment Collection

Want to find out more about what products you need in your routine? Check out how to build your personalised skin routine with Skin Virtue.

What’s your skin type? Share your views with us at skincare@skinvirtue.com

By Gary Williams, Bio