Skin is the largest organ in our body looking after our immune systems, and protecting us from bacteria, but it’s not the same all over.
Thickness varies from one part of the body to the next, giving a natural padding on areas that are more prone to wear-and-tear such as soles of the feet and palms of our hands, and less depth on our faces, and backs of hands, where we are most prone to the visible signs of ageing.
Skin type can depend on lots of factors including the environment, lifestyle choices, sun, hormones, stress and medications. I’d go so far as to say that everywhere we go and everything we do has a knock-on effect – even the blue light from a phone can lead to dehydration and premature ageing.
Then, of course for some of us it’s just the luck of the draw with good genes.
If you’re keen to understand your skin better, and find working out your skin type confusing, I’ve got this quick tip to help you work out which products will best suit your skincare needs.
THE BLOT TEST
Cleanse your face, thoroughly wait 30 minutes, then take four pieces of blotting paper or tissues, and pat on your nose, forehead, chin, and cheeks.
If all pieces have a little oil then you have normal skin, if overall, they have a lot of oil then you have oily skin, if some are oilier than others you have normal/combination skin.
Now it’s time to LOOK in a good magnifying mirror (although don’t get a shock as it shows up every impurity). This is how you identify the individual challenges facing your skin.
FINE LINES AND WRINKLES: Can suggest ageing but also be the result of dehydration, over-exposure to the sun and too much alcohol and smoking.
VISIBLE PORES: Whilst this often appears on greasier skins, it’s usually the result of dehydration. Even oily skins benefit from a treatment oil.
SAGGING OR LOSS OF TONE: Sometimes caused by weight loss and ageing. Collagen based products and facial massage are required here.
REDNESS: Can be the result of a condition like Rosacea, but also drinking too much. More water and a great concealer should
Once you have a clear idea of what your skin is dealing with, head to the nearest beauty counter to look at what they recommend.
I don’t believe you need a mountain of product though – I advocate a simple ‘cleanse, tone and moisturize’ regime for everyone, with an exfoliating treatment once a week for clarity!