If you’re like most of my clients, your bathroom cabinets are piled high with lotions and creams that you’ll never use again. You may have seen a convincing ad or heard a friend with glowing skin rave about the ultimate anti-ageing solution, and you were convinced you were buying the secret recipe of eternal youth.
The problem is, there are no “one-size-fits-all” cosmetic solutions, and even the most promising products turn out to be a waste of money if they aren’t a good match for your skin. To make sure you spend your hard-earned money on products that will actually provide the expected results, it’s absolutely essential to find out the type of skin you have.
So What’s Your Type?
Although everyone’s skin looks normal to them, there are several distinct skin type categories:
• Dry Skin
Dry skin creates a dull complexion that may look rough or flaky; on the plus side, pores are barely visible. People in this skin type category may notice red areas a lack of elasticity, making them more prone to lines and wrinkles.
• Oily Skin
If your face appears shiny just an hour or two after cleansing, you probably have oily skin. You may also notice large pores and blackheads and develop pimples easily. While these issues can be annoying, oily skin is more resistant to wrinkles.
• Combination Skin
Combination skin can be tricky to diagnose, because some parts of your face feel oily, while others match the profile for dry skin. Often, people with combination skin have an oily T-zone, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin. In some cases, using the wrong products can actually cause combination skin. For example, using too rich a moisturizer can cause your T-zone to appear especially oily and may cause breakouts.
• Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin is especially prone to inflammation, and you may experience redness, irritation, or even rashes when you use the wrong ingredients.
• Problematic Skin
If you have a skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, or persistent acne, chances are you have problematic skin. This can be the trickiest skin type to deal with, as you must use products that help treat your particular issue — or at least don’t make it worse.
Finding Products that Work
The first and most important step is choosing products that match your skin type. People with oily skin should avoid highly-emollient lotions (although yes, you still need to moisturize). On the other hand, if you have dry skin, more emollient products are probably just what you need. Those with sensitive skin should avoid harsh ingredients, as well as some fragrances. And if you have combination skin, you may even need to use different products on different parts of your face.
Second, stick with the try-before-you-buy rule as much as possible. Department stores, dermatologists, and skin clinics generally provide free trial-sized versions of their products and are happy to give them to you upon request. If they believe in their product, they actually want you to try it out, because they know you’ll love it and come back for more.
At Bradford Skin Clinic, we give our clients free samples of our Priori line of skin-care products, and they soon come back for the full-sized bottle. We also provide expert advice for each skin type and the best products to suit your complexion. Call (905) 755-SKIN (7546) or visit www.bradfordskinclinic.com to schedule an appointment and have your skin evaluated – I’ll be at your disposal to answer all of your questions and help steer you toward a skin-care regimen that will work wonders for your skin.
About The Author:
Mia Liefso is a professional medical skin therapist and the owner of Bradford Skin Clinic & Med Spa in Bradford, Ontario. She has certifications in IPL, VPL, laser and ultrasound technologies, as well as body contouring and medical facial peels. Her professional interests include difficult skin conditions—psoriasis, and acne—premature aging, skin care for the elderly, endocrinology, and helping people love the skin they’re in. Her diverse personal interests include history, animals, roller derby, traveling and gourmet cooking.