Skin Types

Normal Skin

Normal skin looks moist, soft and plump, and has a healthy glow and colour. It usually occurs in persons aged 20 to 30 years of age. The skin texture is fine and there are no visible wrinkles, open pores or fine lines. The secretory oil glands function at a normal rate and the skin has perfect hydration and a normal skin temperature. Visually, the skin colouring and tones are uniform over the facial skin area.

Dry Skin

The sebaceous gland activity of dry skin is normally underactive, which tends to lead to skin that is unable to retain moisture, ultimately leading to dehydration. This type of skin is hereditary but can occur as a result of aging. Persons with dry skin tend not to have suffered from acne during teenage years. The skin is usually fair and very fine with no visible pores, and wrinkles easily. The causes of dry skin can be numerous, including the use of harsh soaps and detergents, poor health, lack of dietary essential fatty acids, and exposure to the elements. Dry skin tends to feel tight, parched, chapped, flaky, rough and taut. It also tends to burn in the sun, becomes red when exposed to cold and is drier in the winter months compared to the summer months.

Oily Skin

This type of skin is hereditary and shows characteristic over-activity of the sebaceous glands, which produce excess amounts of sebum. The hormone androgen controls the activity of the sebaceous glands. Oily skin tends to be most problematic and the most abused of skin types. Harsh products with high alcohol contents or detergents can strip the skin of all oil, which in turn results in the skin producing more sebum. Stress, emotions, diet and hormonal fluctuations can all trigger problems associated with oily skin such as breakouts.

The appearance of oily skin first thing in the morning is very shiny on the nose, forehead and chin, and make-up often only lasts a few hours. Open and closed comedones are also common. Oily skin often has enlarged open pores due to trapped oil in the pilosebaceous follicles and congested oily skin is thick and dull in appearance and rough to touch.

People with oily skin usually suffer from moderate to severe acne during adolescent years but the oiliness can continue into adulthood and cause ongoing problems. The pores and skin can become infected, leading to more problems. For severe cases, oral antibiotic treatment is required for acne caused by oily skin and bacterial infection. A strict hygiene routine is recommended for problematic skin.

Combination Skin Combination skin is the existence of two or more skin types or conditions. Combination skin can affect all age groups. A common combination is oily skin in the T-zone (the nose, forehead and chin), and dry skin on the rest of the face. When treating combination skin, the aim is to treat the different areas with the appropriate skin care product. The severity of oiliness in the T-zone needs to be assessed to balance the degree of oil and moisture that needs to be applied on the different areas of the face.

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