It is probably fair to say that there exists a general perception that men aren’t as in-tune, willingly it would seem, with the uniqueness of their own bodies. Many of you might have noticed that your girlfriend has a deep understanding of the various skincare products on the market and knows why each one is or isn’t right for her, or for you! Meanwhile, you find yourself still reeling from the news that different skin types even exist.
Not only are there a plethora of different skin types, each of which will respond differently to different products, but using the wrong product with the wrong skin type can exacerbate problems with the skin rather than make them better.
Some people will know their skin type through other means and some of you will be able to make an educated guess. For example, if you have freckly skin and ginger hair, then you very likely have skin that is sensitive to the sun. If you suspect you are a particular skin type for any reason, then begin by making purchases of small amounts of products for that skin type and then gauge your response to them.
The variation between skin types is noticeable because different types of skin will contain different amounts of water and vary in their ability at storing oils and water. Below is a brief guide to the different skin types which should help you identify which belongs to you.
So, what, in this case, constitutes ‘normal’? What a normal skin type is will actually vary between individuals because it is ‘normal’ for people with certain other traits to have certain types of skin. But now that we’ve got the semantics out the way, normal skin here simply means the skin type that describes the majority of people. What we consider to be normal skin is skin that is free of obvious defects or imperfections, such as moles or freckles.
Skin also shouldn’t be overly sensitive; very hot and very cold objects should trigger an instinctive response to jerk away from the source, if this response isn’t present it can indicate damaged skin.
On normal skin, pores shouldn’t be clearly visible. They are ultimately noticeable on anyone if you know where and how to look, but on most skin they are not immediately obvious. For those with normal skin, the standard body wash products will work. In fact, you are free to select the very best body wash available.
Combination Skin Type
Some people with skin conditions find that the condition only affects a limited portion of their body and that some areas of skin behave perfectly normally, while others can be extremely sensitive. Combination skin usually manifests as skin which is noticeably oilier in some areas, this causes pores to remain open and thus appear larger than usual, and by the presence of blackheads. Oily skin is often noticeably shinier than the surrounding skin.
Those with a combination skin type might find that taking care of their skin is harder work than usual and that they need a combination of skin products. This can be problematic when a person’s skin requires two conflicting treatments; for example, one area might be oily while a neighboring spot might be too dry. The corresponding body wash for each area would therefore have a detrimental effect on the nearby skin of the other type.
Dry skin usually occurs because the pores in the skin do not open up to release oils as much as they should. Consequently, skin becomes dry. The telltale signs of dry skin include flaking, when dead skin falls away, pores which are almost invisible, skin that feels rough to the touch, and skin which is more prone to cracking and sores.
If you think you have dry skin, then switch your soaps and body washes to those labelled as ‘mild’; these will be a lot kinder to your skin. If you feel that some of the products you use are irritating to your skin this is usually indicative of dry skin.
Oily skin is the opposite of dry skin; pores are more visible as they are open wider, skin often appears noticeably shinier than normal because of the oils, and blackheads, pimples and other blemishes are more common on oily skin.
With oily skin, you want to look out for the word ‘noncomedogenic’ in body washes and other skin care products; this means the product won’t clog your pores, which can be a trigger for the release of oil.
Matching your body wash to your skin type will allow you to reap the best and most consistent results. Keep experimenting until you find the combination that gives you the skin you want.