Your skin is a living organ that constantly regenerates itself. The outer layer, called the epidermis, is as thin as a pencil line. It consists of a protective layer of skin cells that continually shed and give way to new cells. Below the epidermis are the dermis and hypodermis, two layers that produce the oil, collagen, and elastin that give your skin support, elasticity, and shine. As you change and grow, so does your skin. Aging and environmental elements, such as sun, wind, pollution, and heating systems, all affect your skin type. Below you will find different skin types as well as definitions of those types that help you can use to determine your skin type. Your skin is a living organ that constantly regenerates itself. The outer layer, called the epidermis, is as thin as a pencil line. It consists of a protective layer of skin cells that continually shed and give way to new cells. Below the epidermis are the dermis and hypodermis, two layers that produce the oil, collagen, and elastin that give your skin support, elasticity, and shine.
Normal to Dry Skin:
How to recognize Normal Skin to Dry Skin:
People with normal to oily skin generally have normal skin on their cheeks and oily skin with enlarged pores on their T zone, the area that stretches across the forehead and down the nose and chin. Not too oily or dry, few blemishes, skin is firm and is generally smooth with small pores. The cellular life pace is well established. Its epidermal renewal is regular. Its deep circulation is normal and its secretions are sufficient to insure a good humidity rate without obstructing the pores. Its deep fibers are flexible and resistant because the collagen is healthy. Due to sun and age, skin may lack natural oils. May look smooth with fine pores, few blackheads & blemishes.
How to Take Care of It:
Wash your face once a day with a rich, creamy cleanser and warm water. Rinse with cold water and pat your skin dry. Use heavy, oil-based moisturizers and makeup. Avoid toners and makeup that contain alcohol as alcohol-based products have a drying effect on skin. People being treated for acne often need to change some of the cosmetics they use. All cosmetics, such as foundation, blush, eye shadow, and moisturizers, should be oil free. Patients may find it difficult to apply foundation evenly during the first few weeks of treatment because the skin may be red or scaly, particularly with the use of topical tretinoin or benzoyl peroxide. Oily hair products may eventually spread over the forehead, causing closed comedones. Products that are labeled as noncomedogenic (do not promote the formation of closed pores) should be used; in some people, however, even these products may cause acne.
Normal to Oily Skin:
How to recognize Normal Skin to Oily Skin:
People with normal to oily skin generally have normal skin on their cheeks and oily skin with enlarged pores on their T zone, the area that stretches across the forehead and down the nose and chin. Shiny and coarse, may have recurring blackheads and enlarged pores, often youthful-looking.The texture of the skin is thick. The ostium are enlarged by the over production of sebum which flows freely. The touch is sticky (most often but not necessarily).
How to Take Care of It:
Oily skin tends to attract more dirt than dry skin, so wash your face several times a day with a light, non-greasy liquid cleanser soap and warm water. Rinse with cold water. Use toners and astringents containing alcohol to help dry the skin. Buy water-based moisturizers and make-up and use powder to minimize shine.
How to recognize Sensitive Skin:
Sensitive skin irritates easily and is often red and blotchy. This type of skin can have allergic reactions to beauty products and is usually sensitive to the sun, wind, and cold weather. Sensitive skin is characterized by overreaction to external influences (sun, wind, certain cosmetics, and handling and temperature extremes). It is easily irritated and exposure can result in redness, a rash, itching, stinging, or burning. Sensitive skin has a tendency to develop distended or broken capillaries as well as allergies, and it usually sunburns easily.
How to Take Care of It:
Look for soap, makeup, and moisturizers that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Wash your face once a day and avoid using skin exfoliates. Use a hypoallergenic toner on oily areas, but discontinue if it causes irritation.
How to recognize Mature Skin:
Mature skin types are not determined by age, but rather by overexposure to the elements or inadequate nutrition resulting in extreme skin imbalance. Skin usually has poor elasticity, dull appearance, dryness, superficial lines, and sun-damage. As we grow older, we see and feel certain changes in our skin, which is the body\'s largest and most visible organ. The skin becomes drier, more wrinkled, and spots and growths appear. Also, after an injury our skin tends to heal more slowly. Some of these skin changes are natural, unavoidable, and harmless. Others are itchy or painful, and some changes, such as skin cancers, are serious and require medical attention. Many of these skin problems can be prevented. Whether a danger to health or merely cosmetically unattractive, most of these skin problems can be addressed by therapies now available.
Although oily, this type of skin is not shiny since secretions are retained within the ostiums. The skin surface is dull and sallows (comedones).Its texture is coarse since the follicles are clogged with comedones accumulating under the surface.This type of skin does not have the oily skin’s resistance. It is easily irritated and dehydrated.
How to Take Care of It:
Hydrating products replace the increased water evaporation.
Actions are gentle and progressive so as not to irritate the over-reacting glands.
The sun is the major cause of unwanted changes in the skin with aging. How wrinkled your skin becomes depends largely on how much sun you have been exposed to in your lifetime. Cigarette smoking can also contribute to wrinkles. Wrinkles also depend on your parents - the tendency to wrinkle is inherited. The good news is that many wrinkles can be prevented. Beginning in childhood, to avoid wrinkles caused by the sun: Always wear sunscreen with SPF of at least 15. A hat with a brim and other protective clothing. Don\'t deliberately sunbathe. Try to avoid sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Remember that sun exposure as a child or teenager makes a big difference to the appearance of the skin at the age of 30, 40, or 50. If you have already sun-damaged your skin, you will still benefit from beginning sun protection as an adult. It\'s never too late. "Broken capillaries" or Telangiectasia - These dilated facial blood vessels may be related to sun damage. They respond to the same treatments as other broken blood vessels (angiomas).
There are some promising treatments for aging skin. Retinoic acid, available as a cream and also used successfully in treating acne, improves the surface texture of the skin, reduces irregular pigmentation, and increases dermal collagen if applied daily for several months. It is currently the only medication approved by the FDA as safe and effective for reversing some of the effects of sun damage. Alpha hydroxy acids also show promise in reversing some of the effects of the sun.
How to recognize Acne Skin:
Acne is a disorder resulting from the action of hormones on the skin\'s oil glands (sebaceous glands), which leads to plugged pores and outbreaks of lesions commonly called pimples or zits. Acne lesions usually occur on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Nearly 17 million people in the United States have acne, making it the most common skin disease. Although acne is not a serious health threat, severe acne can lead to disfiguring, permanent scarring, which can be upsetting to people who are affected by the disorder.
Doctors describe acne as a disease of the pilosebaceous units (PSUs). Found over most of the body, PSUs consist of a sebaceous gland connected to a canal, called a follicle, that contains a fine hair (see "Normal Pilosebaceous Unit" diagram, below). These units are most numerous on the face, upper back, and chest. The sebaceous glands make an oily substance called sebum that normally empties onto the skin surface through the opening of the follicle, commonly called a pore. Cells called keratinocytes line the follicle.
Normal Pilosebaceous Unit
The hair, sebum, and keratinocytes that fill the narrow follicle may produce a plug, which is an early sign of acne. The plug prevents sebum from reaching the surface of the skin through a pore. The mixture of oil and cells allows bacteriaPropionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) that normally live on the skin to grow in the plugged follicles. These bacteria produce chemicals and enzymes and attract white blood cells that cause inflammation. (Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of tissues to disease or injury and is marked by four signs: swelling, redness, heat, and pain.) When the wall of the plugged follicle breaks down, it spills everything into the nearby skin--sebum, shed skin cells, and bacteria--leading to lesions or pimples.
People with acne frequently have a variety of lesions, some of which are shown in the diagrams below. The basic acne lesion, called the comedo (KOM-e-do), is simply an enlarged and plugged hair follicle. If the plugged follicle, or comedo, stays beneath the skin, it is called a closed comedo and produces a white bump called a whitehead. A comedo that reaches the surface of the skin and opens up is called a blackhead because it looks black on the skin\'s surface. This black discoloration is not due to dirt. Both whiteheads and blackheads may stay in the skin for a long time.
Factors That Can Make Acne Worse:
Factors that can cause an acne flare include:
· Changing hormone levels in adolescent girls and adult women 2 to 7 days before their menstrual period starts
· Friction caused by leaning on or rubbing the skin
· Pressure from bike helmets, backpacks, or tight collars
· Environmental irritants, such as pollution and high humidity
· Squeezing or picking at blemishes
· Hard scrubbing of the skin.
How to Take Care of It:
Acne is often treated by dermatologists (doctors who specialize in skin problems). These doctors treat all kinds of acne, particularly severe cases. Doctors who are general or family practitioners, pediatricians, or internists may treat patients with milder cases of acne.
The goals of treatment are to heal existing lesions, stop new lesions from forming, prevent scarring, and minimize the psychological stress and embarrassment caused by this disease. Drug treatment is aimed at reducing several problems that play a part in causing acne: abnormal clumping of cells in the follicles, increased oil production, bacteria, and inflammation. Depending on the extent of the person\'s acne, the doctor will recommend one of several over-the-counter (OTC) medicines or prescription medicines that are topical (applied to the skin) or systemic (taken by mouth). The doctor may suggest using more than one topical medicine or combining oral and topical medicines.