How To Analyze Skin Types
As an esthetician, the first step in any professional treatment is analyzing and determining your client’s skin type. While there are four basic skin types – dry, oily, sensitive, and combination – most people can have other characteristics different from their skin type. For example, an oily skin client may have surface dehydration. Many people will misdiagnosis dehydration for dry skin and switch to a heavier, creamier moisturizer that is too rich for their skin. Therefore, it is important for skin care professionals to properly analyze the skin to insure proper diagnosis and recommendation.
Dry skin has no oil, no comedones and has a taut, patchy surface. Dry skin requires moisture. Choose a soap-free face wash and a toner that balances the skin and restores the skins natural pH. Dry skin is often red and irritated so ingredients that calm and soothe skin like willowherb are ideal for this skin type. Lastly, a nighttime moisturizer like Repêchage Hydra Dew Nourishing GelCream restores moisture with essential fatty acids from seeds and nuts as well as hyaluronic acid and moisture boosting seaweed. In addition to proper moisturization, a client with dry skin should hydrate from within and drink plenty of water daily.
Oily skin is characterized by shiny, enlarged pores and comedones. This skin type may be prone to pustules and milia and may be prone to acne. It is true that there has been a rise in adult acne in the last few years. This is evident by the number of product launches by manufacturers geared for acne clients. This epidemic of adult acne in women directly corresponds with increased stress and surging hormones. However, oily skin types often suffer from dehydration. It is important to help control oil and minimize shine without stripping the skin of natural oils. A face wash and astringent that refines pores and fights blemish-causing bacteria is essential. A deep pore cleansing mask like Repêchage Hydra Medic Sea Mud Perfecting Mask is recommended 3 times a week. Lastly, an oil-free moisturizer provides hydration without a greasy residue.
Combination skin is characteristic of over seventy percent of the population. Of that 70%, 98.9% suffer from an oily T-zone. An exfoliating scrub like Repêchage Honey and Almond Scrub with oil absorbing oatmeal, humectant honey and almond meal cleanses the skin and eliminates blackheads and oily shine in the T-zone area.
Sensitive Skin is characterized by redness and irritation to environmental aggressors such as sun, smoke and pollution. A gentle cream cleanser, and soothing toner are recommended. Daily sun protection and an anti-oxidant rich mask three-times a week like Repêchage Hydra 4 Mask calms and hydrates skin while reducing skin reactivity.
The Milady esthetics textbook by Dr. Joel Gerson is an excellent source on treating different skin types and conditions. It is available online at milady.com.
I also suggest investing in a Woods Lamp. This instrument is essentially a black light that allows you to visibly see oil, dehydration, hyper pigmentation, black heads, and even sun damage that is invisible to the naked eye. It will help you easily recognize different skin types and help you effectively diagnosis your client.