These are the four main skin types, but there are many sub-conditions that can accompany each skin type. Sub-conditions describe how the skin is influenced by the environment, your location, the products you use, your age, any medications or illnesses, your diet, lifestyle, and procedures. While you can’t change your skin type, sub-conditions can be addressed through lifestyle consistency, improvements to your health, products and treatments.
- Environment – this covers both seasonal changes and whether you live in a humid or a dry climate.
- Location – describes where you live in the world, such as a city or a rural region, an area of high or low altitude, how much pollution there is where you live and the condition of the ozone layer.
- Products – this refers to when you have used the wrong products or application methods for your skin type and/or current skin condition.
- Age – has to do with how our skin ages. For instance, there are three kinds of wrinkles: premature, which can be addressed with products; wrinkles caused by the breakdown of collagen and elastin as we age, where active products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or retinols can slow down this process; and expression wrinkles, which can be softened with different treatments.
- Medications/illness – these can cause sensitivity to sunlight and to active ingredients in your skincare products, as well as affecting the skin’s circulation and heightening inflammation in the body. Different medications can also make the skin dry and photosensitive.
- Diet – a poor diet means that both your skin and the organs in your body aren’t getting the nutrients they need. Your diet can also affect your hormones and so exacerbate conditions such as hormonal acne.
When people have allergies to foods, their body doesn’t assimilate fats well, which shows up as congestion on the skin. Foods can also cause inflammation, leading to ruddiness and dilated capillaries. Finally, when histamine levels are high in the body, it can affect the skin coloring and fluid build-up, such as puffiness or darkened circles under the eyes and ruddy cheeks.
- Lifestyle – refers to how you take care of your mental, physical and spiritual self. Stress, anxiety, depression, worry and fear all affect the skin by making it flat, dull and lifeless.
Physical health relating to the skin means keeping your lymphatic system moving. Your body is made up of roughly 70% water and it is said that whenever a stream is moving, it stays clean. When it becomes still, it becomes rancid and sluggish. Movement is medicine – you can keep your lymphatic system moving by walking briskly while swinging your arms back and forwards, or bouncing on a rebounder.
Spiritual well-being is personal, but any harmony within yourself creates flow, self-love and acceptance, which can bring confidence and an inner glow.
- Procedures – When procedures such as peels, lasers or micro-needling go too deep too quickly, it forms scar tissue that gives the skin a waxy, blotchy and unnatural appearance.