Skin Types

  • Skin type is how our skin is due to the different genetic and hormonal makeup of our bodies.
  • Cannot be changed by external treatments but can change over time internally. For example, oily skin may become lipid dry due to the reduction in oil production caused by the menopause
  • can only have its appearance improved and made more manageable – the skin type will still remain
  • products will only have effect on a skin type for as long as your client maintains a good routine
  • Skin Types are categorised as:

Oily – experiences an excessive production of sebum, due to an excess of the androgen hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

  • Sebum prevents water-loss
  • The skin will have widespread sebaceous filaments which are little pockets mainly composed of solidified sebum, inside the tiny hair follicles of the face
  • A greasy sheen can be seen on the skin
  • There are visible enlarged or thickened pores and an uneven texture
  • The skin will have some slip to it, especially on the t-zone
  • Puberty results in an increase in androgens and this in turn increases sebaceous activity. It may result in enlarged pores as sebum fills up the follicles. The results are most pronounced on the t-zone which is in the shape of a capital T starting at the chin, proceeding up the nose with the top across the forehead. The increase in sebum usually results in comedones.
  • During the menstrual cycle, progesterone rises and so do DHT levels which is why the skin becomes oily and spot-prone at certain times stopping progesterone rise

Lipid Dry – has an underproduction of sebum and therefore a lack of lipids

  • Dry skin can easily become dehydrated as the Natural Moisturizing Factor in the skin can evaporate easily without a protective barrier of lipids
  • Low levels of sebum combined with dehydration leads to cells not functioning properly
  • Results in premature aging if not treated
  • Clients complain of flakiness and the fact that nothing seems to keep their skin
  • Supple. Their skin may feel tight
  • Skins look scaly and flaky
  • Look thickened and milia may be present
  • Client may suffer from eczema or psoriasis elsewhere on the body
  • Fine lines and deep wrinkles are more prominent on these skin types
  • May be some evidence of sun damage, with sun-spots or broken capillaries visible through the skin
  • Feels very rough to the touch
  • Sebaceous filaments are minimal

Sensitive – skin that is sensitive is categorized and treated as so regardless of whether it is oily, lipid dry or combination. This is because products Normally used to treat other skin types will cause irritation to a sensitive skin

  • A sensitive skin has reduced barrier function, making the skin more vulnerable, easily irritated, and easily dried and dehydrated
  • Sensitivity means that it has an overactive immune response to ingredients – causing the skin to attack healthy cells, breaking down collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, making the skin become further dehydrated
  • This results in premature aging if left untreated
  • Sensitive skin also reacts in an exaggerated manner to friction and pressure, causing the skin to flush easily
  • Widespread broken capillaries (telangiectasia, also called couperose skin) found particularly across the nose, cheeks and forehead in a butterfly pattern. Skin can look purple in places
  • The skin may produce an erythema (redness) on seemingly unaffected areas at the lightest touch
  • Feels rough, slightly sandpapery and hot in flushed areas
  •  May see lumps that look sore. Severe cases include a swollen and red nose
  • Client’s skin feels bumpy and hot to the touch

Combination – has a slightly oily t-zone which contributes to the silkiness of the rest of the skin

  • Oils are needed to keep skin supple.
  • The term ‘combination’ is useful when you are explaining to clients, they may need to treat the t-zone differently to the rest of the skin, and that occasional breakouts can still occur on good skin due to a surge in hormones when under stress, during menstruation or if the wrong product is used
  • Combination skins lean slightly over to the oily skin type category, not the lipid dry one
  • Confusion arises when people think skin type can be a combination of oily and lipid dry. But an excess of oil production on one part of the skin on the face does not make it possible to have a dry skin type on another.
  • Oily skin type is an overproduction of oils
  • Dry skin type is an underproduction of oils
  • Combination skin can quickly become dehydrated with the use of products for oily skin. These products strip away the protective barrier of lipids, leading to the Natural Moisturizing Factor in the skin, (which keeps it supple) evaporating much more easily
  • When treating a combination skin, you should consider its separate parts. A typical combination product usually focuses on only the oily part. It is, therefore, usually sebum-reducing and lacking in hydrating ingredients to balance out its oil reducing properties. The product may make an oily t-zone less oily but, inadvertently, it will also make the rest of the skin (that was previously in good condition) become lipid dry or dehydrated
  • Treat the different areas of the skin with products that are designed specifically for them

Skin Facts

  • The skin guards the body from injury and bacterial invasion.
  • The perceived colour of a person’s skin depends on the intensity of the state of contraction or dilation of the superficial vessels and on the extent of oxygenation of the blood.
  • Our skin has a limited capacity for absorption.
  • Freckles are an uneven distribution of melanin in the epidermis.
  • Skin is about 1mm thick on your eyelids, 3mm thick on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet and about 2mm thick everywhere on the body.
  • The nerve endings are small and separate so that sensation is distributed not uniformly but in small areas. Individuals who are insensitive to pain have defective development of certain nerve structures.
  • When cells are injured, histamine (a chemical that dissolves protein) is released and these irritate the sensory nerve endings to cause varied degrees of discomfort.
  • When ice is applied to the skin the capillaries constrict, less blood and histamine flows and pain is alleviated.
  • When the skin is stroked firmly, the contractile cells of the vessels are mechanically stimulated, and capillary constriction produces immediate blanching. When these cells relax, the vessels dilate, and redness appears that flares to a small distance from the actual site of the stimulus. The flare depends on the integrity of nerve tissue and does not occur when the skin nerves have degenerated. If the stroke is injurious, histamine is released from damaged cells, water moves from the capillaries into the tissues and a swelling ensues. This is called a wheal and flare reaction or a hive.
  • Keratin in the basal layer is a protein that aids in protecting the skin against invasion.

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