Learning about your skin type and the right routine for it.
For someone that doesn’t have a routine, skincare routines and regimens are overwhelming.
We at the Founders Beauty HQ want to ensure that we join you as you begin your skincare journey, and if you’ve already started your journey we would love to tag along as you continue to grow and improve that regimen. After all, when it comes to skincare, it isn’t the destination - that leads to great skin it's the journey.
It is important to remember that what works for you may not for someone else, and what works for you today may not work for you later on. So if you don’t already have a routine let us join you as you begin to write your skincare story. And if you’ve already started writing it, let us help provide you with some inspiration if you need it.
If you have your routine down, stick to it, if you feel like your routine needs a little change follow along in the flow chart above, to see how we can help.
If you’re just starting out, start by determining your skin type, this is key, and often people make the wrong assumptions about their skin.
How to determine your skin type?
Determining your skin type is how everyone’s story should start. Does it always start this way? No. Most people start using products that they read about, or that their moms share with them, or perhaps products whose packaging was attractive. It is essential to determine your skin type before doing any of the above because then you will know how to purchase the right products.
All skin types benefit from cleansing moisturizing and treatment, the question to ask is which cleansers, serums, and creams are right for me? While skin types can be divided into many different subsets, “I categorize skin types into 16 different subsets” said Dr. Mara - a certified dermatologist when we spoke to her last. Today we will go simple, and cover the following basic skin types: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive.
The Wash Test
This is a quick simple and easy way to determine your skin type. This is something easy and simple you can start with to determine your skin type.
Try this at anytime of the day wherein you have about 45 minutes to spare, and your face is not irritated from any prior treatments, facials, or prolonged exposure to the sun.
Start by washing your face with a mild cleanser, how? Begin by rinsing your skin with warm water, apply the mild cleanser to the skin - and massage thoroughly, then rinse off with cool water and pat dry.
Leave your skin without product, and wait for about half an hour, then observe your skin, and examine how it feels - use the image below to determine your skin type based on how your skin feels.
The Pinch Test
Once you’ve done The Wash Test, follow this with The Pinch Test. Why? Well now that you know your skin type, it is also important to learn about whether or not your skin is dehydrated or not. Yes, this is something you need to identify. You can have oily skin, but it can still be dehydrated - and sadly, the routine for this would be different - to someone whose skin isn’t dehydrated but is still oily.
How do you do the pinch test?
Step One: Pinch a small amount of skin on your cheek, or chest and hold for 20 seconds.
Step Two: If your skin immediately bounces back, this is great, your skin is not dehydrated, if it takes a moment to bounce back - then dehydration may be something to consider. You can repeat this a few times in other areas as well to determine if your skin is really dehydrated.
Seeing a Dermatologist
If you are satisfied with the above, you can develop a basic skincare routine based on your results, if however, you’re still unsure (and this is totally fine because this step is something we recommend even if you are sure of your results) you may want to see a dermatologist. Even after doing the above tests, the best and most finite way of determining your skin type is seeing a derm. They will be able to solidify your results or clarify your skin type very easily.
Pro Tip: Cleanse your skin half an hour before your visit, this will make it really easy for them to determine your skin type.
Create Your Routine
Now that you’ve determined your skin type, the fun part begins, create your routine! The great thing about this article is you can skip reading the rest, once you know your skin type. Hope we’re able to shed some light on developing your routines as well!
Not too oily, not too dry, a normal skin type is touted to be the most “hassle-free” skin type if you will. It is free from persistent skin conditions - and a simple routine with nourishing ingredients can help maintain this balance. The disadvantage? Things can easily disrupt your balance when your skin is in total equilibrium. A slight imbalance and your skin can either dry up excessively or may accumulate excess oil leading to a breakout. Imbalances are brought about by lifestyle changes, external pollutants, change in weather, and the like, and when your skin is normal, you are more prone to imbalance. Having said that, it is quite easy to bounce back. Ensure that you have a routine for different seasons, this will allow you to maintain your skin and prevent imbalances.
When you have normal skin, prioritize prevention. (Butterfly)
The best way to maintain nourished skin is to use a gentle and effective cleanser, followed by a toner that’s hydrating. Incorporate an AHA or BHA exfoliant to remove dead skin cells. Moisturize the skin consistently and top it up with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 or above. Some of the ingredients that prove beneficial for a normal skin type could be Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, Vitamin C, Rosehip oil, Glycerine, and Retoinols.
Pro-tip: Keep it simple and minimal. As mentioned prioritize prevention, and use an all-encompassing mask once a week to ensure your pores aren’t clogged, clay is great for this!
There are many misconceptions around oily skin, and the need to strip your skin of oils on the surface. But do you really need to wash all the oil away? No! Oily skin needs to strike a balance between washing excess oil and retaining what’s essential. Restoring balance is key. Products such as toners or just pure rose water helps keep the skin plump as well as limits oil production, moreover, carrying around oil blotting sheets could be helpful when needing to remove excess oil from the surface of the skin - why not just facial tissues? Well, because blotting sheets contain hydrating properties as well.
Use products that have ingredients such as Niacinamide, Tea Tree Oil, Salicylic Acid, and Benzoyl Peroxides.
Retinol and gentle exfoliants once a week will also help in controlling acne, eliminate comedones, or dead skin cells. Building a routine with these key ingredients will keep the skin acne-free and healthy and balanced.
If you’d like to go the extra mile do a mask twice to thrice a week. Clay is great for oily skin, it works like a magnet to pull out impurities from the skin. A common pain point with oily skin is clogged pores or bacterial build-up, hence, making it important to cleanse the skin thoroughly. You can alternate this with a simple yogurt, or yogurt and berry-based DIY. Yogurt is great for brightening, and berries are great antioxidants.
Pro-tip: Use small amounts of product and gradually increase the amount, as well as a number of applications. For instance, with retinol and acids, if you’re a newbie, start slow. If you’re unsure consult your dermatologist. Another thing to try is rose water ice cubes in lieu of toner, or perhaps incorporating rosewater and witch hazel as a toner.
A really common one amongst many individuals is the dry skin type. If dry skin is treated with all the right ingredients, it remains stable. If one does not look after dry skin, it can lead to constant itching, stretching of the skin, and moisture barrier function can be interrupted.
Individuals with this skin type must discount extreme hot water showers from their routines as that causes the skin to dry out further. Switch to lukewarm or cool water. Post a shower, when your skin is damp, apply a moisturizer to help lock in moisture and hydration on the skin.
Quoting a recent study from 2020, “a consistent skincare regimen should be an integral component of management of dry skin.” Use of emollients, moisturizers, hydrating serums, and the like aid in nourishing dry skin and keep concerns like scaly skin, itching, and flakes at bay.
A good skincare routine for Dry Skin types can do wonders. It must include a gentle cleanser a toner that aims at restoring the skin’s pH balance, a treatment that targets a skin concern, a moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated, and lastly, a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect the skin from UV rays and sun damage
Pro tip: According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, introducing a humidifier in the room for moisture can also work wonders for your skin, especially during winters.
Characterized by an oily forehead, nose, and chin due to high concentrations of oil glands in those areas. Crafting a routine for the combination skin type can be slightly complex. As per dermatologists across the globe, getting the right products for the combination skin type can be overwhelming as well as expensive as it includes a mix of both, oily and dry skincare products. With this skin type, it’s all about striking a good balance between all your products which don’t leave the skin either too dry or too oily. There’s no one-size-fits-all and recognizing what works for you is key.
For this skin type, it is important to build a routine that is rich in products that work for both ends of the skincare spectrum such as AHAs and BHAs when it comes to serums and hyaluronic acid or humectants that can benefit the entire face and keep skin concerns for this skin type at bay. Having said that you may need to use ingredients for specific sections of the skin, and if you do the key is to be precise in your application.
When masking, look for a mask to do once a week, that is suitable for all skin types, be it a brightening mask or detoxifying such as a clay mask - for this skin type moderation is key, you want to ensure you are detoxing the skin, but at the same time, not overdoing it.
Pro tip - Every 2-3 hours, use a blotting sheet to dab away all the oil that may be accumulated around the T-zone. Do this even before you use a cleanser to prevent stripping away the skin’s natural moisture.
It is essential to determine the difference between skin that is genetically thin, and skin that is sensitive. There are individuals whose skin is simply thinner than others when looking at their skin barrier, however, it is perfectly healthy. Generally, sensitive skin is deemed as sensitive when its skin barrier function is impaired. Not sure if your skin is truly sensitive or not?
Refer to the "Learning Your Skin Type" Section here.
Once you are sure that your skin is in fact sensitive, you can then start to build your routine. Remember, if your skin is truly sensitive, make sure you proceed with extreme caution when building your routine. For you, patch tests are a MUST. Carefully introduce one product at a time - when we say this we mean only introduce one product to your skin every three-four weeks as the skin regenerates every twenty-eight days. We would suggest starting with a cleanser - in an interview with Dr. Mara Padilla Evangelista-Huber, Board Certified Dermatologist and Dermatopathologist she said "sometimes a cleanser and moisturizer followed by a sunscreen is all you need." For someone with sensitive skin, this may be a great way to start.
While looking for these ingredients try and ensure that the products you purchase are fragrance-free, sulfate, and paraben-free as well as low in essential oil content. Moreover, see to it that they can by function protect your skin barrier from irritants given that if your skin is sensitive - you would ideally benefit from ingredients that protect and repair the barrier. If you would like to introduce retinol to your skin, perhaps start by trying out bakuchiol first.
Pro Tip: If you have rosacea, which is more common amongst those with lighter skin, and is generally triggered by sun exposure: our advice is to: learn your triggers as you build your routine, and introducing one product at a time will really help narrow down your product induced triggers, as well as allow you to slowly learn about environmental and lifestyle triggers as well.