What is my skin type?

What is my skin type?

We humans love to categorise things.

One of the main challenges of the widely used dry, oily, sensitive, acne and ageing skin types it that it’s possible for several different skin conditions to be present on one face. So are we meant to buy all these ranges?

Also your skin condition changes all the time. Hormone fluctuations, pregnancy, stress, changes in sleep patterns, diet, season, where you are in the world all affect how strong and fit your skin is.

That’s why GFYS has a core workout to MAINTAIN skin that is fit and healthy. And a set of 4 booster serums to customise your workout so you can GET skin fit.

How you cleanse skin plays a HUGE role in how skin behaves and its condition. Over-washing (however tempting this is) will ruin every beautiful quality that your skin has naturally - even if your skin feels like an oil slick or is congested.

Products with detergents, emulsifiers and alcohol will reduce your outer protective layer, dehydrate skin, cause a downward cascade in healthy skin processes, slow desquamation (skin starts to go bumpy and you get spots), ultimately it spells poorer skin health. 

The bottom line is that we need to stop over-washing your skin, fortify skin, and fine tune any imbalance with the right active ingredients, NOT by washing it.

When we look at your skin we need to understand:

  1. How you cleanse (are you using any products on our taboo list - foaming cleansers, wipes, salicylic cleansers, micellar waters, alcohol toners. With these cleansing options the skin will further dry out but not in a good way.)
  2. How resilient or inflamed your skin is - (inflamed skin has blemishes or is red and flushes).
  3. How naturally oily or dry it is (humans can dry out skin or stimulate oil with what we do to it. We know what it’s like left to its natural devices).
  4. Whether it’s evenly pigmented or patchy.
  5. Which decade you are in, your lifestyle and skin history.


Wondering "what type of skin do I have" and "how can I tell"?

Here are some simple tips to get you started so you are fully equipped with knowledge on how to care for your skin.

START AT THE SURFACE
How strong your skin is determines how likely it is to become inflamed and problematic. The drier, more red or uncomfortable your skin is, the weaker the skin barrier. What keeps your skin strong are the natural oils (mostly sebum) skin produces. The lower the natural output or the more you remove the natural oils, the weaker and more problematic your skin will be. Your oiliness pattern is typically higher in the T zone where the sebaceous glands are more dense. 

Skin thickness – how thick or fine your skin texture is also influences your skin health and radiance. Some have a thickened outer layer (commonly from UV damage and sunbeds and smoking), others have more fragile or an impaired outer layer. When skin is smooth with good hyration it reflects light better and glows.

A thicker skin will dictate how easy (or difficult) it is for skincare to penetrate the skin. Coarse skins do better when you infuse your skin serums with micro needling. And they need more help to encourage fresh new skin cells the surface. The Reboot and A-hit combo do this brilliantly.

Finer skin is often delicate and typically doesn’t tolerate active skincare as easily. Typically you skin barrier first needs strengthening up by nourishing and fortifying it with the 24+ nurturing ingredients formulated in Warm Up, Workout and Rest.

Your natural skin oily/dry condition is best determined 20 minutes after you cleanse and how your skin feels by noon.

  • If your skin feels tight, squeaky clean you ARE over-cleansing.
  • If your skin feels clean and comfortable after cleansing but by noon its oily or your make-up is slipping off, it’s generally oily in type.
  • If your skin is dry, tight, sensitive or uncomfortable and doesn’t improve after cleansing, you skin type is dry and needs Warm Up enriched with skin identical oils.
  • If your skin seems dull and has blocked pores and your cleansing step hasn’t done anything to remove them, don’t reach for a deeper cleanse or scrub. Treat blocked pores with A-hit and Reboot (they’re non-mechanical, kinderways to clear and improve pore size).

 

CRACKING YOUR SKIN CODE

Our skin type system uses a combination of dry/oiliness, how inflamed it is, overlaid by how young you are and evenly pigmented your skin is.

The perfect skin is Type 1. This is an enviable type that responds to pretty much anything you expose it to and it reacts well to various skin products.
(Note: Oily means your skin produces adequate oil ie it is normal OR that it produces too much oil.)

Type 1: Oily and Resilient
Type 2: Oily and susceptible to inflammation
Type 3: Dry and Resilient
Type 4: Dry and susceptible to inflammation


Type 1 Oily and Resilient

During teenage to 30 years you can successfully maintain optimum skin health with Warm Up, Workout and Rest. You’ll probably take your maintenance-free skin type for granted. Good skin habits (our maintenance kit plus sunscreen and home micro-needling) are going to give you perfect skin for life.

Your skin rarely suffers with problems. Use B-hit if you have overactive sebaceous glands or if skin tends to pigment unevenly. This boosts your skin's natural protection to UV light and regulates skin oiliness.

From age 30 (when you break down collagen faster than you make it and oiliness starts to drop), start topping up your workout with A-hit and C-hit collagen boosters. C-hit will energise fibroblasts, the cells that make collagen, to induce them to produce more. A-hit will encourage the skin to turn over fresher younger cells - boost collagen, reversing and repair UV damage.

As we age, skin pH rises so a daily pH lowering AHA/BHA serum like Reboot helps encourage new skin cells to the surface and creates the best environment for skin rebuilding processes. Use when skin looks like it needs a bit of a lift. 

Type 2: Oily and susceptible to inflammation

Although the skins’ natural oiliness does help early ageing, your skin is susceptible inflammation like acne and redness and flushing and you can experience post inflammatory hyper-pigmenation and patchy pigmentation.

Whatever your age, at certain times you may need a bigger hit of rebalancing actives. And you want to avoid picking spots as this can lead to pigmented scaring.

People tend to want to throw the book at a breakout, they’ll layer on drying thing after irritating thing e.g. benzoyl peroxide on top of a clay mask on top of a harsh scrub. FYI. These make inflammation worse.

For a typical day, use Warm Up, Workout and Rest and B-hit. And if your skin develops inflamed spots you can use C-hit to reduce acne bacteria or Reboot to reduce black and white heads.

If your skin has moderate to severe acne, you’re best to add in all 3 A-hit, B-hit and C-hit boosters to manage your skin.

After 40, hormone levels begin to fluctuate, causing a loss of collagen and slower skin repair and renewal. Now more than ever A-hit and C-hit are key to maintaining healthy skin.

Type 3: Dry and Resilient

Your skin type rarely suffers problems. It ranges from normal healthy looking skin to dull flaky skin that looks like it’s lost its bounce. And this can often be put down to how you are moisturising it. You need a breadth of oils rich in omega oils and linolenic and linoleic acid which are almost always deplete in dry skins. Our maintenance kit has every ingredient in just the right amounts.

Dry sensitive skin types, are more prone to wrinkling. So you need to keep it fully nourished, no taking your eye off the ball.

During teenage to 30 years can successfully maintain optimum skin health with Warm Up, Workout and Rest and B-hit.

B-hit creates a protective barrier to seal in moisture in the skin to keep moisture in and irritants out - making Vitamin B3 a great support for dry sensitive skins. It’s often called the pregnancy serum because it gives your skin that natural glow.

After 30, Antioxidant C-hit and A-hit adds extra support.


Type 4: Dry and susceptible to inflammation

Type 4 is the trickiest skin to manage. Special care is needed with your skin type as you don’t want to overwhelm it. Go slow and steadily and you’ll make good progress.


More commonly than not, your skin has acne breakouts and/or facial redness and flushing and Rosacea. These inflammatory problems are often followed by a darkening of the skin where the pimples or skin irritation occurred. Your skin’s protective barrier is weak and this makes it more susceptible to skin rashes and dehydration. If your skin tone is patchy it also means your are more likely to get dark spots and UV damage.

Enhance your skin by using Warm Up, Workout and Rest and B-hit instead of reaching for spot creams and lotions as they dry out the skin. Humidifiers are a good shout for this skin type. And once skin is strong a home roller will stimulate healthy skin processes.

Warm Up conditioning cream cleanser with strengthen skin and B hit will encourage natural hydration while Workout with protect and calm with Zinc oxide.

A-hit can reduce visible capillaries and redness but only start on this when your skin is calmer and stronger, otherwise it could irritate.


THE SKIN TEST


To understand your skin type, take our skin quiz or do the wash test. After washing with Warm Up leave your skin free of product and assess it at noon.

You’l know if your skin has a tendency towards patchy clumping, and if it does will need to be more vigilant with your UV protection and ensure you are using Workout and UV protection.  You can also boost your routine with B-hit and C-hit for more skin lightening.

Assessing your propensity to inflammation can only truly be established when you have switched to proper cleansing. That way you can eliminate self-made inflammation from the picture.

After using Warm Up and Workout and B-hit for a few weeks and your skin doesn’t show any signs of inflammation, you’re in the resilient category. If not, you are in the inflamed category.

You may find it difficult to understand your skin and in this case we recommend paring right back to rule out any product influence and getting in touch.

Remember this is only a guide to help determine your skin type. You know your skin better than anyone does. Understanding your personal combination of oiliness, susceptibility to inflammation and pigmentation will help advise how you can best take care of it.

GFYS and our skin coaching service is a good recipe for healthy, happy skin.

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