Know your skin type
Skin differs in the amount of sebum it secretes and in its ability to preserve moisture inside the skin surface (corneous layer). As a result, we can classify skin into four different types: normal skin, dry skin, oily skin, and combination skin. But skin type is not something that's set in stone. It varies over the course of a month, a year, and a lifetime, due to the effects of weather, seasons, age, hormone balance, stress, and other factors.
To find the right skincare for your skin's condition, first you need to determine your skin type.
Characteristics of each skin type
Lots of sebum, sufficient moisture
- The surface of the entire face tends to get oily.
- The sebaceous glands are active, and there is a lot of sebum secreted.
- Skin texture is rough, and pores are open wide and tend to clog up easily with sebum and dirt, making them prone to pimples.
Lots of sebum, little moisture
- The sebaceous glands are active, and there is a lot of sebum secreted. At the same time, the corneous layer's barrier function is weak, so the skin tends to lack moisture.
- There is an abundance of sebum secreted in the T-zone (especially forehead and nose), but the skin on the cheeks and around the eyes tends to get dry.
Not too much sebum, little moisture
- The skin's sebum secretion is minimal, which hampers the formation of a lipid membrane and weakens the skin's moisture retention ability.
- The skin's surface tends to be dry, and in many cases the texture is unrefined.
- Fine lines are visible around the eyes and mouth.
- Skin sometimes becomes itchy, and even a minor irritation tends to trigger a rash or eczema.
Not too much sebum, plenty of moisture
- The sebaceous glands are not active, the corneous layer maintains a sufficient barrier function, the skin's surface is moist and smooth, and skin texture is refined.
Beauty tips for your skin type
Scrubbing oily skin harshly can damage the skin surface and make it easier for moisture inside the skin to evaporate, which can easily cause dryness. That triggers a compensation reaction, in which the skin secretes more sebum than usual in order to make up for the lack of moisture.
With oily skin, the keys to care are gentle cleansing and adequate moisturizing.
Removing excess sebum by double cleansing is essential for oily skin. To avoid over-activating sebum secretion, lather up your cleanser thoroughly and wash your face as gently as possible. Washing with hot water will strip away even necessary sebum and cause the skin to dry out, so rinse off the cleanser carefully with lukewarm water that's close to body temperature.
Some people with oily skin tend to wash their face several times a day. Overly frequent facial cleansing actually strips away too much of the lipids that protect the skin and can lead to excess sebum secretion. So washing your face twice a day, morning and night, is best.
Many people with oily skin think they don't need to moisturize. Maintaining a proper moisture balance is important, though, even for those with active sebum secretion. After washing the face, apply a light, fresh moisturizing lotion generously over the entire face, and moisturize troublesome dry areas with a beauty serum or essence.
Meals: Limit your intake of oily foods and sweets, which are the building blocks of sebum. When you are craving something sweet, try eating dried fruit.
Exercise: After eating oily foods or sweet foods, burn them off with exercise.
Lifestyle habits: Try your best to avoid stress and get plenty of sleep.
The skin's condition varies in different areas of the face, so the key is providing tailored care that caters specifically to oily skin or dry skin, respectively. All-in-one skincare is not well-suited to combination skin. It is worth the extra trouble to choose skincare items that are right for each different area.
Lather up facial cleanser thoroughly and wash gently.
After washing the face, it's important to use both a water-based moisturizing lotion and an oil-based emulsion or cream, accordingly. Moisturize the entire face generously with moisturizing lotion. Then, avoiding the T-zone, use emulsion or cream to address areas prone to dryness.
Dry skin has a weak barrier function, so it is important to treat the skin gently and avoid rubbing it.
Two key components of the barrier function are intracellular lipids and NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor). To prevent these from being washed away and to avoid damaging the skin surface, never rub too hard. Instead, lather up cleanser thoroughly, gently spread it on, and then leave it there for a moment before rinsing. If possible, choose a facial cleanser that leaves the skin feeling moist and contains moisturizing ingredients.
Before replenishing oil components with emulsion or cream, generously hydrate your skin with moisturizing lotion. Saturate a cotton pad with lotion and gently press it onto your skin without patting or swiping it.
About double moisturizing
- Cotton mask
A cotton mask is an easy and convenient way to treat your skin to some extra care. Saturate a cotton pad with the moisturizing lotion or serum you normally use, and place it on your face. The cotton pad seals the moisture in, making it easier for the ingredients to penetrate the skin surface.
- Sheet mask
Another convenient option is sheet masks that are pre-soaked with serum. The 3-D masks available these days fit the face snugly and deliver concentrated moisture into the skin surface.
- Note about masks:
- Leaving a mask on too long may cause it to dry and result in drying out the moisture it infused into the skin surface. Always remove a mask before it dries. (After about 5-10 minutes)
One cause of dry skin is poor circulation.
When circulation is poor, the nutrients and moisture that skin needs don't reach the cells, and skin's moisture content decreases.
Some effective ways to improve circulation are getting plenty of exercise every day and warming the body with saunas or baths.
Skin condition can vary even for people with normal skin due to changes in seasons, the environment, health, or other factors. Try to adapt your skincare to fit your skin's condition at any given time by supplying more moisture when the skin is dry or curbing sebum when the skin is oily.
Get to know your skin type in detail with a professional skin analysis
The skin's condition is negatively impacted not only by aging but also by environmental factors (UV radiation, dryness, weather, and seasons), lifestyle habits (poor diet, lack of sleep, irregular rhythms), and stress. Many factors can cause skin condition to change. From time to time, it's a good idea to have the skin’s condition checked by a beauty professional and get advice on the optimum skincare routine for your skin.
Professional skin analysis at Kanebo counters
At Kanebo Cosmetics counters, our beauty counselors use an original skin measurement device called the "Beauty Analyzer ADII" to closely check each individual customer's skin type. The skin analyzer can measure not only the amount of moisture in the skin, but also the condition of pores, the skin's color and clarity, and even the condition of the epidermis and the dermis. Based on the measurement results, the beauty counselor then chooses products that are right for the customer's skin type and makes suggestions on everything from proper skincare to lifestyle tips.