The skin types
Knowing your skin type is the first step in caring for your skin. Here are the four skin types.
Oily skin occurs when our bodies produce too much sebum (a fatty substance that protects the skin), often due to a hormonal imbalance. This phenomenon is also known as hyperseborrhea. Excess sebum causes the skin to become greasy and shiny, especially in the T-zone (the area covering the nose, chin, and forehead). People with oily skin may also have enlarged pores, acne issues, and uneven skin texture.
Dry skin, on the other hand, is the result of a lack of sebum. Sebum forms a natural protective barrier on the skin. When our bodies don’t produce enough of it, the barrier thins, which causes our skin to lose moisture and become flaky. Dry skin is a common issue in older people, since the body produces less sebum as we age.
As the name suggests, combination skin has the qualities of multiple skin types. It’s dry in some areas and oily in others (particularly the T-zone). The only consistent thing about combination skin is that it’s inconsistent! That’s why it can be tricky for people with combination skin to build a beauty routine that accounts for all their skincare needs.
Normal skin is the Holy Grail of skin types. It’s soft, smooth, and free from imperfections. It’s not too oily and not too dry. It also has an even tone and small pores. If you have normal skin, thank your sebaceous glands for keeping everything in balance.
Skincare that supports your wellness
The right skincare products and natural cosmetic ingredients can help your skin look and feel its best. Here are a few wellness goals that you can achieve with a little advice from our team.
There a number of products, treatments, and habits that can help you slow down the aging process of your skin.
Some of the signs of premature skin aging:
- Appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Loss of skin elasticity
- Dark spots
- Drier, duller, or more dehydrated skin
- Enlarged pores
Lifestyle habits that will keep your skin looking young
Healthy lifestyle habits can also help keep your skin looking young. These include eating right, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, protecting yourself from the sun, avoiding smoking, and always removing your makeup at the end of the day. In addition, it’s important to build a skincare routine that suits your needs.
Though they share many of the same symptoms, dry skin and dehydrated skin aren’t exactly the same. Dry skin lacks sebum, a fatty substance that protects the epidermis and prevents the skin from drying out, while dehydrated skin lacks water.
Dehydration is a temporary condition that affects all skin types, including dry and oily skin. In short, you can have dry and dehydrated skin at the same time. Understanding the difference between dry and dehydrated skin will help you choose the right skincare products.
Dry skin vs. dehydrated skin
Like acne-prone skin, oily skin is caused by an overproduction of sebum (oil). This commonly occurs during adolescence due to the hormonal changes that happen during puberty. Oily skin can also be caused by other factors related to genetics, the environment, and your skincare habits.
Signs that you have oily skin:
- Greasy or shiny skin (especially on the nose, forehead, or chin)
- Enlarged pores
- Blackheads and pimples
- Uneven skin texture
- Dull complexion
Good skincare habits for oily skin
The first step in caring for oily skin is controlling sebum secretion with non-greasy, alcohol-free, water-based products that will hydrate your skin and let it “breathe.” The goal is to avoid clogging your pores so that your skin can evacuate sebum more efficiently.
Wash your face morning and night with a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser, then finish off your routine with a toning lotion to minimize excess sebum and balance your skin’s pH levels. We also recommend using a lightweight sunscreen designed for people with oily skin. Our team of specialists can help you pick one out.
Preparing your skin for sun exposure is an essential step in your skincare routine, no matter your skin type. Exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun can damage your skin, leading to dryness, premature aging, and increased sensitivity and irritation.
Some signs to watch for:
- Frequent sunburns
- Tan skin
- Dark (brown) spots
- Premature aging of the skin
How to protect your skin from UV rays
First, you’ll need to determine the best sunscreen for your skin type. Choose a product that’s water-resistant and formulated with a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 30. If it contains UV filters, such as zinc oxide or Tinosorb, even better! And don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours.
However, applying sunscreen is just one part of a good sun protection strategy. You need to keep your skin moisturized as well to strengthen its natural protective barrier. Also remember to avoid tanning beds. Finally, we recommend eating foods rich in antioxidant vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene or vitamin E, which slow skin aging caused by UV rays.
Certain drugs can increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun, including certain antibiotics, antihistamines, and anti-inflammatories. However, this phenomenon (known as drug-induced photosensitization) affects only a small percentage of people.
Sun spots, age spots, liver spots, lentigo... No matter what you call them, dark spots can be a nuisance. Although hyperpigmentation isn’t dangerous, it is one of the most common aesthetic concerns for women.
Dark spots are more common in fair-skinned people, but they can affect people of all skin types. They are caused by a dysfunction of the melanocytes, the skin cells that produce melanin. Melanin gives your skin its pigment. Malfunctioning melanocytes can cause hyperpigmentation (dark spots) or depigmentation (vitiligo).
Some signs to watch for:
- Brown or red spots of varying sizes on areas exposed to the sun, like the hands, face, and shoulders
- Brownish or grayish pigmentation on the face
Preventing and reducing dark spots
Protecting your skin from the sun year-round is the best way to prevent dark spots from appearing in the first place. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and avoid tanning salons. Keep in mind that dark spots are also linked to other factors beyond your control, such as aging, genetics, and hormonal changes (especially during menopause).
Although dark spots can’t be erased completely, there are steps you can take to minimize their appearance, such as using brightening products sold in pharmacies (cleansers, correctors, moisturizers, etc.). However, if you notice that a dark spot has changed in appearance, consult a health care professional immediately to make sure it isn’t skin cancer.
Skin conditions and infections: How to treat them
Here are some of the skin conditions and diseases that you can prevent or treat with the help of our pharmacists*. A little expert advice can help you feel comfortable in your own skin! Book an appointment with your pharmacist.
* These services are offered by Brunet's affiliated pharmacist ownerst
More tips to keep your skin happy and healthy
Podcast - Eczema, psoriasis, or allergic reaction? (French only)
Wondering what caused those red patches on your skin? In this episode of our podcast, MaSanté sans tabous, Annie-Soleil Proteau and David Gauthier, a Brunet-affiliated owner-pharmacist, demystify the most common skin problems and help you differentiate them.