Structure of the Skin

A basic knowledge of the skin structure is a pre-requisite of a worthwhile skin care programme. Skin is made up of protective layers of cells supported by nerves, glands and blood vessels. Your skin lives and breathes. Cells move up to the surface where they are shed and replaced. This topmost layer is protected by the body’s natural oil and moisture. It is imperative that you understand your skin and chalk out a carefully planned beauty routine to attain a flawless, petal- soft complexion.

Basic Skin Types

Basic skin types may be classified into five broad categories - Normal, dry, oily, combination and sensitive skin.

Normal skin

You possess a perfect balance of natural oils and moisture which results in a soft, supple, firm skin. Normal skin has to be treasured and preserved. Even normal skin is liable to change, if neglected. Keep your eyes open for any changes in skin, which must be dealt with promptly. Extend your skin care beyond your jaw line. Pamper your neck, with a rich cream. Oily skin a good skin type but it requires firm and gentle handling. The skin has over active sebaceous glands which give rise to large open pores. Larger pores, in turn, lead to blackheads, blemishes and acne. The appearance of blackheads and blemishes is due to clogged oil and dirt in the pores which is not removed instantly by cleansing.

Oily skin

Is sometimes caused by stuffy, airless atmosphere, harsh astringents or a rich diet. Oily skin begins to have an oily shine almost within a few minutes after wash or makeup. This makes it difficult to hold make up. Oily skin has an advantage of ageing very slowly. Deep cleansing must be thorough. Avoid the use of harsh astringents that strip the skin of all its natural oil and moisture.

Dry skin

Dry skin is a sensitive skin type which comes in blotches, tends to peel off easily and feels tight after a wash. Dry skin requires moisturizing and lubricating. Lack of moisture results in dry skin and this skin type is more prominent around the eyes, mouth, lips, sides of mouth and forehead. Cleansing, toning, moisturizing form an integral routine of this type of skin. Dry skin is highly susceptible to diet, extremes in weather and harsh perfumed skin care products. Any friction on this skin type causes it to get drier and itchy. Dry skin also has another disadvantage. Fine lines, and wrinkles appear faster giving you a prematurely aged look. Regular monitoring, combined with a generous application of moisturizer will produce a skin which would be on par with the ‘enviable’ peaches and cream complexion.

Combination skin

As the word ‘combination’ suggests it is mix of two different skin types on one face. More often this skin type is the result of a badly cleansed and neglected skin. It is easily recognizable as it is oily down the T panel, that is the forehead, nose, chin. The skin gets this oily look down the T panel while the rest of the face appear and feel dry. Combination skin needs scrupulous cleansing. It is a good idea to use a face mask for oily skin down the T panel and a mask for dry skin for the rest of the face. This method of treating the combination skin works ideally to give a perfect, balanced effect.

Sensitive skin

This type of skin is extremely delicate and vulnerable. It is easily susceptible to freckles, itchy spots and blotches. Dermatitis and allergies caused by chemical cosmetics are common problems of a sensitive skin. It is best to discontinue the usage of strong and harsh skin care products. One caveat for sensitive skin types is to avoid perfumed creams and moist’ irises.

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