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What is your skin type?

Are you confused about your skin type? Maybe your skin can’t decide – sometimes tight, sometimes greasy on the T-zone, occasionally blotchy. Where do you begin? We understand how a pretty-smelling cream with a celebrity endorsement might seem the easiest option. But if you are not getting results from your skincare, maybe you are using the wrong products for your skin type. Well, your skin has had enough, and would like you to see an expert. 

Why should you know your skin type?

At Tej & Co, we take the guesswork out of skincare. We hate seeing damaged skin barriers from misdiagnosed skin types and conditions, so let’s get back to basics.

For a start, you can’t change your skin type. Unlike skin conditions, your skin type stays with you from birth (although your skin will get slightly drier with age as oil production slows). So we recommend products and treatments to support and complement your skin type.

An easy way to diagnose your skin type is by how much oil (lipids) it produces. 

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Understanding lipid dry skin:

If you answer yes to any of the following points, your skin is probably lipid dry; in other words, it doesn’t contain enough oil to keep it soft and supple:

  • Feels tight and dry all year round, especially when walking or in low humidity.
  • Easily irritated
  • Matte, dull and flat
  • Fine pores
  • Very inactive oil glands – no shine
  • Prone to fine lines, wrinkles and sore lips
  • Impaired acid mantle

Think of lipids as the mortar between the bricks (skin cells) that keeps water in and allergens out. If too much water escapes, your leaky skin becomes dehydrated, flat and irritable.

Understanding oily skin

If you answer yes to any of the following points, your skin is probably sebum-rich; in other words, it contains too much oil:

  • Shiny, especially on the T-zone (forehead, nose and chin)
  • Large pores
  • Constant blocked pores and spots (rather than just hormonal): blackheads, whiteheads, inflamed spots
  • Post-spot staining (red/dark marks)
  • Thick, coarse texture
  • Even distribution of active oil glands
  • Oily all over face, scalp, back & chest.

Oily skin is also prone to dehydration, so please don’t be scared of moisturisers. Your first instinct may be to strip away sebum-rich shine, but this good guy is there for a purpose:

  • Traps in moisture
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • UV + pollution protection
  • Part of the skin microbiome 
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Corneotherapists love sebum – its main job is to strengthen your skin barrier, not make spots! It forms a vital part of your microbiome – an invisible layer that protects us from bad bacteria by sitting on the surface like an overzealous bouncer. 

Let’s rebalance your skin microbiome and sebum by working with Mother Nature, not against her.  

My skin is oily and dry – Is my skin type combination?

If your skin is somewhere in between (like most skins), you probably end up buying combination skincare in frustration. But mass-market OTC skincare can’t assess your oil levels or lifestyle – it doesn’t know where you take your skin! (And doesn’t care).

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Understanding mid-afternoon T-zone shine

In reality, no skin is both oily and dry – oily skin is oily all day. If you answer yes to the following points, your skin has become water-poor:

  • Feels dry, tight and sensitive
  • Greasy areas, especially between brows.
  • Rough and uneven texture.
  • Lined + tired.
  • Flushes red easily; easily irritated by harsh products.

The greasiness is not excess sebum but water escaping through an impaired barrier, like a leaky roof, known as TEWL (Transepidermal water loss). Old skin cells (corneocytes) are like sponges: when they lose too much water, they become rough, sensitive and inflamed. They can’t flake off naturally, blocking the light and making skin look dull. Blame over-cleansing, over-exfoliating and harsh actives that think the top layer is dead and strip away the skin’s protective lipids. 

Come in for a consultation

If you are confused about your skin type, it’s time for a professional skin consultation.

At Tej & Co, we will analyse your skin and devise a personalised skincare routine depending on your skin type and the season – your skin needs a wardrobe of products. Our bespoke Dermaviduals products are custom-blended to balance your skin, control sebum levels or nourish dry skin. Rest assured, they are free of ingredients detrimental to the skin barrier, such as acids, retinol or foaming cleansers.

Skincare just got personal.

This article was written by skincare specialist Tej of Tej & Co. Tej & Co are experts in skincare and hair removal clinic, West Midlands. Offering safe and results-driven non-surgical skin treatments including Endymed Skin Tightening.