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December 04, 2019
What if my Skin Doesn't Fit into a 'Type'?

We've all heard about the basic 5 skin types - dry, oily, combination, sensitive and normal (whatever that one means). We've all been grouped or grouped ourselves into one of these categories but as you get older, you may find that your skin changes and may become a bit more complex. So what happens if you don't fit neatly into one of these skincare categories?

Here we're going to discuss some of the confusion surrounding skin types and one important factor that we may be ignoring in caring for our skin.

Does my skin type really matter?

As you get older and find that your skin changes in many ways from when you were a teen, you may find that you need to uproot your entire skin care routine. You may also find that you don't fit into one skin category as you thought you did. Perhaps your skin is both dry and oily. The point is everyone's skin is nuanced and requires personalized care.

This does not mean that skin types are useless. They certainly give us a place to start in terms of finding what types of products may work for our skin. While your skin may be overwhelmingly dry, oily or sensitive, most of us have combination skin in some way. Therefore it's important to take a personalized approach to our skincare. Take notice to all of your skin's qualities and don't feel the need to fit neatly into one box. Sometimes we have to take a multi-faceted approach to solving our skin issues.

Skin pH

The skin's pH is something that is often lost in the conversation surrounding skincare. While pH is not talked about a lot, experts believe this is an important factor in finding the right products for your skin.

Measuring the skin's pH level, helps to determine it's level of acidity or alkalinity.

The surface layers of the skin are acidic and play a large role in how ceramides and enzymes work in the skin as well as how the skin protects itself from external sources of damage. The skin's pH also plays an important role in how balanced the skin is.

How does skin pH work?

The way pH works is that the younger you are the more acidic your skin is. This gradually changes as you age and your skin becomes more basic. This is why as we age, the way collagen breaks down in our skin changes. This means that age and our pH levels change, we need to work to achieve balance in our skin.

While the skin works naturally to balance its own pH, we should pay attention to products that can throw off our skin's pH to the point where it causes significant disruption to the balance of our skin. This means paying attention to your use of products with fragrance and exfoliants.

Minor changes to the skin's pH are common and can provide better results in your skincare. For example, using an AHA or BHA exfoliating acid.

In order to achieve balance in your skin, pay attention to any issues that you may be having such as dry, tight or itchy skin. This can be a sign that you are disrupting your skin's pH too much. This can be caused by using the wrong types of cleansers such as bars of soap or harsh cleansers that are not meant for the delicate skin on the face.

In all, skin care is much more nuanced than we try to make it at times. It's okay (and normal) if your skin does not fit into one type. Be sure to take into account all factors when you're considering which products to use on your skin.

Emoni Rochelle