DE-CODE YOUR SKIN
The simplest way to keep on top of your ever-changing skincare needs
“What’s your skin type?” A question you'll often be asked before a facial, at a makeup counter or on a retail website. But what was once a straight-forward question, met with a simple answer packaged into one of three options – dry, oily or combination – is now more complicated at the hands of our modern lifestyles.
While we all have a skin type, everything from the weather, our home and habits to our daily moods can impact the actual condition of our skin and, as a result, the skincare which we entrust to keep our complexions happy, making it more important than ever to understand our skin. That means thinking of our skin as something which experiences transitions, phases and shifts on the surface and underneath, while also getting to grips with the consistent and unchanging ‘type’ of skin you have too.
One of the most common influences on our complexions is the seasons. Whether it's the constant fluctuation of colder climes outside and drying heat inside, or the sweat-inducing humidity of summer, our skin is the first defence from our environment.
“We sometimes forget that skin is an organ and therefore is very responsive to its surroundings,” skin expert Renee Lapino says. “As our environment changes, such as with the seasons, air temperature and even humidity, our skin will react to that, perhaps with dryness, congestion or sensitivity and we need to react in turn with more targeted skincare. If you already change your products with the seasons, you shouldn't notice that your skin is resistant to your usual routine unless you’ve used the same thing for more than six months.”
Not only can our exterior surroundings impact our skin health, but how our skin looks and feels can also be a good indication of what's going on inside of our body. “It stands to reason that what we're putting into our body is going to show on the outside,” Renee says. “For example if we eat spicy food, we may notice increased swelling and redness in the skin and it may even trigger rosacea. If we smoke cigarettes when we normally don’t smoke, we may notice an increase in blackheads throughout the cheeks, as well as dullness in the skin. Every single organ inside of the body impacts the appearance of the skin and we need to be ready to adapt not only our lifestyle in response, but also our skincare to tackle the telltale signs.”
Although it can be tricky to determine the culprit that’s throwing your skin into disarray, there’s plenty we can do to counteract the visible signs. But the first step to understanding your skin is getting to the root of the imbalance.
“For example, dehydrated skin is usually a result of impaired barrier function,” Renee begins. “This means that the barrier that protects you from environmental irritants has been compromised. You’ll notice redness, stinging and surface breakouts, as well as dryness alongside oiliness. The best way to treat this is to use only oils and balms in a minuscule amount for four to six weeks until the dehydration and irritation is resolved. Breakouts can be caused by hormonal fluctuations, because the surface of the skin is too dry or because you aren't using the right products – more specifically, you may not be cleansing properly. I would look for changes in your diet or lifestyle such as whether you’ve been exercising more without cleansing afterwards, changing laundry detergent, taking prescription medications or birth control. Any sudden breakouts (excluding underlying skin conditions) are typically your body responding to change.”
With a myriad of factors affecting our skin health, keeping on top of how our complexion is faring is vital to ensure it's thriving. Thankfully, we've taken the guesswork out for you with our new and improved Skincare Routine Finder. By asking you a few multiple choice questions, we're able to determine a more accurate and bespoke skincare plan for you according to your individual skincare needs. So, what are you waiting for? Get started here.