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How To Identify Your Skin Type Explains Dermatologist Dr Jaishree Sharad

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How many times has social media lured you into buying that trending product? It’s perfect for dry skin, they’ll say. And just like that they’ve got you hook, line and sinker. ‘It’s not for me, it’s for my dry skin’, you’ll think to yourself. Before you know it, it’s already been delivered and ODed upon. But then a few applications later you realize that it isn’t for you or your skin type. And the hunt for another perfect replacement begins and quite frankly, seldom ceases to end.

That’s when you ought to question yourself. It just doesn’t add up that a beauty hero for dry skin works on everyone else but you. Ask yourself if you’ve identified your skin type properly? And how did you identify it in the first place? ’Cause we all know what happens when a doctor botches his diagnosis. Similarly, the damage you do to your skin when you detect your skin type inaccurately, is massive. It’s every doctor’s nightmare.

You cannot buy products for your skin before being 100% sure of your skin type. There’s no doubt about it. Best case scenario? Ask your doc. But on occasions you don’t have that privilege, the Beauty Book team ropes in celebrity dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad to show you how to put your skin type to the test before you come to any conclusions. You know you’re in safe hands when you’ve got the Vice President of the Cosmetic Dermatology Society of India (CDSI) and CEO of Skinfiniti Aesthetic Skin and Laser Clinic helping you understand your skin type better.

And while she’s at it, she also gives you a lowdown on all the necessary ingredients your skin requires based on various skin types.

So, are you ready to get tested? We sure are!

Under The Scanner: Oily Skin

Test It: “In the morning when you wake up, wash your face with a gentle cleanser. Wait for about one hour, then take a basic, thin tissue paper and dab it over your entire face. If you see that the tissue paper is now blotchy and translucent, you mostly have oily skin. Be sure to check if your entire face is secreting oil, and not just parts of it.”

Treat It: “To maintain the oil balance of your skin, you can use a salicylic acid based face wash. It will unclog your pores and is lipid soluble which will help dissolve all the oil. Or you can use scrubs that have a glycolic acid or a mandelic acid base. Grapeseed extract or Tea Tree oil are also known ingredients that help in reducing oil. Use water or gel based moisturizers and sunscreens. One thing you should definitely reduce or avoid altogether is sugar in your diet.”

Try It: Innisfree Bija Trouble Facial Foam, Yves Rocher Pure System 2 In 1 Cleanser & Exfoliator& L'Oreal Paris Hydra Fresh Anti-Ox Grape Seed Hydrating Mask-In Double Essence.

Under The Scanner: Dry Skin

Test It: “Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and wait for an hour. If you have dry skin, when you dab your skin with a tissue it remains intact and doesn’t get blotched or translucent. You can even apply a mild foundation or concealer without using any moisturizer – the result will be caked and lined residue on your skin. Another quick test: scratch your skin gently, if it leaves behind a white or pale line when you do so, you definitely have dry skin.”

Treat It: “To tackle dry skin, make sure you drink at least 3 liters of water every day. Fruits, seeds and nuts are good for you, especially ones high in Omega 3. Vitamin E is also a good addition to your diet. Avoid hot and long showers. Also stay away from soaps and use glycerin based products instead. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica, dimethicone, panthenol along with the classics like almond oil, coconut oil and jojoba oil.

Try It: Bath & Body Works Water Hyaluronic Acid Mineral Body Polish, The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter & Dot & Key Water Drench Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum Concentrate.

Under The Scanner: Combination Skin

Test It: “In the morning, wash your face and wait for about an hour. If you feel you have combination skin, use two different tissue papers. Dab one over your ‘t-zone’, i.e. your forehead, nose and chin. The paper will be blotched and translucent. Then use the second paper to dab on your cheeks and sides – this paper will be intact and dry. When you t-zone is oily and the rest of your face is dry, you have combination skin.”

Treat It: “It is hard to balance combination skin and the routines are a little harder. I recommend using a Tea Tree Oil face wash in your t-zone and a normal skin face wash for the rest of your face. You can use salicylic acid serums on your t-zone overnight to reduce the oily residue when you wake up in the morning. You can use a light cream for your cheeks, but be sure not to extend it to your t-zone.”

Try It: For your t-zone - The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash, Neemli Naturals Glycolic & Salicylic Acid Serum & for your cheeks - Ponds Super Light Gel Oil Free Moisturiser With Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin E.

Under The Scanner: Sensitive Skin

Test It: “If you have sensitive skin, you probably already know it. Sensitive skin will easily burn or breakout into hives or rashes at the drop of a hat. Soaps may cause a lot of itching or burning, and hot water will dehydrate your skin. Sun damage is very common on sensitive skin as well.”

Treat It: “You should avoid excess smoking and alcohol as they might react to your skin condition. Sun exposure should also be kept to the minimum. Do not use fragrance based products as they tend to increase the skin sensitivity. Don’t exfoliate your skin too much either. All your face washes and cleansers must be 100% soap-free. Also avoid all products that have parabens or sodium laureth sulphate. Always, always, always, use a sunscreen!”

Try It: Mamaearth Vitamin C Cream For Face, with Vitamin C & SPF 20, Sebamed Clear Face Care Gel Ph5.5 & Biotique Bio Honey Gel Refreshing Foaming Face Wash.

The Games Weather Plays With Our Skin…

“Weather is integral while identifying your skin tone. Always compare weather to your current living climate,” alerts Dr Sharad.

- “If you are travelling to a cooler area, the climate tends to make your skin drier. So, if you have oily skin, it will turn to normal skin. If you have normal skin, it will turn dry. And dry skin will turn drier. Always opt for more hydrating/moisturizing options than you usually use when you move to colder weather.” Try WOW Skin Science Vitamin C Face Cream, Biotique Bio Sandalwood Ultra Soothing Face Lotion 50+ SPF UVA/UVB Sunscreen.

- “And if you are looking at a hotter or a more humid setting, your skin type tends to move towards getting oilier. So, dry skin will become normal, normal will turn oily and oily skin will become oilier still. My little trick is to carry an overnight serum with salicylic acid or glycolic acid when I’m travelling to a hotter climate that will help keep the oil in check.” Opt for Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Clay Cleanser and Mask and Neemli Naturals Glycolic & Salicylic Acid Serum.

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