How To Determine Your Skin Type
The importance of being flawlessly groomed needs no emphasis and the benefits of presenting a better version of oneself are far reaching. A well-groomed and meticulously-barbered façade however, will be let down by neglected skin. Dry and dull skin or one marked by spots, blotches or covered with an oily veneer, will undermine your confidence, make you feel self-conscious and negate any efforts to turn your best face to the world.
The good news is that, whatever your genetic legacy or your lifestyle choices, you can easily improve the appearance of your skin by following a simple, yet effective daily routine and by ensuring that you choose superior quality products, which are correctly selected to cater to your skin type. You most definitely shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that rugged masculinity goes hand in hand with coarse skin. Accepting that a regular skincare routine is essential to perfecting one’s appearance and that everyone can benefit from it, is a very good starting point.
An effective skincare routine, however, requires patience, consistency and discipline. It is also worth remembering that carefully following an evening routine is especially important as an overnight skincare regimen as it is the most effective way of achieving firmer, clear and even-toned skin. Our cells regenerate fastest while we sleep, therefore application of products in the evening will magnify their benefits and will be especially effective in keeping your face hydrated, nourished and youthful.
The first step is to determine your skin type and this involves a long, hard look in the mirror, preferably a well-illuminated shaving mirror that magnifies your reflection. Start by washing your face. Gently pat the skin dry and wait for 25–30 minutes. Now is the time to confront your complexion with steadfast objectivity. What do you see?
If you look in the mirror and see nothing to worry you, then you probably have normal skin. The skin tone is even and clear as natural elasticity is holding off the effects of ageing. You are lucky: your skin produces enough natural oil to keep you hydrated without getting greasy or shiny.
But this is no time for complacency. All kinds of environmental factors, such as wind, dry air and pollution, can play havoc with your skin, causing breakouts, irritation or uneven skin tone. So capitalise on your natural good fortune by maintaining a regular skincare routine: cleanse your skin with Truefitt & Hill’s Daily Facial Cleanser, a carefully formulated product containing jojoba beads, which gently exfoliate and cleanse the skin to reveal its natural radiance. It also includes salicylic acid known to aid cell rejuvenation and help promote a clearer, smoother and even complexion. After cleansing, apply Truefitt & Hill’s Advanced Facial Moisturiser which contains a blend of lavender oil and allantoin to soothe and promote the healing of the skin. This product has the added benefit of containing a sun filter that provides protection against UV damage, making it an excellent choice for morning application.
If your close self-scrutiny reveals shiny skin, or a sheen on your cheeks and ‘t-zone’ (the forehead, nose and chin) and if your pores appear to be enlarged, then most likely you have oily skin. This means that you generate high levels of sebum - the body’s natural oil, which is responsible for the sheen on the surface of the skin. Dirt and bacteria can easily adhere to this oily film on your skin, clogging your pores, and causing breakouts of acne or spots.
The remedy is to embark on a conscientious skin care routine which involves thoroughly cleansing your face in the morning an in the evening, as well as ensuring that you exfoliate your skin at least twice a week. Use a gentle, yet effective product such as Truefitt & Hill’s Authentic No. 10 Cleansing Scrub. This advanced formula is designed to thoroughly cleanse the pores and help to stimulate skin-cell renewal, as well as to alleviate unsightly signs of acne. Having an oily skin however does not mean that you can stop moisturising your face, in fact it should be one of the most important aspects of your daily routine, so do not forget to apply a light moisturiser after each cleanse to hydrate and protect your skin.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, you might observe that your skin feels tight after being washed and that it is prone to wrinkling and signs of ageing. This indicates that you are under-producing natural oils and you will need to take action to ensure that the imbalance is addressed. An overall tendency to dryness can manifest itself also on your hands, legs and scalp, so ensure that you use a good selection of products which will also adequately care for the rest of your body. Be aware however, that there is a difference between dry skin (a skin type) and dehydration (a temporary condition). No matter what your skin type, your skin can become dehydrated, typically because of a range of factors including sun damage, excess caffeine or alcohol, poor diet, not drinking enough fluids or a spell of dry weather. Short-lived dehydration can generally be dispatched by increasing your fluid intake as well as targeted use of a moisturising cream.
If, however, you have dry skin, then you should start your daily skincare regime with a careful approach to showering. Use a gentle shower gel, such as Truefitt & Hill’s Bath & Shower Gel range, and don’t scald your skin with prolonged exposure to piping hot water, which will strip off its protective outer layer. Also avoid vigorous towelling once you get out of the shower as it will increase your skin’s flakiness, instead gently pat the skin dry. When it comes to your face, opt for specialised products, such as Truefitt & Hill’s Authentic No. 10 Sensitive Moisturiser. This product contains the anti-ageing peptide, Tego Pep 4-17, which will help to minimise the appearance of wrinkles, visibly smoothen the skin surface, help to increase skin elasticity and aid in boosting collagen production.
Predictably, we don’t all fall into easy categories and norms, and skin type is no exception. If your skin self-scrutiny reveals a shiny, oily t-zone and dry, flaky cheeks (or even normal cheeks), then you have combination skin.
Your skincare routine will need to accommodate your skin’s duality. Carefully clean your entire face with Truefitt & Hill’s Daily Cleanser and meticulously exfoliate with Authentic No. 10 Cleansing Scrub only the areas of your skin that are oily, then moisturise your whole face with Truefitt & Hill’s Daily Facial Moisturiser, which will give your skin a good, all-round hydration and protection.
You probably do not need the mirror to tell you that you have sensitive skin. You will be all too aware of your skin’s propensity to become irritated, turn red and flaky or burn. You will find that your skin is a hard and volatile taskmaster, which reacts instantly to a number of irritants, some obvious, some entirely unpredictable, from razor burn, to sunlight, wind, skin products, stress, diet, household cleaning product – the list goes on.
All you can do is to submit to your skin’s demands and pamper it. Use specialist, fragrance free products, such as Skin Control Product Range, that have been especially formulated for sensitive skin. Be extra careful about shaving, which is an assault on your skin, and always follow up a shave with products such as Truefitt & Hill’s Ultimate Comfort Aftershave Balm, which contains no additional scent, to mitigate irritating after-effects of shaving. Be as observant as you can about the environmental factors that trigger skin sensitivity and do your utmost to avoid them. Treat your skin gently and always protect it with a good quality moisturiser.
Remember that skincare isn’t just about your face – it should be a whole body experience. Truefitt & Hill’s Invigorating Bath & Shower Scrub is a perfect product to use at least twice a week to thoroughly exfoliate and cleanse your body. While its exceptionally refreshing rosemary and mint fragrance is bound to raise your spirits, this scrub will leave your skin not only looking smooth and clear, but also feeling energised and refreshed.