Skin care products do not take readily to a one-size-fits-all approach. One person’s skin care products may not necessarily be good for another.
Many factors affect the effectiveness of skin care products on any individual. Even location affects the skin condition. Thus, the best skin care products in Dubai may not be the best skin care products in Iceland.
Therefore, if you want to determine the skin care products that suit you best, you may want to start with a skin analysis or assessment. And the best way to get a skin assessment, of course, is to pay a visit to your local dermatologist or skin care specialist.
A trained skin advisor will look at your skin with the help of specialized equipment and tell you your skin type, complexion, and skin problems. She will also ask you about your circumstances, personal skin care habits, and general lifestyle.
Note: Skin type and factors like location, habits, and general lifestyle determine skin concerns.
At the end of your skin assessment session, the skin advisor will know enough to recommend suitable skin care products.
After an examination by a skin specialist, your skin will be typed, and your skin will be classified under one of five categories: Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive. These classifications are determined using the following criteria:
- Hydration level, which determines skin elasticity
- Oiliness, which determines skin softness
Normal skin is the type of skin everyone wants to have. It has the appropriate amount of water and oil content, so it is neither dry nor oily.
In other words, normal skin is adequately hydrated and has a sufficient amount of oil, which makes it feel elastic and soft and look radiant and healthy. It is not prone to skin problems, and rarely does it have serious skin sensitivity issues. Pores are barely visible as well.
Oily skin is characterized by acutely active sebaceous glands, which give the skin more oil than it needs to properly function. Oily skin, therefore, has enlarged pores and often looks shiny.
Blemishes are often the bane of oily skin. The excess oil combines with dead skin cells, causing hair follicle blockages. This leads to comedone formation, which becomes blackheads, whiteheads, papules, and inflamed acne lesions.
Dry skin lacks sufficient amounts of moisture.
The skin’s sebaceous glands do not produce a sufficient amount of oil to moisturize the skin. As such, the skin can feel rough. Pores are also virtually invisible on dry skin. The inadequate water, moreover, can make the skin look dull and feel less elastic.
The dryness can also lead to cracking, peeling, irritation, inflammation, and visible lines.
Combination skin is combination dry and oily. A person with combination skin often has oily skin in the T-Zone (forehead, nose, and chin) and exhibits dryness in other areas of the face.
Having combination skin means dealing with oily and dry skin issues. This also means there’s a need to differentiate care for dry and oily zones.
Sensitive skin reacts to a great many stimuli and is easily triggered and irritated. Sensitive skin may itch and burn and may exhibit red and dry patches.
Skin complexion has long been a consideration for choosing cosmetics. You would often see color cosmetics classified according to their suitability for fair, medium, and dark complexions.
However, complexion should also be considered in the choice of skin care products, particularly when it comes to sun care products.
Those with fair complexions are prone to freckling and burning with sun exposure, while those with medium complexions typically tan. On the other hand, those with dark complexions rarely burn.
Thus, the strength and type of sun protection you need will largely depend on your skin complexion. Make no mistake, however. Regardless of your complexion type, you need sun protection.
After assessing your skin type, complexion, and problems, as well as your lifestyle and habits, the skin care specialist will now formulate a custom skin care plan that suits your circumstances.
If you have a fair complexion, the advisor may recommend a physical blocker that’s stronger than what you’re currently using. If your skin is dry, the advisor may advise you to use Hyaluronic acid for water retention and ceramides for moisture.
And this is why you must get a skin assessment before you buy skin care products. A skin assessment helps you make informed decisions about which skin care products will work wonders for your skin. More importantly, it will help you avoid products that can actually cause your skin more harm than good.
If you cannot visit a dermatologist or a skin care specialist in person for a skin care assessment, use an online skin advisor tool from a reputable provider.
A skin advisor tool will ask you a series of questions and, depending on your responses, give you a summary of what problems your skin may have and what skin care products you need.
The following are some of the questions an online skin advisor tool might ask:
- What is your skin type?
If you know your skin type, this should be an easy one. If you don’t, the tool will likely present you with a list of options (how greasy your skin is, how big your pores look, etc.) that will help you determine your skin type.
- What skin concerns do you have?
Typical skin concerns include wrinkles and fine lines, dark circles under the eyes, eye bags, red patches, dullness, aging, visible pores, sagging skin, hyperpigmentation, and acne.
- What is your sex?
Are you a man or a woman?
- What is your age?
Skin condition is definitely a function of age.
- Where do you live?
The online skin advisor tool will use your location information to approximate your local climate (dryness, humidity, sun exposure) and air quality, which are factors that affect your skin’s condition.
After getting the above information, the skin advisor tool may ask you to take a selfie. Next, it will provide a detailed assessment of your skin.
An excellent online skin advisor will give you an in-depth assessment on specific metrics such as:
- Uneven skin tone
- Hyperpigmentation and melasma
- Dark circles
- Dark spots
- Skin dullness
- Eye bags
- Skin sagging
Finally, the skin advisor tool will give you a list of skin care products it recommends based on your online skin assessment result.
Even if you do not buy any of the recommended products, the assessment you got should be enough to help you make your own selection of skin care products.
Before choosing skin care products, it is good practice to get your skin assessed. If you cannot have your skin evaluated in person, use a good online skin advisor tool.
Whatever you do, do not choose skin care products based on celebrity endorsements or somebody else’s account. When it comes to skin care products, the best is what’s best for you.