How do I know if my skin is oily or dry?

Knowing the answer to this question will make your life easier when shopping for products.

Knowing the answer will ensure that you aren’t using products that will be detrimental to your skin.

This article will help you figure out if you have oily or dry skin. it will answer the question “How do I know if my skin is oily or dry?”

Knowing your skin type is the key to managing your skin. This article will help you figure it out your skin type.

How do I know if my skin is oily or dry?

There are 4 types of skin: oily, dry, combination, and normal skin.

All these skin types are different and have different needs. This article will help you figure out if you have oily or dry skin.

Oily skin:

The condition of having oily skin is called seborrhea.

All skin needs to produce its own moisture (in the form of oil called sebum) to avoid getting dried out, to stay moisturised and to stay supple and youthful-looking.

Having oily skin means that your skin is overproducing this sebum.

This is the skin type that produces excess sebum because of overactive sebaceous glands.

Unfortunately because of the overproduction of sebum, this skin type is prone to issues such as acne, blemishes and pimples.

Characteristics of oily skin:

Shiny or greasy looking skin: This is due to excess sebum production, when your skin produces too much oil that oil has nowhere to go but to sit on your skin and create a greasy shiny film.  

Plump skin: Because of the excess sebum your skin will look youthful and plump. The more sebum you have on your skin the more moisturised, plump and supple your skin will look.

Acne-prone skin and quick to get blemishes: Blemishes and clogged pores happen when the excess sebum on your skin and the dead skin cells on your face combine and clog the pores.

If there is acne-causing bacteria on your skin it will combine with the sebum and dead skin cells on your skin to create pimples.

Large pores: You skin might look a bit thick and have large, very visible pores as well. The upside of having oily skin is that you will age slower than everyone else because of the constant moisture the excess oil provides

How do I know if my skin is oily or combination?

Oily and combination skin have similarities but you can easily distinguish whether you have oily or combination skin if you know what to look for.

Combination skin has oily areas in some parts of the face and dry or normal skin in other areas.

You may find that you have an oily T zone, this includes the chin, forehead and the nose, the rest of your skin will be dry or normal.

This skin type is a little hard to manage because you technically have more than one skin type. Oily skin is oily all over.

Why is my skin overproducing oil?

Genetics play a role in having this skin type. If you have oily skin because of genetic reasons your skin will probably only change when you’re much older.

Older skin is naturally drier than younger skin, this is because as we age our skin experiences damage, slower cell renewal and a decrease in the production of sebum

Other factors that cause oily skin include stress, medications, the environment, hormonal changes and how you treat your skin.

How you treat your skin doesn’t only have to do with the products you use but also touching your face, how you sleep and what you eat and drink.

How can I manage my oily skin?

If you have oily skin as a result of genetics you can’t get rid of it but you can manage it.

If your oily skin is caused by the environment then you can change what products you’re using on, and what you’re doing to your skin, this will help get rid of your oily skin.

Because this skin type is prone to acne you need to take note of the ingredients in your products.

You don’t want to pick products that are comedogenic, comedogenic products have ingredients like unfractionated coconut oil which will easily clog your pores if you have oily skin.

If you really want to use coconut oil you should use fractionated coconut oil. Here is one that is well-loved.

In fact all your products need to be formulated specifically for people with oily skin, look for products that are labelled “oil-free” or “for oily skin’ or “mattifying”.

These kinds of products will help balance the oil on your skin, keeping you moisturised but not greasy or oily looking.

You also need to remember to not touch your face as this can transfer oils from your hands to your face. Drink lots of water, this will help balance the oil production on your face.

You can also use blotting paper to blot the oil off your face through the day. This blotting paper is compact, convenient and easy to use

Should you moisturise if you have oily skin?

All skin types need moisturisation even oily skin.

The thought of adding a moisturiser to your oily skin may seem like a bad idea but that’s only if you use a moisturiser that hasn’t been designed for your skin.

Not using a moisturiser on your skin will result in your skin becoming dry especially after cleansing. This will lead to an overproduction of oil on your skin in an effort to moisturize itself.

If you use a lightweight moisturiser that hydrates and nourishes the skin without giving you a shiny look then your skin will flourish. A good moisturiser for oily skin is the Cerave daily moisturising lotion.

Dry skin:

The condition of having dry skin is called Xerosis, it is one of the more common skin types. In fact, most people visiting dermatologists are people complaining about dry skin.

This skin type does not produce an adequate amount of sebum to moisturise the skin well enough, thus the dry skin.

In addition, this skin type does not retain water very well. Unfortunately, if you have this type of skin you will look older sooner than people with oily skin.

How do I know if my skin is oily or dry

How to tell if you have dry skin

The skin might be rough to the touch: sebum is what keeps the skin moisturised, supple and smooth, this skin type is dry because of its low moisture level.

Skin is brittle and tight on your face: the skin will dry up and feel tight on the face because it does not have enough sebum, the sebum is what makes skin elastic

Flaky skin: If the skin is very dry then you might develop flaky skin, scaly feeling skin and itchy skin

Redness, lines: You might be more prone to lines and red patches. Luckily your pores might be very small or almost invisible.

Why do I have dry skin?

Between women and men, women are more likely to have dry skin. The reasons for dry skin include genetics and age, skin gets dryer as we age.

Other environmental factors which cause dry skin are the weather, this can include cold temperatures, wind, or the sun. You might find drier skin on your arms, legs, hands, palms and under your feet.

There are a variety of products that can combat having dry skin. Because it is mostly genetic so these products are only temporary and need to be used on a regular basis to keep up the moisturizing effects.

What to do about dry skin?

To combat your dry skin you need to use products which have been designed with your skin type in mind. Make sure you don’t use products that have drying ingredients in them.

Be especially wary of products with alcohol in them because this is known to dry skin out.

Be sure to pick a good moisturiser which helps with dry skin. This moisturiser is a good choice

You should also avoid over-washing, washing your face with hot water or taking hot showers. These actions are known to strip your face making it drier.

This is also true for central heating as heat in general dries skin out. Also, avoid drying medications and exposure to UV rays.

When in the shower be sure to use gentle and mild cleansers or soaps. Don’t scrub your skin while in the shower or washing in the sink when washing your face.

After a shower or bath ensure that you apply a good soothing moisturiser. Try an ointment as they generally work better.

What is the best moisturizer for dry skin?

The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream will be your best friend and is the best moisturiser for dry skin.

If you have issues with dry skin or other dry skin conditions such as eczema then this is the product for you.

Let your skin indulge in this lovely whipped cream texture. It’s a moisturising and hydrating product but won’t go overboard and give you a greasy or sticky feel after use.

The formula contains oat extracts which will soothe your dry skin and the formula also contains antioxidant boosters. As a bonus, the product is safe for sensitive skin

Does Vaseline help dry skin?

Dry skin needs to be hydrated and moisturised, moisturisers usually do a good job at that.

Hydration is when water quenches the cells, it brings water into the cells to make them plump and bouncy.

Unfortunately, because water enters the skin so easily it will evaporate out of the skin just as easily.

Moisturization seals water in the cells preventing the loss of water via evaporation. 

That being said Vaseline is a sealant, it will do the job of a moisturising preventing hydration from escaping.

So in that way yes Vaseline can help dry skin, but Vaseline cannot hydrate the skin, if you only use Vaseline on the skin then you’ll be sealing is dry skin and preventing hydration from entering.

Can your skin change from oily to dry?

Yes, your skin can change from oily to dry.

This happens as a result of ageing. Younger skin generally has more of the normal young characteristics namely oily skin, acne and a shiny face.

This is because in our teens we have more hormone levels pumping in our bodies.

As we get older we have fewer hormones pumping in our bodies and thus less of those teen like skin characteristics. We may still have adult acne (adult acne is common), but it is generally not as severe as when we were younger.

As we get older our skin produces less oil and thus becomes drier.

In addition, more mature skin has a slower cell turnover rate than younger skin making the skin more rough and dry.

Is oily skin or dry skin better?

No skin type is necessarily better than the other.

There are pros and cons to having any of these skin types and as long as you use the correct products that maintain your skin type then you will have beautiful skin either way.

Generally, if you have oily skin the oil on the skin will make the skin look fuller and plumper, if you have dry skin you may have more wrinkles.

That being said there is more to ageing than just wrinkles.

Aged skin also takes the form of pigmentation, decrease in tone and firmness of the skin, thinning skin, and broken blood vessels, so even if you have oily skin you’ll still look more matured as you age.

Dry skin on the other hand usually has smaller pores, the skin is naturally thinner and the skin may also be smoother, this can be a good and a bad thing.

Everyone has dry skin around the eyes so crows feet will appear whatever skin type you have.

That’s it for my article on figuring out if your skin is oily or dry. I hope it was helpful to you and it taught you if you are one or the other. If you found this helpful or know anyone else who would then please share it. 

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