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April 2017
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TYPES OF SKIN

Our skin is constantly exposed to the environment, therefore it undergoes various actions which can cause changes to occur on the skin’s surface which alters how it works and looks. As well as our external environment affecting our skin, other endogenous factors also influence which type of skin we have. Structural and secretional changes that the skin undergoes occur at the level of cutaneous tissues or systems in the dermis, epidermis and circulatory system or at the level of the sweat and sebaceous glands. Furthermore, these changes concern the papillary zone, if it is flattened, increased fragility of capillaries, excessive growth of the stratum corneum and melanoma-genetic anomalies.

The main skin types are:

Dry skin

Skin may be dry because of a lack of water, therefore dehydration, or because of poor production of sebum, in which case we can talk about alipic skin, and these two situations may also occur at the same time on the same skin. When the skin is dehydrated it looks withered, it is thin, it breaks and cracks easily and, when you press it, it makes wrinkles, which is typical of dehydrated tissues. Dry skin is quite fragile and should be cleansed gently so it does not feel like it is being pulled, which may happen if you use strong substances. What is more, it must be hydrated properly with products that contain natural hydrating substances such as amino acids, sodium pyroglutamate, sodium lactate, urea and sugars, which are usually scarce in this type of skin. In alipic skin, the lipid coat is either insufficient or not present at all and its function is to protect the skin, therefore if it is missing, the skin is quite sensitive to external agents. The skin will appear opaque, thin and delicate and it will turn red very easily. This type of skin can be treated with a treatment that restores the sebum in the skin that contains unsaturated fatty acids, triglycerides and other similar substances.

Oily skin

This type of skin looks shiny and is greasy to touch. Sebum, which this skin is rich in, may be free flowing from dilated pores or it may be waxy and stagnant in the follicle, causing blackheads, and this is the skin condition that leads on to acne. It is also quite common that the stratum corneum is quite thick in this case, thus the skin is also hyper-keratotic. It is quite simple to diagnose oily skin precisely because of its shininess and greasy surface and because of the dilated follicles that make the surface look like orange peel. It is not easy to solve this problem though since it is often related to excessive sebum secretion, and this usually requires a preliminary then a general operation. This cosmetic operation is based on the use of a hygienic balancing mixture of products that are required to limit external secretions, such as astringents and other sebum-balancing substances. Asphyxial skin, which is common in adolescents, is caused by a combination of a modification on a secretion level and a modification on a structural level: sebaceuous hyper-secretion of a ceroid type occurs, which invades the follicle, as well as hyper-keratosis of the stratum corneum. Blackheads and spots appear on this type of skin together with masses of sebum in the follicle sacks, which prevent normal cutaneous lubrication making this type of skin particularly sensitive to infections, and it is rather thick and dry on the outside. As mentioned, acne often occurs on this type of skin, and oily skin requires softening and sebum-regulating products and hygienic and purifying treatments.
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Mixed skin

In general people do not have only oily or dry skin, rather they have an oily area and a dry area. The areas around the nose and on the forehead and chin or areas where a lot of sebaceous glands are present are normally oily zones, whilst the skin on the cheeks, edges of the face and around the eyes, where there are few glands, is dry. It is the percentage of dry areas of skin and oily areas of skin that make the skin more dry or oily or both.

Hypersensitive and couperose skin

Skin with couperose features erythrosis and telangiectasias, that is, dilatation of subepidermic capillaries that have broken up and created a dense purpley net which is visible on the skin’s surface, especially on the cheeks. This situation normally occurs in emotional people who tend to blush easily (which may be temporary, caused by flushes, or long-lasting, caused by erythrosis) and suffer from fragile capillaries. Couperose occurs on thin, dry, delicate, sensitive, irritable, reactive and allergic skin. This aesthetic problem gets worse with sudden changes of temperature, exposure to UV rays and rough massages, but it can be treated with protective treatments and with blood vessel astringent substances. The characteristics of this skin type should be examined by looking at the skin, followed by lighting it to be able to get a close up look of the skin and then getting a very detailed look by using a magnifying glass. The colour and thickness need to be assessed, and pressing the skin may help to do this. This initial exam lets the doctor collect data which will help to obtain a final evaluation of the skin. If the individual has rather evident dermatological problems, it is always best to see a dermatologist.

CHARACTERISTICS OF COSMETIC PRODUCTS FOR DIFFERENT SKIN TYPES

Normal skin

Normal skin is smooth, compact, relaxed, pinkish in colour and only one thing, even if it is trivial, can change its balance and compromise its beauty. Products for normal skin are mainly aimed at young women and they should attempt to soften and hydrate the skin, thus regulating imbalances caused by aggression from external agents, and protect it from losing its attractive appearance. The quality and concentration of the active ingredients present in these products must be balanced and able to carry out a preventative action without making the skin hard. In addition, they absolutely must not alter the skin’s natural regulation and recovery mechanisms which are very active and efficient in this type of skin. The prevention and maintenance actions of beauty products for normal skin are extremely important because it is precisely when the skin is at its best and the physiological conditions are working perfectly that is needs to be treated to prevent it from losing its attractive appearance.

Sensitive skin

The surface of this skin type is thin and delicate with a compact texture. It is soft to touch but it is easy to see it is fragile.

Like everything that is delicate, sensitive skin needs to be protected and looked after carefully. The wind, cold, sun, abrupt changes in temperature and chemical agents in certain cleansing products can cause irritation. Products for sensitive skin must be delicate, they must improve the skin’s compromised defences and work against the excess loss of hydration. Hyperemising products should not be used because they have a negative effect on sensitive skin because they cause vasodilatation.

Impure skin

For some years now it has been said that impure skin needs to be treated in various ways. Types of impurities that may occur, including excess sebum secretion, structural transformation of sebum, which may make it more waxy, variations in skin pH and alteration to the protective hydrolipid film, which may weaken the skin’s natural defences, can be dealt with by using specific products that can are sure to perform an effective action on each aesthetic problem. These actions must always respect the skin’s natural mechanisms so that these products can be used constantly. This type of skin requires quite long treatment periods in order to obtain effective and permanent rebalancing results.

Aging skin

Dehydration and cell malnutrition are factors that slow down the functions of cutaneous tissue and they cause the skin to become thinner and gradually lose its characteristics. These are the conditions that lead on to aging of the skin.
Products made precisely for this skin type should fully deal with the problem of aging: they should carry out a preventing function on plastic and structural modifications of the skin, they should contain an effective amount of softening and hydrating substances and they should protect the skin from UV rays and free radicals.

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