06 March 2007

Establish your skin type

Before you can develop an effective skin care routine, you need to know what type of skin you have.

Before you can develop an effective skin care routine, you need to know what type of skin you have. Many people have what’s called a combination skin, meaning that it’s oily in places and dry in others.

This is easy, but it’s important - using the incorrect product on your skin may aggravate problems. Poor cleansing of combination skin may make it seem oilier than it really is. Using astringent preparations on normal skin may make it dry.

Here’s what to do: wash your face, then wait for an hour, without applying any skin care product to it. Then press a tissue to each of the following areas of your face: your nose, cheeks, chin and forehead.

If no oily residue is left on the skin, you have normal skin.

If all the areas reveal an oily residue, then you have oily skin.

If skin particles remain on the tissue or can be seen on the your skin, you have dry skin. Remember that if your dry skin’s condition doesn’t improve after being moisturized, you may have dermatitis. If so, you should see your dermatologist.

If some areas of your skin – say, your T-zone, or forehead, nose and chin - yield an oily, you have combination skin. Combination skin is very common.

Read more:
Myths about the sun and your skin
Acne and your diet


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Skin expert

Dr Suretha Kannenberg holds a degree in Medicine and a Masters in Dermatology from the University of Stellenbosch. She is employed as a consultant dermatologist by Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Academic Hospital, where she is involved in clinical duties and the training of medical students and dermatology residents. Her areas of interest and research include vitiligo, eczema and acne. She also performs limited private practice work in the Northern suburbs of Cape Town in general and cosmetic dermatology.

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