Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Marty S.
While there are countless skin care products out there, there are very few that are specific to skin type. Even if you know what exactly ails your skin, you need to know what your skin type is so that you are obtaining the product(s) that will work best for you. If you do not know what your skin type is, do not worry because I am here to help.
First, it is important to note that there are many factors when it comes to skin type. For the most part, our genetics determine what our skin type will be. If oily skin runs in your family, chances are you will have oily skin too. However, beyond that, there are external conditions (epigenetics) that may affect our skin type. Medications you are taking, using skin care products that have harsh chemicals, hormonal changes, stress, and climate conditions are among those that are common. Therefore, taking into account external factors such as these becomes extremely important in order to understand our skin and why it behaves a certain way.
Before I go on to explain the various skin types, you should take a quick test to see what your skin type is. The best time to do this test is early in the afternoon; do not wash your face beforehand. Take four pieces of tissue and wipe each one across your forehead, nose, and each cheek. After that, hold the tissue in front of a light bulb.
If there is no residue on any of the tissues, you have dry skin.
If all four tissues are transparent, you have oily skin.
If the tissues you wiped across your forehead and nose are different than the ones you wiped across both of your cheeks (the former is transparent while the latter is clean, and vice versa), you have combination skin.
If all four tissues have a little bit of residue, you have normal skin.
A dry skin type is characterized by a decreased production of sebum, a substance that keeps our skin soft and supple. As a result, the skin is less elastic, looks dull, feels rough, and tends to crack or peel. Dry skin is usually exacerbated by dry environments (either outside or inside) because moisture is being drawn from the skin into the atmosphere. Dry skin also tends to age earlier than other skin types and can make people look older. Common issues for people with dry skin include discoloration, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.
To deal with dry skin, you should moisturize regularly and look for a product that has essential oils to ensure your skin is getting the nutrients it deserves. In particular, look at products with carrot seed oil, vetiver oil, vitamin E, vegetable glycerin, or sandalwood because in Ayurveda, they are known to revitalize skin. To complement that, you should also be using an exfoliator or scrub because it will be able to penetrate your skin and deeply nourish it. Finally, avoid skin care products with harsh chemicals because they strip your skin of natural oils.
to acne; too much sebum clogs the pores, which allows bacteria to grow and develop pimples. Furthermore, humid environments worsen oily skin because the skin is absorbing more moisture than is necessary from the atmosphere. On the plus side, oily skin can make people look younger because of the nourishment in the form of natural sebum.
A great treatment for oily skin is to start using a daily skin care routine. Get a gentle cleanser that will unclog your pores and flush out the dirt, oil, and bacteria inside. Your skin might be overproducing sebum because you have been using harsh chemicals, which makes your skin feel dry and in need of more nourishment. An exfoliating mask can be great as well to keep your pores clean without aggravating them. You should also be looking at skin care products that are non-comedogenic and oil-free so that they do not clog your pores.
“...I have been lucky enough to try out this Jojoba facial serum from Apsara, and this is the only product that has ever worked for my acne. I saw results within 3 to 4 days…”
combination skin type is the most common type, it is also one of the trickiest to deal with because it requires a very specific skin care routine.
There are two ways to handle combination skin. One way is to use multiple skin care products that work with the different areas of your face. Another way is to find a product, for instance, a moisturizer, that can address the different areas of your face simultaneously. Regardless, your skin care products need to be natural so that they do not inflame any area of your skin.
A sensitive skin type is easily irritated by external or internal sources. Sensitive skin typically exhibits redness and swelling as well as itching and burning sensations; blotchy skin is common. While dry skin may also be sensitive, they are not the same; sensitive skin can be oily, dry, combination, or normal skin.
Addressing sensitive skin often involves a process of “trial and error,” of seeing what products will work and which ones won’t. I would firmly advise against anything with harsh chemicals, but even all-natural skin care products can create inflammation and irritation. Some natural ingredients that have been known to calm and soothe sensitive skin are chamomile, jojoba, wheat germ, rosewater, and aloe. Be sure you use products with these ingredients to be on the safe side, but before you apply anything to your face, perform a test on a patch of skin - the back of your hand or your wrist is fine - to see how your body reacts.
Also known as a “eudermic skin type,” normal skin is well-balanced, neither too oily nor too dry. People with normal skin have smooth complexions, near-invisible pores, an even skin tone, and a consistent skin texture. It is not perfect skin; people with normal skin can experience minor blemishes, acne, and inflammation from external factors. But in general, a normal skin type requires the least amount of upkeep and bounces back quickly. We all wish we could be this lucky.
That being said, if you do have normal skin, you should strive to keep your complexion clear and radiant. Even if your skin is clear, that is not a good excuse to neglect your skin. In addition to using a daily skin care routine, you should also consider anti-aging products. Some well-known Ayurvedic ingredients to keep normal skin glowing and youthful for the longest time possible are turmeric, neem, rose, and lavender.
“I am so happy with the product I am using. My face has cleared up so much. I see less breakouts. My skin, it looks more supple and it looks more healthy and I have only Apsara to thank!”
If you have questions regarding your personal skin care routine, fill out this form and you will get a speedy response.
Go natural. It is good karma!