Does Your Skin Type Matter?


You probably know your skin type, at least generally.

You’re dry, oily, or combination.

It used to be that you had to know this first before you went shopping for skin care.

But with today’s minimalist routines and cleaner skincare products, is it still necessary to know your skin type?

What is Skin Type?

Skin types are categories that dermatologists often use to describe a person’s natural skin, including how active the sebaceous (oil) glands are, and how reactive the skin is.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recognizes the following five skin types:

  1. Normal Skin: Not noticeably dry, oily, or sensitive. Produces enough sebum (skin oil) to keep the skin evenly hydrated without becoming greasy.
  2. Oily Skin: The skin produces more sebum than it needs. The skin may feel greasy, look shiny, and have large pores that easily clog.
  3. Dry Skin: The skin produces less sebum than it needs. The skin may feel tight and dry, look dull or ashy, and easily flake, itch, or develop small cracks.
  4. Combination Skin: Some areas of the skin are dry and some oily. Typically the “T-zone,” which includes the forehead, nose, and chin, is oily, while the cheeks are normal or dry.
  5. Sensitive Skin: The skin is easily irritated or inflamed, and may react to different products, foods, weather, and other triggers. The skin may burn, sting, or itch after applying products, and may react with bumps, hives, or peeling.

Looking at these descriptions, you are likely to find one that seems most like your skin. The AAD states that understanding your skin type “will help you learn how to take care of your skin and select skin care products that are right for you.”

Skin Type Matter?

How to Determine Your Skin Type

If you’re not sure about your skin type, follow these tips to find out:

  • Wash your face with a mild, non-stripping cleanser. Make sure it’s not drying or exfoliating.
  • Don’t apply anything else.
  • Wait for at least 3 hours.
  • Using blotting papers or tissue, tear small pieces off and try to stick them onto your forehead, nose, chin, left cheek, right cheek, left jaw, and right jaw.
  • In the areas where the paper/tissue doesn’t stick, your skin is dry. If it sticks with only a little oil, your skin is normal. If the paper/tissue sticks and has a lot of oil on it, your skin is oily.

Next, grab a mirror and check your skin up close:

Are your pores visible? Large pores indicate oily skin, while smaller pores are present on dry or normal skin. (If you have a hard time finding your pores, you’re likely dry.)

If you notice larger pores on your nose, forehead, and chin, but smaller pores on your cheeks, you’re combination.

Finally, think back to how your skin usually feels, particularly after three hours of being bare:

  • If it feels fine, you have normal skin.
  • If it feels tight and itchy, it’s dry.
  • If it’s greasy, your skin is oily.
  • If it feels greasy in the T-zone and dry on your cheeks, your skin is combination.
  • If you see redness, bumps, and itching, your skin may be sensitive.

Caring For Your Skin with Your Skin Type in Mind

For many years, we’ve been told to first, determine our skin type, and then figure out how to care for our skin.

Following that logic, you would use:

  • Basic products (gentle cleanser, toner, light moisturizer) for normal skin.
  • Hydrating products for dry skin, while avoiding drying cleansers and toners.
  • Balancing products for oily skin, while avoiding those that clog pores.
  • A little bit of both for combination skin.
  • Clean and minimal-ingredient products for sensitive skin, particularly products that contain no fragrances or other harsh ingredients.

Does Your Skin Type Matter?

Though knowing your skin type can give you a general sense of how you need to treat your skin, it can be limiting too. You may feel locked into using only certain skin care products, or feel like you have to have a long and drawn-out skincare routine to properly care for your skin.

But we know more about the skin today than we did decades ago. We know that the environment and climate can influence how skin acts and feels. Whereas you may have oily skin in the summer, you may be more combination in the fall and winter.

We also know that skin type naturally changes with age. Most people find that their skin turns dryer as they get older.

Lifestyle and stress levels matter too. You may have been born with dry skin, but if you’re going through a stressful period, you may find your skin producing more oil and breakouts. Or if you’ve been eating a lot of junk food on the go, your skin may be responding with more hyperpigmentation, redness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

Considering all this, we could say that skin type doesn’t really matter. It’s more about how your skin is acting and feeling at this stage of your life, where you are right now. If you get locked into a certain routine because of your “skin type,” you may be missing out on some changes that could help improve the health and appearance of your skin.

The Answer: Listen to What Your Skin Needs Now

The answer is to know your skin type, but be willing to be flexible based on what your skin needs.

If your oily skin now feels tight and dry, ditch the oily-skin products and go for something more hydrating. If your normal skin suddenly starts to react to your usual products, realize that you may have developed an allergy and you need to choose a clean line of products instead.

Noticing more fine lines and wrinkles? Seek out moisturizing products that will help skin look more youthful.

Struggling with acne breakouts? Use a clarifying cleanser, but don’t skip your moisturizer. Use one that will not clog your pores—our Rescue + Relief Spray and Calming Moisture can help!

And if you’re just not sure which way to go, try our simple line of four multipurpose CV Skinlabs products. They’re made for all skin types to nourish, restore balance and radiance, and to maintain good skin health.

Our solution-based formulas address a multitude of concerns, as they are intended to help tame inflammation, heal, repair, and protect the skin. They’re 100 percent free of any harsh chemicals or ingredients related to allergic reactions and contain non-comedogenic natural oils, vitamins, and extracts that give the skin what it needs to look its best.

Do you think your skin type matters in how you care for your skin?

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You’ve heard that you should use a pH-balanced moisturizer.

But why? What does pH have to do with healthy skin?

What Is pH in Skin Care?

In chemistry, pH stands for “potential of hydrogen” or “power of hydrogen. The pH scale is associated with the concentration of hydrogen ions in the solution. Lower values mean the solution is more acidic and higher values mean it’s more alkaline.

This can be confusing if you’re not a chemistry major, though. The important thing is to know that pH is simply a way of measuring whether something is more acidic or more alkaline.

ph-Balanced Body Repair LotionWhat Does pH-Balanced Moisturizer Have to Do with Skin?

On the pH scale, the midpoint between acidic and alkaline is the “neutral” point, which is the number 7.

Anything measuring above the number 7 is alkaline, and anything below that is acidic. Pure water is neutral, with a measurement of 7.

Scientists have also figured out that the normal pH of skin averages around 4.7-5.5 on the pH scale. This means that yes, your skin is slightly on the acidic side of the scale.

The skin’s pH comes from a thin surface layer of sebum and sweat called the “acid mantle.” This creates a barrier that seals in moisture and protects the skin from pathogens.

It also keeps the skin’s microbiome balanced, protecting the skin from environmental assaults and infections.

In general, if the pH level of the skin goes more than a little higher or lower than where it should be, it means that something has disrupted the acid mantle and there are likely to be problems.

What Happens If You Don’t Have a pH-Balanced Moisturizer for Skin?

When skin is healthy, the pH level will remain where it should be and the skin will be at its best. Several factors can alter the pH level, however, including the following:

  • Harsh cleansers containing sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Bar soaps (they are alkaline and can disrupt the acid mantle)
  • Fragrances
  • Drying alcohols
  • Hard water (it can cause the skin to be more alkaline)
  • Harsh detergents (particularly if you use them to wash your face masks)
  • Overwashing your face
  • Exfoliating too often
  • Overusing acids on the skin, like glycolic and salicylic (It’s okay to use low-level acid products daily, but high-level acids can cause peeling, which is a sign of pH disruption.)

If you’re regularly harming your skin with a pH disruptor, your products are unlikely to work as well as they could. It’s like smoking a cigarette and then eating some broccoli. One doesn’t cancel out the other.

That’s why it’s important to be sure that your skincare regimen is not harming your skin’s natural pH balance.

ph-Balanced Calming MoistureWhat Is a pH-Balanced Skincare Product?

When it comes to skincare products, pH-balanced refers to products formulated with a pH that falls in the range of normal, healthy skin.

The ideal range of a pH-balanced moisturizer is a pH between 5-7. That means the product is close to the pH-balance of skin and will not alter it dramatically.

In some cases, certain skin care products have pH numbers that fall outside of this range, like an exfoliant, because there is a benefit—stimulating skin to produce an effect.

The skin can recover its pH level after a disruption like this, and on occasion, this is healthy. But if you regularly use products that are not pH-balanced, it can overtax the skin’s recovery efforts, causing damage and premature aging.

Signs You Don’t Have a pH-Balanced Moisturizer

How can you tell if your skin’s pH is healthy or not? Look for these signs of a disrupted pH:

  • Dry skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Peeling
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Acne breakouts
  • Eczema flare-ups
  • Sensitivity
  • Infections
  • Dermatitis
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

Of course, these issues can be caused by other factors as well—such as using the wrong products or eating an unhealthy diet—but it’s good to know that pH can affect these issues too.

If you notice any of these problems developing on your skin, stop using any acidic products or exfoliators, and immediately apply a nourishing moisturizer that will help repair and balance the skin barrier. (Like our CV Skinlabs products! They’re all created to maintain pH balance.)

How to Find the Best pH-Balanced Moisturizer for Skin

Though many products may say “pH-balanced” on the label, companies usually don’t include the actual pH level.

You may be able to find it on the brand’s website, or you can email the company and ask.

Fortunately, the majority of rinse-off and leave-on skincare products are pH-balanced. Most manufacturers take steps to ensure a balance while they are formulating the products because that also means that they will perform well on the skin.

More good news: research shows that mild disruptions in the skin’s pH (such as using a product that’s got a slightly different pH level) are temporary, as the skin will naturally equalize itself within a short period.

Regularly using highly acidic or alkaline products, however, can cause more disruption than the skin can keep up with. So it’s best to be sure that most of your skincare products will help nourish the acid mantle and won’t disrupt the pH level.

In general, in addition to looking for the words “pH-balanced,” look for products with gentle ingredients. When a product contains gentle cleansers, vitamins, natural oils, and butters, it’s unlikely to break down or strip away the sebum and sweat in the acid mantle. That means it will protect, not disrupt, the skin’s outer barrier, which means healthier, more radiant skin.

We recommend our Calming Moisture and Body Repair Lotion. They are both pH-balanced, so they won’t disrupt your acid mantle. They also help repair the skin’s outer barrier so that your skin can recover from past damage to look its best.

Do you use pH-balanced skincare products?

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