We often hear about skin types and specifically about normal, dry, oily or combination skin. But what does this mean? And, above all, how can we understand what kind of skin we have? here are the various types of skin to know and the specific bio routine advice according to the problems to be treated.
The skin is a fundamental organ with important functions: it has a containment and control action in the loss of important vital fluids, it guarantees protection from harmful external stimuli (microorganisms, chemical agents, radiation, electrical stimuli, thermal stimuli), it allows reception of external stimuli (tactile, painful, thermal), performs the tasks of synthesis and metabolism and elimination of some metabolic products (sodium salts, uric acid, etc.) through glandular secretions.
How it is made our skin
In the skin, the following are distinguished, from the outside towards the inside:
Epidermis: it is 0.2 mm thick, has a pH of 4.2-6.5, a water content of 10-25% and is mainly composed of keratin: thanks to these characteristics it is the main barrier that prevents both the loss of water and of electrolytes from the human body and the penetration, from the outside, of water and foreign substances such as microorganisms. The elasticity of the stratum corneum depends on the presence, in appropriate balance, of lipids, water-soluble components and water as well as on the interaction of these components with keratin;
Dermis: it is formed by a dense network of protein fibers (retinolinic, elastic, collagen) immersed in a mucopolysaccharide gel and is the support, as well as nerve fibers, of a dense network of blood and lymphatic vessels. It consists mainly of collagen, has a thickness of 3-5 mm, pH 7.1-7.3, water content 60-70% and contains blood vessels and sweat and sebaceous glands. The skin’s supporting function is performed by the epidermis and the dermis as a whole, but the typical elasticity of the skin tissue is mainly due to the chemical-physical structure of the collagen and the elastin of the dermis. With aging, the structure of collagen fibers undergoes slight but significant changes that make the skin more rigid and lead, among other things, to the formation of wrinkles;
Subcutaneous adipose tissue: it performs accumulation, protective and isolation functions. Mainly fat component, and in it there are some blood vessels and the so-called “skin appendages” which, implanted in this tissue, extend to the surface of the skin: hair follicles with attached sebaceous glands, sweat glands.
How many different skin types are there?
We often hear about skin type and specifically about normal, dry, oily or combination skin. But what does this mean? And, above all, how can we understand what kind of skin we have? In general, the type of skin responds to a set of specific characteristics that allow us to classify it as normal, dry, sensitive, seborrheic (which in turn can be: oily, combination, dry with comedones and blackheads / acne-prone ). This classification, although general, is important, because it allows us to identify the 4 most common types of skin and, at the same time, their specific cosmetic needs and more.
According to the type of skin, the cosmetic routines to follow are chosen, which are personal. Here are some tips for using our eco bio cosmeceuticals, with a high potential of active ingredients and studied in collaboration with the University of Florence, but it is clear that they are valid in general as they are based on the characteristics of the skin type, causes and consequences of the related problems, which we are dealing with.
1. Skin types: Normal skin
Considering its structure and functions, normal skin should be: smooth and pleasant to the touch due to the cohesion of the cells of its most superficial layers; compact and elastic due to the existence of a dense support fabric and the presence of numerous good quality elastic fibers; opaque (not shiny!) through its balanced production of sebum; clear and pink thanks to the perfect functionality of its microcirculatory network.
Normal skin is perfectly hydrated, has a compact texture without imperfections or dilated pores, does not have problems with dryness, or excess sebum, or discoloration or hyper pigmentation. In reality, skin conforming to all these characteristics would only exist in the child before his puberty.
On a cosmetological level, we must be happy with a less strong definition and consider normal skin as a young skin, structurally and functionally balanced and that does not require any care other than those necessary for its cleansing.
How to treat normal skin? Here is the bio routine that we recommend with our Domus Olea Toscana cosmeceutical products, but which could also apply in general:
- during the day: antioxidant soap or micellar water and if you want, an anti-aging face day cream or face-body cream;
- in the evening: cleansing with 5-in-1 micellar water if you are wearing make-up or antioxidant soap if you are not wearing make-up; the anti-wrinkle treatment or an anti-aging face night cream if necessary.
2. Skin types: Dry skin
Dry skin mainly corresponds to structural and functional modifications of the epidermis components.
The concept of dry skin has never been clearly defined. People link this notion to the observed effects and their sensory dimension. Therefore, for them it is first of all a feeling of dryness together with loss of skin elasticity, characterized by a rough appearance often associated with a significant flaking, and leading to a certain discomfort that is intended to be corrected by using moisturizing products.
Studies have shown the importance of four interdependent factors that predispose to dry skin:
- the lack of water of the corneocytes, directly dependent on the presence of NMF (natural hydration factor);
- epidermal hyper proliferation, resulting from a deficiency in the keratinocyte renewal process;
- the change in lipid synthesis at the cellular level;
- the deterioration of the functionality of the skin barrier, following a degradation of intercellular cohesion.
Dry skin depends on numerous biological factors; its repair implies the restoration of the epidermal barrier, actually damaged by the loss of fat and dehydration of the superficial layers of the stratum corneum. If left untreated, it ages prematurely. Furthermore, it is often accompanied by imperfections, such as rosacea, and easily becomes sensitive and reactive.
Skin dryness may be constitutional, of genetic origin, may occur occasionally (due to a dermatosis), or may be the result of a disease (diabetes, hypothyroidism, atopic dermatitis, and so on). Even oily skin can become dry, due to aggressive, excessively delipidizing cosmetic treatments or following the use of detergents that are too degreasing. An important role in lipid deficiency is also played by hormonal changes resulting from menopause: estrogen hormones, acting on the deep layers, rich in collagen, elastin and capillaries, give the skin elasticity and firmness. The lowering of the estrogenic level is at the origin of dryness, thinning and sagging of the skin, with the consequent formation of deep wrinkles.
The objectives of the cosmetic treatment are aimed at restoring the hydrolipidic balance, with the contribution of lipids and hydration factors and with the prevention of premature aging and the formation of wrinkles.
How to treat dry skin? Here is the facial protocol studied by Domus Olea in collaboration with the University of Florence:
- Cleansing morning and evening: 5 in 1 micellar water is perfect for those who wear makeup, antioxidant soap is better for those who do not wear makeup;
- Daily treatments: during the day the Anti-Age Face Cream Day (lighter, for those who sweat a lot) or Anti-Age Face-Body Cream (slightly more consistent) is recommended,
- at night the Anti-Age Face Night Cream;
- IF wrinkles prevail, opt for the Super-Intensive Anti-Wrinkle Treatment for day and night (which once absorbed also has a lifting effect), possibly preceded during the day by an application of Anti-Age Face Body Cream in case of very dehydrated skin, generally in the cold season; IF skin slackening prevails, both for the cold and hot season, it is recommended for both day and night, only Firming-Lift Face Cream; if necessary, especially in winter, repeat a second application after the first has been absorbed.
- Weekly treatments: with Anti-Age Peeling-Mask 1 time / week. In case of SKIN THICKNESS use it every other day the first week and then 1-2 times / week as maintenance to keep the skin clean, stimulate the skin microcirculation and illuminate the face by removing dead cells and opacity.
3. Skin types: Sensitive skin
Skin sensitivity can be found in all skin types and can occur at any time in life, apparently without triggering causes. It manifests itself with redness, a feeling of tightness of the skin, itching or burning, dryness, reactions.
This type of skin does not have an effective protective barrier against external aggressions because the skin’s hydrolipidic film is partially developed, and this causes greater skin permeability, changes in the microcirculation and so on. Consequently, by modifying the skin’s natural hydrolipidic film and accelerating the production of free radicals, intracellular exchanges are reduced and cell renewal decreases: the skin becomes finer and wrinkles tend to appear prematurely.
The causes of skin sensitivity can be identified in a genetic predisposition, but also in internal factors such as stress, hormonal changes, wrong lifestyle habits, unbalanced diet, as well as external factors (cold, wind, sun, pollution …). Domus Olea for sensitive skin recommends this bio routine:
- Cleansing to be carried out morning and evening with these products: for those who wear make-up: 5 in 1 micellar water; for those who do not wear makeup: antioxidant soap;
- Daily treatments: during the day during the hot season, anti-aging face cream day, during the cold season anti-aging face and body cream and, if the skin is very stressed, use the super-intensive anti-wrinkle treatment after applying the cream. At night: anti-aging face night cream or super-intensive anti-wrinkle treatment (as needed);
- Weekly treatments: avoid using the Peeling-Mask, at least on problem areas. In the presence of peeling, it can be used once a week, to remove fragments of cracked skin and to stimulate skin microcirculation, but be careful to dose the intensity of pressure.
In the next post we will address the issue of seborrheic skin and its treatment.
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- Principi di tecnica farmaceutica (Michele Amorosa), Libreria universitaria L. Tinarelli, Bologna.
- Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology 3rd edition, Edited by André O. Barel, Marc Paye, Howard I. Maibach