Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Working with your skin type

So you've read all the posts on skin types, and you've figured out what you do you put it into action? Look at the goals of each skin type and the suggested ingredients, then figure out what would work best as a starting point for your formulations.

As a note, I'm finding that what's applicable to my facial skin isn't necessarily applicable for my body skin. My elbows are seriously trashed right now - all that walking around in the winter without a coat and short sleeved shirts is finally taking its toll. So I consider myself dry to normal in the body skin department!

I'll use my skin type as an example - I'm an oily, rosacea prone, non-pigmented, wrinkled or OSNW.

For oily skin, the goal is to reduce sebum, so I want to use mild cleansers and astringents, avoid oils, and enjoy some light exfoliation.

For rosacea type skin, the goal is to reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals, so I want to use mild cleansers, anti-oxidants, increase moisturization without oils, and create a little occlusion.

For non-pigmented skin, the goal is not to become pigmented, so I need to use sunscreen regularly. (Although I am covered in moles - not raised ones, but little flat ones - that I've had my entire life! But those don't count!)

For wrinkled skin, the goal is to maintain collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, so I need to moisturize, use surface smoothing agents like quats and silicones, exfoliate, and use anti-oxidants.

Fortunately for me, these goals go together well. I need to reduce my sebum production, reduce inflammation and neutralize free radicals, and moisturize my skin well. I should avoid oils and butters, use mild surfactants, and enjoy some light exfoliation. Humectants are important in all categories, so I need to remember to load up on those, and I could benefit from cationic quaternary compounds.

Let's say you're a dry skinned, resistant, pigmented, wrinkled person (DRPW). You want to use mild cleansers and increase your moisturization through oils, butters, and humectants. If your skin is resistant, then you likely don't have skin barrier repair damage, so you can choose the butters and oils you like! If you have pigmented skin, you'll want to look at including Vitamin C or liquorice extract and some exfoliants like salicylic acid or jojoba or clay beads. And if you have wrinkled skin, you'll want lots of moisturizers and humectants in your products, as well as anti-oxidants and light exfoliants.

The goals for you are to use lovely oils and butters, humectants, anti-oxidants, exfoliants (like AHA), and things to make the spots go away. (And you'll want to wear lots of sunscreen!)

Let's say you're a normal skinned, resistant, non-pigmented, non-wrinkled person. You are either under the age of 10 or really really fortunate. You can use whatever you want. You will want to wear sunscreen so you can stay as lovely as you are, and you'll want to grow a thicker stratum corneum to repel all those envious stares you feel bouncing off your skin!

So let's take our first look at formulating for different skin types with a basic toner recipe!


Meaue said...

Too funny! I can just hear the normal skin ones saying "don't hate me because I'm beautiful". Ah.... to be 10 again...{sigh}

Musicmom said...

Yay exfoliation!

But wait. The ingredients that I know of that cause chemical exfoliation also can cause sun sensitivity. I'm thinking sodium lactate at 3%+, remembering getting retinol prescribed for my acne way back when, etc. crazy probably impossible question:

Does all exfoliation cause sun sensitivity? Can mechanical exfoliation cause sun sensitivity? How much is too much AND is combining the two ways of exfoliating more beneficial/comprehensive? Why can't I have "normal" skin?

(scratch that last question)

Thank you Susan for the fantastic information given so generously. We are enriched! And perhaps exfoliated.