Facial Skin Analysis



These notes are only meant to be used as a very rough guideline. Every skin is as individual as it's owner, this also applies to allergies and sensitivities which can range from mild, irritating to downright debilitating (hyper-sensitive).

Normal Skin
It is very rare to find normal skin, and needs careful handling to maintain the balance between oil production and oil loss. Normal skin has a clear fresh appearance, rarely develops blemishes and has an even pore size. There is no evidence of lining or flaking, indicating a well moisturised skin.
Normal skin is characterised by:
Even texture and pores.
Feels firm to touch.
Texture is even.
Elasticity is good and skin is free from spots or blemishes.
Moisture content is good.
Colour is pink because of good circulation.
No evidence of lining or flaking.

Dry Skin
Dry skin is caused by insufficient secretions of sebum, which is the skin's natural oil that keeps the skin soft and supple. Insufficient sebum causes the skin to become flaky and dry to the touch and it will feel dry and tight especially after washing. Dry skin ages rapidly and can be identified by fine lines around the eyes, mouth and neck, which is caused by poor elasticity. Dry skin is aggravated by dry atmospheric conditions, harsh weather, poor diet and harsh skin care routines.
Dry skin is characterised by:
Small tight pores.
Flaky skin.
Redness, uneven pigmentation and visible dry patches.
Milia (a type of cyst)*.
Fine texture and skin looks thin.
Tendency to sensitivity shown by broken capillaries.
Signs of premature ageing are common, especially around eyes, mouth and neck.

Sensitive Skin
Sensitive skin can be caused by dry skin that has been either neglected or treated harshly, or reactions to foods or cosmetics.
Sensitive skin is characterised by:
Redness on touch.
Broken capillaries, especially on the cheeks.
Feels tight and uncomfortable on application of products (in extreme cases burning and instant rashes are experienced)*
High colouring and easily flushes with heat for no apparent reason (albeit Stress is the usual underlying cause)*
Feels warm to touch.
Superficial flaking.
Black skins turn darker if they are sensitive.
Skin produces more sebum to protect itself, causing oiliness/combination skin problems*

Oily Skin
Oily skin is caused by an over secretion of sebum, so anything that over stimulates the sebaceous glands (oil glands) should be avoided. For instance:
Excessive cleansing or handling the skin. Overheating. Poor diet. Oily skin easily collects debris and in severe cases lead to cysts and pustules that are found in cases of acne vulgaris.
Oily skin is characterised by:
Shiny patches.
Large open pores.
Coarse skin texture.
Sallow skin caused by sebum holding dead cells on surface.
Blocked pores leading to comedones (blackheads).
Good skin tone caused by grease protecting skin from dryness.
High moisture content.

Mature Skin
Almost everyone over the age of 25 years has mature skin. As the skin ages it becomes dry because the glands are less active and it loses its elasticity. The epidermis grows more slowly and so becomes thinner and facial contours change as muscle tone is lost. Blood circulates more slowly, therefore nutrients are not as available so new skin cells are replenished less often. In the same way, waste products are removed more slowly, therefore the skin can look puffy due to water retention.
Mature skin is characterised by:
Puffiness under the skin.
Dark circles under the eyes.
Hair growth on upper lip and chin that darkens with age.

Dehydrated Skin
Dehydration is caused by insufficient moisture in the skin and can affect any skin type. It may be caused by illness, excessive sweating, drastic dieting, not drinking enough water or air conditioning.
Dehydrated skin is characterised by:
Fine superficial lines.
Fine 'orange peel' effect.
Broken capillaries.

Combination Skin
Combination skin is characterised by:
A T-shape of oily skin that crosses the forehead and runs down the side of the nose and onto the chin.
The pores within the T zone are larger than elsewhere on the face.
A sheen across the forehead, on the sides of the nose and on the chin.
A tendency to congestion of the pores within the T zone.
The skin outside the T zone may be normal or dry.
A combination skin type is a dilemma! The best way I have found over the years to combat the imbalances is to go VERY VERY BASIC. You can then stick with this basic routine for a considerable time. Well, at least until your skin desires more moisturisation? There are two Combination types we cater for, and those are skins that lean towards a more dry combination skin type and those that lean towards a more oily combination skin type.*

Copyright Anne Thomas, Holistic Therapist, Fellow of International Council of Holistic Therapists
* Added notes by Angie Coleman, There Must Be a Better Way / Organic Soul Beauty.