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Cure acne|Acne Oily Skin info

Thursday, November 09, 2006

All Men Have Different Skin Types

What Are The Skin Types For Men

Skin type describes and interprets how and why your skin looks, feels, and behaves as it does.

The four most common skin type categories for men are categorizes as:

Normal (no apparent signs of oily or dry areas)
Oily (shine appears all over skin, no dry areas at all)
Dry (flaking can appear, no oily areas at all, skin feels tight)
Combination (oily, typically in the central part of the face, and dry or normal areas elsewhere)

(Often acne-prone skin is listed under oily or combination skin types, though it is sometimes listed as a skin type all by itself. Occasionally, sensitive skin may be listed as an individual skin type but I feel strongly that all skin types, regardless for men or women, should be considered sensitive.)

The truth is, understanding your skin type is more often than not far more complicated than those 4 or 6 categories, which is why lots of men find identifying theirs an indefinable challenge of changes that never settles down in one specific direction. Yet, understanding your skin type is extremely important, just not in the way the cosmetics industry approaches it or the way we've been taught to think about it.

First, skin type is never static. The variations of what is taking place on your skin can not only change season to season but month to month and even week to week. Adding to the complexity is the strong possibility of skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, skin discolorations, precancerous conditions, blackheads, sun damage and whiteheads. Four or six categories of skin type just can't cover it.

When it comes to determining skin type you need to forget what you've been taught by cosmetic salespeople, estheticians, fashion magazines, (and even some dermatologists). The typical categories of normal, oily, dry, and combination, are a good basic, but they don’t address every nuance, and they change and fluctuate with everything from the weather to your stress levels.

Why is recognizing all the nuances of your skin type so important? Because different skin types require different product formulations. Even though many men's skin types often need the same active ingredients such as sunscreen agents, antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, and so on, the base they are in (lotion, cream, gel, serum, or liquid) should match the needs of your skin type. Skin type is the single most important decision influencing the choices we make about the kind of skincare regimes and the products we buy. But we need to be very careful of how we categorize our skin, or the very products we thought would help could actually make matters worse.

Next update: What Influences Men's Skin Type?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am 25. My skin looks terrible. It's acne prone. I have done everything there is to do, but there is no getting over it. I drink lots of water, apply acne creams and use a face wash but all to no avail. I have blemishes on my skin. To make things worse, there a couple of wrinkles are on my forehead already. Could you tell me what can I do to tackle all this?

Alan Sim said...

Hi,

Acne/blemish basically starts with hormones causing excess oil production in the pore. The oil cannot get out in an even flow due to an abnormally shaped pore. This backed up oil, along with a buildup of dead skin cells in the pore lining, form a blockage and eventually, a clogged pore. A particular type of bacteria (propionibacterium acnes) exists in the pore, thrives on the oil and dead skin cells, and flourishes. As a result, this causes the skin to become inflamed. The inflammation and bacteria proliferation result in a pimple.

There are limited studies on the role diet plays in causing and/or treating acne. For some individuals, an allergic reaction to certain foods such as nuts, salmon, or dairy products can trigger inflammation in the pore, resulting in blemishes. Research indicates that dietary supplements, such as zinc or vitamin A, are most likely not effective in the treatment of acne. These supplements may very well be unhealthy if too much is taken.

When it comes to fighting blemishes and acne, the best results are:

1. Reduce oil to eliminate the environment that acne-causing bacteria thrive in.

2. Exfoliate the skin's surface and within the pore to improve the shape and function of the pore.

3. Disinfect the skin to eliminate acne-causing bacteria.

Over-the-counter and prescription options abound for fighting blemishes, which makes it a confusing battle to fight, because there isn't one routine or medication (or combination of therapies) that works for everyone. Finding the combination that works for you is the goal, and that requires experimentation.

Here's a brief summary of fighting blemishes step-by-step:

1. Clean the face by using a gentle water-soluble cleanser. If your cleanser irritates your skin, it is actually hurting its healing process and makes scarring worse, and encourages the bacteria that cause pimples. Using soaps or bar cleansers can also make matters worse because they contain pores-clogging ingredient. The goal is to find a gentle, water-soluble cleanser.

2. Exfoliate with a 1% to 2% beta hydroxy acid (BHA) product (or an 8% alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) product). BHA is preferred because it can ‘cut’ through the oil inside the pore, which is necessary to exfoliate the pore lining.

A topical scrub can be used as a mechanical exfoliant but it does not in any way take the place of an effective BHA, AHA, or topical prescription treatment. Remember NOT to over scrub because too much abrasion can disrupt the skin’s ability to heal.

3. Disinfect the skin with benzoyl peroxide, which is considered to be the most effective over-the-counter alternative to fight blemishes. Benzoyl peroxide can penetrate into the hair follicle to get to the bacteria and kill it, with a low risk of irritation. It also doesn't pose bacterial resistance that some prescription topical antibacterials (antibiotics) do. Alcohol and sulfur are too drying and irritating and that can make matters for skin worse and hurt the skin's ability to heal.

For some people, a topical disinfectant may be enough, but that is generally the exception. Using a topical antibacterial and an exfoliant is a powerful combination in winning the battle against blemishes. Cleaning the skin without both exfoliating and disinfecting is less likely to have an impact on blemishes. You can get fairly good results using one or the other, but together they are a formidable defense against blemishes.

Note: Benzoyl peroxide cannot be use together most retinoids, like Retin-A, and therefore cannot be used at the same time. To get both benefits, you can use benzoyl peroxide in the morning and the retinoid in the evening. However, Differin (adapalene) can be used with benzoyl peroxide.

4. Absorb excess oil is perhaps one of the most difficult skincare problems to control. Because oil production is only triggered by hormones, there is nothing you can apply topically to stop them from making more oil. What you can do is not make matters worse by avoiding products that contain oils or emollient products. To absorb oil, forms of clay mask can help a lot, though avoid those that contain irritating ingredients. As strange as it sounds, Milk of Magnesia can be used as a facial mask. It is nothing more than liquid magnesium hydroxide, which does a very good job of absorbing oil. How often to use a mask depends on your skin type, some use it every day; others, once a week.

Alan

rough_edge said...

hi.. i'm 18 and i also have acne prone skin, almost similar to the previous post.
however, i am allergic to most of the over-the-counter topical cream that contain Benzoyl peroxide.
is there any skincare product/range out there in the market that is good for acne prone skin ?

rough_edge said...

hi.. i'm 18 and i also have acne prone skin, almost similar to the previous post.
however, i am allergic to most of the over-the-counter topical cream that contain Benzoyl peroxide.
is there any skincare product/range out there in the market that is good for acne prone skin ?

Anonymous said...

hi.. i'm 18 and i also have acne prone skin, almost similar to the previous post.
however, i am allergic to most of the over-the-counter topical cream that contain Benzoyl peroxide.
is there any skincare product/range out there in the market that is good for acne prone skin ?

Alan Sim said...

Topical Antibiotics are possible contenders and could be considered if benzoyl peroxide doesn’t prove effective or for some reasons you are allergic to it. Topical antibiotics include such drugs as clindamycin, erythromycin, and tetracycline. These have limitations because they have difficulty penetrating into the pore lining and the fact that long-term use can lead to bacterial resistance, meaning they stop being as effective as they once were. Some topical prescription antibiotics containing benzoyl peroxide are available. Studies have shown that when used together, benzoyl peroxide and topical antibiotics show greater benefit than when either is used alone. Examples of such combined therapy drugs include Benzaclin and Clindagel.

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