A Quick Guide to Knowing Your Skin Type
Although it’s usually all right to try products bought over the counter since they all come in “safe” concentrations, using skincare products according to your skin type is crucial in making them work for you.
“The traditional classification (oily, dry, combination, and sensitive) does not cover everything. I personally think that the most accurate to follow would be the Baumann Skin Type Indicator or BSTI by Dr. Leslie Baumann, which takes into consideration not just skin’s oiliness but also its sensitivity and firmness,” says The Skin Inc. dermatologist Dr. Windie Villarica Hayano.
The BSTI evaluates the skin into 16 specific, more accurate types, and defines each with a mix of 4 characteristics: 1) oily or dry, 2) sensitive or resistant, 3) pigmented or non-pigmented, and 4) wrinkle-prone or tight.
The BSTI Quiz is a thorough questionnaire you can answer here and it’s really specific to get an accurate picture of your skin. Your dermatologist can also help you with this. For instance, if your skin is characterized by occasional breakouts or facial redness, often followed by darkening of the skin in the areas of the pimples, and have some lines on those areas as well, it could mean your skin is Oily, Sensitive, Pigmented, and Wrinkle-Prone—classified as the OSPW skin type. So there are 15 other combinations and such a specific approach will allow you to know what ingredients to look for in products.
A quick guide: Oily skin - Retinoids (vitamin A, retinol, retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinol aldehyde). Dry skin - Barrier Repair Moisturizers (hyaluronic acid, lanolin, mineral oils, glycerin, sorbitol, sodium hyaluronate, urea, propylene glycol, ceramides). Resistant skin - Hydroxy Acids (Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Beta Hydroxyl Acid a.k.a. salicylic acid as exfoliating and depigmenting agents. Sensitive skin - Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Microbial Ingredients (benzoyl peroxide, alpha lipoic acid, green tea, licorice, calendula, and chamomile extracts). Pigmented skin - Depigmenting Agents (hydroquinone, kojic acid, vitamin C, azelaic acid (component of grains), arbutin (from berries). Wrinkle-Prone - Antioxidants (vitamin A and cartenoids, vitamin C, flavonoids and polyphenols, fruit and vegetable extracts, alpha lipoic acid).