Friday, October 8, 2010

Reader Question: HELP! How Do I Find Out My Skin Type?

"I read your post yesterday about not using Olive Oil on skin that has acne flareups and I think this is me. I used Olive Oil and I broke out all over my face and I'm afraid I don't know what my skin-type is. Please help! thx"
This is a very common issue for those that oil cleanse. I want to stress this to everyone reading this post, it is imperative that you choose the right oil for your skin type. Using an oil that is too heavy for your skin could lead to additional breakouts as well as blackheads. While using an oil that is too light can have the same results as well. This is one of the most common mistakes people make when attempting the oil cleansing method.

In this post, we will cover the different skin types as well as the oils that are best suited for your type. Please note that the recommended oils listed are for your secondary oils only. The main oil should be Castor Oil as this acts as your cleansing oil.If you have any additional questions, please leave them in the comments so that I can address them. Read on for the deets:

How do I know if I have oily skin?
  • Your skin is blemish prone [acne - whiteheads - blackheads]
  • Your skin is shiny due to excessive oil production
  • You have enlarged pores on your cheeks and chin area
How do I know If I have Normal skin?
  • You experience little to no breakouts
  • Your face is hydrated and smooth
  • Your pores are not visible
  • You have an even, bright complexion
How do I know if I have sensitive skin?
  • You experience burning or peeling with lots of products
  • Your skin is very thin or delicate
  • Your skin is prone to allergic reactions
  • Your cheeks "flush" easily
How do I know if I have dry skin?
  • Your skin appears ashy or dull [especially in women of color]
  • You have wrinkles around the eye or mouth area
  • Your pores are barely visible
  • Your cheeks are flaky at times
  • Your skin feels tight
How do I know if I have combination skin?
  • You have large pores on your cheeks or chin
  • You have acne on your cheeks, nose, forehead and chin [known as your T-zone]
  • Your T-zone produces more oil than the rest of your face
  • Your cheeks are drier than the rest of your skin
Now that you've picked your skin-type, it's time to choose the proper oils for your skin-type:

Combination Skin:
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil
Sensitive Skin:
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Borage Seed
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Rosehip Oil
  • Apricot Kernal Oil
Oily Skin:
  • Hazelnut Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Jojoba
  • Apricot Kernal Oil
Dry Skin:
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Borage Seed
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Kukui Oil
Normal Skin:
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Kukui Oil 

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  1. YaY... this has confirmed that I have combination skin. Summer I get really oily, my T-Zone is a mess; acne-prone and obnoxious large pores. Lastly, The minute after washin if I dont apply a moisturizer my skin gets all dry n tight.

  2. Ok....still a bit confused cuz I don't seem to fit any of these... I don't particularly have excess sebum and my skin doesn't feel necessary tight or flaky.

    All I know if that I have been breaking out (for a few months now) on my cheeks and forehead mainly...Does that mean I have combination? or normal?

    ?HELP anyone?

  3. What's the best way to preserve the ACV toner? Is it possible to break out from the toner mix?

  4. You made a typo when asked "How do you know if you have oily skin?" I think for the second one you meant to say normal skin.. I think I have oily skin.. I do experience blemishes and whiteheads from time to time but I do not have enlarged pores. My pores are small and its mainly around the cheek area. That means I can use castor oil as my primary oil and lets say grapeseed oil has my secondary? Will just those 2 oils be fine?I know you mix 3 oils. Sorry I have another question when castor oil is used as a primary what is the amount that be should used? I'm sorry for the questions.. I know that this method can work for me, I just want to figure it out. I kept getting pimples around mainly my hairline and forehead as well my cheeks. They have all turned in to blemishes. The pimples would pop out of no where everyday when I do the OCM.. The oils I first used when trying this method was only coconut oil(didn't work), then olive oil soley, then I bought the grapeseed and use that alone after your post. Any type of advice for my problem would be helpful thanks! Love your blog!

  5. @ sounds like you may have combination skin. It may not be oily on the surface but sebum can still get clogged up in pores if it's being overproduced. Cleansers that are too harsh will strip too much oil from the face and cause the skin to overproduce oil in an attempt to rebalance itself. Also, even if you remove oil off the skin's surface- making it appear 'normal' or 'dry', it can still remain deep inside the pores if your cleanser does not penetrate far enough. For anyone with this problem, I would recommend exfoliating (not just a surface exfoliant like St. Ives, but soemthing like Murad) to bring excess gunk to the surface so that your cleanser can work more effectively.

    Also people, I would recommend making sure that your body is balanced internally. Processed foods and products today can throw off natural hormone balances. This can lead to increased sebum production and random breakouts as well.

    Over-the-counter products typically do not treat skin beneath the surface level and they can be quite harsh. Around age 19 I stopped using drugstore products and switched to Mario Badescu with decent success. It was gentle and didn't strip my skin of natural oils. Then I saw the OCM on this blog (WOOT WOOT!) and the rest is history. I use Castor, Grapeseed, some Olive, a dab of Peppermint--smells good--and make sure my rag is HOT for the entire time, then follow up with a light moisturizer with SPF. I use St. Ives to exfoliate the surface weekly. I'm not gonna lie, my skin has been gloatworthily clear for the past few months. my nose-bridge pores are still big, but I don't get zits there >:(

  6. I have oily skin that is acne prone and I use a grape seed oil & olive oil mix. So far, so good. No new breakouts and it does the job. So, I will continue using it.

  7. I typically have oily skin. A good hour or so after my facial wash my skin is beyond shiny. It's worse in humid weather. However, I don't have enlarged pores anywhere on my face and acne only appears along my jawline and chin. Lately my skin has been ultra sensitive. It seems my face will react quickly to both soy and sugar. I've been using the OCM method with both castor oil and grapeseed oil, but that doesn't totally eliminate acne. Any suggestions?

  8. As always very helpful information thanks :-)

  9. This is great information, because I never really know how to identify my skin type, Thanks!

    You won a versatile blogger award on my site. Stop by to claim it and check it out.

  10. If you have hormonal acne like me you need something internal not topical. I break out a week before my cycle.So my choices are hair, skin and nail vitamins, loestrin24fe(bc pills), or accutane. St ives apricot blemish gets rid of acne scars for me..that's it.

  11. What are your opinions about Ambi products?

  12. Thanks Maven! I tried the oil wash approach this morning and it was wonderful.

  13. SweetIntent: Definitely sounds like combination skin! It can be very difficult finding skin products when you haven't pinpointed your skin type.

    S.S; Sounds like you may have combination skin. Breakouts on the cheeks and forehead is what's giving me that indication.

    Anonymous; It is possible to break out if you have an allergic reaction to it. I normally use it in small batches and keep it stashed away in the refrigerator for up to a week. - If you are breaking out from it, discontinue use and try out Witch Hazel with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Witch Hazel can also be used as a natural astringent and is easily available at most pharmacies and drugstores.

    Erica; Thank you! It was definitely a typo! LOL This was excellent;
    "Also people, I would recommend making sure that your body is balanced internally. Processed foods and products today can throw off natural hormone balances. This can lead to increased sebum production and random breakouts as well." - As what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it!
    I am also glad you are experiencing great results!

    BornWithIt; I'm glad it is working for you chica!

    LaTifa; How long have you been using the OCM? Are you using essential oils [I asked because you mentioned skin sensitivity]? Just trying to get a lil more information before I make a recommendation

    kishkish25; Thank you!

    Linka; Thank you so much for the award!!

    lilmssmartypants; Thank you for the recommendation, and you are completely correct. I am going to have to try this St. Ives product, I have heard rave reviews.

    J.Lo: I have yet to try their products, but I think I will test some soon.

    NappyStyle: You're welcome! I am glad it worked so well for you!

  14. I've been using the OCM for about 4-5 weeks. But I have to admit that I have not been able to do it everyday or twice a day like you recommend. I most often do it at night. The Castor oil is cold pressed and I believe the grapeseed oil is pure. I purchased both at a natural food market. Over the last few months my skin mostly around the jaw and neck will break out immediately from sugar or soy, even though I've been drinking soy milk for years. I never had a problem with acne before. I might get a pimple here or there, but never a breakout. I'm worried that I may have to switch back to milk and eliminate soy from my diet (which seems impossible).

  15. Just want to say that your skin care posts are uber helpful! I've recently decided to take better care of my skin through natural mean. Mostly, I think I have dry skin because my skin is thin, dull/ashy(before apply lotion which is a No-No) and at 19 I have laugh line which are not to deep but not too faint either. However, my forehead region tend to have bumps/enlarged pores, which have me second guessing myself. Therefore, in your opinion would that fall under combination skin?

  16. For the combination skin oil mixture what is the amount for each oil to use?

    Like for the one oil mixture you had:
    60% Castor oil
    20% Grapeseed oil
    20% Hazelnut oil

    So for the combination mixture above would it be
    60% Grapeseed
    20% Jojoba
    20% Hazelnut


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