Your skin type can be influenced by your ethnicity, your age, and your lifestyle. It would be impossible to cover every imaginable combination of those factors in a short blog, but I hope you will find some guidance by looking at these categories below while creating your own personalized self-care ritual. Have fun learning. I know I did!
All skin types require cleaning, hydration, and nourishment, but to different extents. Knowing your skin type can help you choose the right products to make your beauty routine well-tailored for your unique needs.
If you have oily skin, then you may have heard that the source of this situation is overproduction of sebum, a waxy, protective layer. This very natural occurrence can mean different things for different people: clogged pores with results ranging from blackheads to severe acne, large pores, and dull-looking skin.
With oily skin, it might seem that you’re moisturized enough as it is, but providing extra moisture to cleaned skin is actually going to help regulate sebum production. Your skin is intelligent and it’s also wonderfully economical—it’s not going to make moisture if you’re already regularly providing it. A good botanical-based toner can help to tighten pores—look for ingredients like rose or lavender water or witch hazel, ingredients which have been used for this purpose for at least hundreds of years if not more. Try lavender hydrosol (hydrosol essentially means it’s a flower water) to support hydration and cell regeneration.
Keeping dry skin moisturized day and night can be frustrating, particularly when we find out that some of our habits are actually compounding a dry situation. Certain facial cleansers, for example, should be avoided. Avoid cleansers with too much lather or foam, or containing drying agents like alcohol. Instead, use a gentle glycerin-based cleanser &/or facial oil that will maintain your much-needed natural oils. Look for hydrating ingredients such as jojoba, sea buckthorn, argan, avocado, and rose hip seed oil. Dry skin can also tend to flake and result in build-up that needs gentle exfoliation. Exfoliating at minimum once a week will help. Maybe try our Botanical Facial Oil? This non-comedogenic blend is both a great exfoliator and cleanser.
If you felt stumped by looking at the descriptions above, it might be because you have dry skin in some areas of your face and oily skin in other areas. This might seem to make developing a skincare regimen a bit complicated, but the truth is, both skin types need gentle cleansing and moisture. If the difference is severe from one area of the face to another, then spot treatment is an option.
This could mean different things for different people—perhaps you’ve noticed that many products irritate your skin, or that you are inclined to rashes like rosacea or eczema? Or maybe you even have allergic reactions to skincare products? Depending on the underlying cause of your sensitive skin, it may help to look for natural products that contain gentle yet effective plant ingredients. There are loads of botanical-based ingredients that calm irritation, control itchiness, and reduce puffiness or redness. Finding the ones that help calm your skin is a critical first step. Some of our favorite plant-based ingredients are aloe-vera, chamomile, calendula, lavender and even cucumber. Don’t forget to look at the ingredients listed on the back label. You always want to avoid parabens, phthalates, and petroleum-based ingredients.
How ethnicity plays into your skin’s unique needs
Your ethnicity won’t tell the entire story about the needs of your skin, which naturally varies from individual to individual. However, it can be a great indicator of where to start with your skincare regimen. Here are a few examples of what I learned. This list is far from conclusive, but I hope it will give you an idea of how every person’s skincare routine needs to be uniquely tailored to them. There is no one-size fits all approach. You are unique!
African American, Middle East Arabic
Collagen in the deeper layers can keep darker skin tones looking plump and wrinkle-free longer than many other skin types, often until the mid-fifties. Isn’t that wonderful!! One source of concern however, might be hyperpigmentation. Daily usage of products with solar protectant ingredients is important for keeping an allover even skin tone. The Increased amounts of melanin only protects so much against UV, so sunscreen is key! Look for natural products, and avoid retinoids and retinol. These ingredients have been shown to trigger dark spots. Some have trouble with dryness and others with oiliness. If you’re struggling with dryness, look for non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging oils) that restore moisture and last longer. If oil is the issue, ditch your soap and look for something that won’t strip your natural oils—which only makes your body produce more. Either way, stay moisturized!
East Asian, South Asian
People of Asian descent have the amazing benefit of having higher levels of collagen! Higher levels of this supportive skin protein, means the skin often doesn’t wrinkle until the age of forty or later, and even then, with fewer fine lines than are seen in fair skin. However, the skin type can be relatively thin making it extra sensitive to damage, sometimes resulting in hyperpigmentation, especially after acne has healed.
This skin type may have trouble with overproduction of sebum resulting in acne. Use of a plant-based cleansing oil may seem counter intuitive but as you gently massage the cleansing oil in, you will be removing make up and other oil-based impurities, like sebum, SPF, and pollution. Cleansing oils won’t strip your natural oils. Follow up with a hydrosol (lavender or rose), to balance, tone, and add an additional layer of moisture before continuing your daily routine. Always use humectant-based moisturizers that include argan oil to draw moisture to your skin throughout the day and avoid soap or chemical products that could disrupt the skin’s natural oil and pH balance.
Representing a wide array of skin tones, many Latinas don’t see wrinkling until their forties or fifties. Acne and dryness may be a source of frustration however, as well as the discoloration that can result from treating acne or from sun exposure. Gentle exfoliation can help with this hyperpigmentation. Look for natural, homemade facial scrubs that can be made from nourishing ingredients, often found in your own fridge or garden. To treat acne, try a nice essential oil-based toner, and be sure to moisturize consistently. Look for moisturizers with sun protectant ingredients like Vitamin E to prevent damage like “sun spots,” and achieve a more even skin tone.
Celtic, Nordic, Northern European, Caucasian
Because of low melanin levels, Caucasian skin is light in color and has little natural protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays cause collagen to break down, resulting in wrinkles. Those with this skin type often see wrinkles developing by their mid-thirties. Consistent use of a day cream with vitamins E and C lends excellent photo protection. Less sun damage and ample moisture will help protect your skin and delay the onset of wrinkles. Don’t forget to give your skin support at night with a restorative and deeply hydrating cream, especially those with hyaluronic acid. Our Botanical Night Cream helps support the skin while it restores and rebuilds overnight. Hyaluronic acid is a natural plant ingredient that deeply moisturizes while you rest.
Taking time to clean and nourish your skin each day is also an opportunity to nurture yourself. We believe in the importance of this time alone to help restore relationship to the self. A gentle scalp massage and dry brushing can also bring the mind and body to a balanced and healthy place. We look forward to hearing what some of your daily self-care rituals include.