The Difference between Skin Types

Updated: Jan 3

Skin Types

An individual’s skin type can vary dramatically depending on many factors, whether this be genetic, hormone or lifestyle factors. Our skin is made up of proteins some of which are melanin, collagen, elastin, and keratin. The melanin in our skin determines its colour. Darker skins produce more melanin than lighter skins. Collagen plays a large role in hydrating our skin as well as giving it firmness and elasticity which helps to keep us looking youthful. Elastin allows the skin to resume its shape after stretching. As we age less elastin is produced, which results in thinning of the skin and reduced elasticity causing it to hang loosely. keratin which is the main component of the epidermis and is constantly renewing itself helps to hold all of the cells together which aids with our protective barrier function. Not only this but darker skin types have a slightly thicker epidermis as well as slightly larger sweat glands which are more numerous. which could potentially result in the acid mantle being slightly more acidic.

Genetically we can all inherit the amount of melanin, collagen elastin and keratin within our skin as well as certain skin conditions. Oily skin is due to an overproduction of sebum. Sebum is an oil which keeps our skin moisturised. Sebum is slightly acidic and therefore is good for our skin and its barrier function. Unfortunately, an overproduction of sebum can result in a shiny appearance. Furthermore an over production of sebum can result in acne which can also result in conditions such as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Inflamed acne can result in damage to the acid mantle making it more vulnerable and prone to infection as well as increased acne breakouts.

According to Aisling Moran ‘’ sweat glands have receptors on them which respond to your hormones, including oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone’’ Our hormones play a large role in our skins conditions. Oestrogen aids in collagen production. The increase in the production of progestogen during pregnancy can stimulate the production of sebum causing breakouts. An increase in the hormone progesterone can also affect the melanin production causing pigmentation. Testosterone can affect the amount of sebum that is produced which can also cause breakouts.

Occasionally oily skin can be mistaken for dry skin as it does not always appear shiny. It may also appear flaky and dehydrated. This could be due to extrinsic factors such as products containing harsh chemicals being used on the skin which are stripping away the skin of its moisture content causing an overproduction of sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture in the skin.

Dry skin occurs when the sebaceous gland do not produce enough sebum to lubricate the skin causing it to appear dull and flaky. This decline in sebum production not only results in dry flaky skin but it also has an affect on the acid mantle, which is our skins natural defence barrier. Damage to this barrier can potentially result in further conditions such as dry patches, sensitive skin, broken capillaries, sunspots and even eczema can occur. More so in areas which are exposed to elements such as UV light and wind, cold, and pollution. The lack of moisture in the skin can result in premature ageing of the skin.

It is important to remember that not everybody has just one skin type. The skin can exhibit two different skin types which is why those suffering with skin conditions such as milia, black heads, broken capillaries and mild acne tend to get them in certain areas of the face and not other areas. This can be due to a lack of balance of either hormones or extrinsic factors such as humidity, weather, diet and UV light.

As we age the production of collagen, elastin, and keratin decreases causing the skin to become dryer, lose its elasticity and appear thinner. The elastin which once allowed the skin to resume its shape after stretching is no longer able to snap back into shape and the collagen can no longer hold its structure as it once could. The epidermis becomes thinner and skin cell production decreases. The sebaceous glands which produce sebum also become less active causing a weakened acid mantle. Eventually lines, wrinkles and broken capillaries will begin to appear as a result of the ageing skin.

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Written by

Angela Blemmings

CEO EyeCandy Training Ltd

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