Dr Sonali Chaudhary
Consultant, Integrative Dermatology & Cosmetology
When it comes to skin care, we are spoilt for choice. There are millions of products to choose from, each luring us with the promise of perfectly airbrushed skin worthy of gracing a magazine cover. And while it may be tempting to try every new product out there, it is imperative that you understand your skin type before choosing any skin or cosmetic product.
Every skin type has its own sets of dos and donts, so knowing your skin will not only help you in sorting your skin regime but also in maintaining proper skin care.
There are four basic types of healthy skin:
Skin type usually depends on your genetics and might even oscillate slightly between as you age. And since skin is the largest organ in the human body – our diet, hormones, stress and nutrition are key internal factors in changing the skin type from dry to oil and vice versa. Environment or climate change, pollution, medication and skin products are some of the external factors.
If you need help identifying your skin type or it is prone to oscillation due the effect of external and internal factors, a visit to a dermatologist might be in order. A doctor can examine your skin using a Dermatoscope and recommend the ideal skin routine for you.
When it comes to identifying skin types, oily skin might be the most easily distinguished with its characteristic glossy sheen – it produces a sebum known as seborrhoea that makes the skin appear shinier – and enlarged clearly visible pores. Oily skin is more prone to blemishes, clogged, open pores, blackheads, white heads and acne. Acne is the bane of people with oily skin and is caused by inflammation and oxidative stress.
Mental stress and a diet laden in sugars and processed fats will have a direct effect on your skin. Diets high in sugars, milk and dairy products, saturated and processed fats increase inflammation and acne. Stress increases the cortisol (stress hormone) levels in your body that increases the production of sebum leading to more acne.
Human skin sheds on a daily basis. In an oily skin that has more sebum, the shedding skin also accumulates on the skin along with pollution, dust and make up products that we use. The resulting concoction causes even more acne and roughens the texture of the skin. Many people resort to exfoliation to control this – but a lot of times, we don’t know when to stop! Over exfoliation may increase your problems further.
Skin problems begin from the gut. To ensure that any skin condition gets uprooted, treatment needs to start from the gut. Lotions and potions work best when there is a corresponding effort to work on the skin from the inside. Screening of hormones and pushing them into normal limits without medications, with mere lifestyle modification have shown proven results in balancing hormones along with an increased intake of Vit A, E,B3, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids.
The integrative approach to clear skin that we practice at the centre allows the skin to heal from the inside out, giving it the strength to fight new skin conditions.