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Dry, Dehydrated, Oily, and Sensitive Skin – My Insights About Four Dreaded Skin Types

I find that there are certain things us women need to know or remember about the dreaded skin types.  There are lots of misconceptions about the causes and solutions and having been educated a little bit more on the subject of skincare by my French makeup teacher in Singapore perhaps I can help settle the score once and for all.  I’m here to smash some myths about these skin types, so please take a comfy seat and pay attention!  This isn’t the usual I promise you.

Mind you, I am not a dermatologist but I have access to a good one, I think she’s one of the best in the country, but I’ve only gone to her because of chronic rashes once in awhile, and I also talked to my aunt a bit who is a non-practicing med school graduate.  Click Read More to see what I’ve learned and have to say about four dreaded skin types.

Before I blab on, have a quick look at an illustration of normal skin.  Ain’t it a wonder?

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin – I was told by my teacher that there are things to set right when it comes to Dry Skin and Dehydrated skin, because there’s a fine line between them, they aren’t one and the same all the time.  Dry Skin on the surface can be the result of an external cause like for example sun exposure, harsh skincare, or a dry low-humidity climate.  Dehydrated skin is not far off but still different, initially dehydrated skin is precisely what leads to dry skin for some, you’ll see what I mean by “some” in a bit.  Moisturizers and emollients do help the skin “FEEL” soft and supple on the surface and serums do the same work but are absorbed much deeper in up to the dermis, but that’s not a natural type of soft and supple, it isn’t an effect generated from within by a properly hydrated body.

Dehydrated Skin – Naturally, if you don’t drink enough water and eat fruits and veggies that are partly made up of water the body is bound to protest and give its own external signs of dehydration.  A tight, rough, dry face, chapped lips, a crusty nose, peeling hands, and perhaps even dandruff or a flaking scalp (I wouldn’t be surprised, not all dandruff is fungal, as the scalp is also skin) is the body’s own protest rally.  It’s the result of our personal rebellion against the 8-10 glasses a day recommendation, 6 is actually the minimum.  One of my beautiful friends drinks 12 a day nearly without fail and yes you make more trips to the bathroom for sure, which is why workaholics skip drinking water, but letting it out in the bathroom is precisely the point.  It’s the body’s own filtration process.  Now here’s the surprising bit…did you know that Oily Skin is actually dehydrated skin and it’s not necessarily something you’re born with?  Here…that’s the “some” I’m getting to.  Sometimes dehydrated skin will not lead to DRY skin, for many women it will lead to OILY skin.  In most cases Dehydrated Skin needs to be treated both on the surface with moisturizer and from within with water intake.

Oily Skin – The bane of most Filipina women in this humid, tropical country is oily skin.  Nearly nobody wants to look “shiny”, which is a bit funny because in the dry Western hemisphere it’s all about being “dewy”, but anyway it all explains the excessive use of blot paper, the matte  pressed powder compacts, the handkerchiefs, tissue patting, the white baby powder rubbed between hands and slapped on by lots of women in the local market.  You know what?  I have news for you ladies.  Did you know that EXCESSIVELY OILY skin can in some cases also be the body’s way of telling you YOU ARE DEHYDRATED?  Because of the insufficient water intake skin is unable to naturally pull water to the dermis and rehydrate so the body begins to overcompensate and fight dryness by producing more oil.  That’s the one myth that was smashed to pieces for me by my French makeup teacher, Camille in Singapore.  Dry skin can be solved with the use of moisturizer and externally hydrating products if the cause of dry skin is external, climate, sun exposure etc., but Dehydrated skin won’t be helped just by moisturizer I’m afraid, you have to do the water intake.  In fact I was told it’s possible that if a dehydrated-oily skin person increases her water intake significantly, over time she will notice her skin stop being oily almost completely depending on her skin’s background.  There’s also the subject of heredity or lineage when it comes to skin type and of course that does play a role.  I guess the point is don’t give your body a reason to protest if you want better, less greasy skin.  Give water intake a check on the list and readjust, not necessarily eliminate, your junk diet (fast food, fried food, junk) before saying your oily skin has no hope so you can quit saying “It’s just really like that ever since.”

Sensitive Skin – When it comes to sensitive skin I have YEARS of experience with it.  When I discussed it with my Doctora Aunt a lot of chronic skin flare ups like eczema, sudden rashes after certain cleansers etc. are possibly a result of low immunity, you may even consider the possibility of that if you weren’t breastfed as a child.  I was breastfed, but I was assigned a pediatrician who was actually very good at diagnosing, but had an old-fashioned tendency of often depending on antibiotics whenever I’d have a bad turn health-wise.  I was all “antibiotic-ked” out by the time I was out of grade school.  So I think in a way, my body took a backseat in fighting simple exposure when it came to my skin.  I have a very sensitive area along my jawline and near my chin area just up to about around my mouth.  If ever I react to a cosmetic product it’s usually over that facial terrain.  When it comes to sensitive skin I think the best thing one can do is eat foods and drink supplements that help strengthen the immune system and veer more towards organic cosmetics and skincare.  Also here’s MY personal tip, get out more for some mild sun and fresh air (just bring sunscreen) but seriously, our skin was meant to be out in the world around us because it breathes just like we do, why do you think we have pores?  I don’t think we were created to be marinating in moisturizers and serums indoors.  When I stopped anchoring for Living Asia Channel (4-5 months of going on outdoor trips) I was quite tan but had beautiful clear skin (I had sunscreen always).  I started working in an air-conditioned “cave” in post-production again in the city and my skin went from dehydrated to completely and irrationally sensitive.  Plan a 2-week vacation or trip to a beach or countryside and drink lots of water.  People dynamics, when it comes to overly sensitive people you expose them slowly to more people in a comfortable environment so they learn to be more balanced.  In the same way, sensitive skin isn’t always meant to be shut away from everything (stay away from this, this, this etc.) and slathered with restorative chemical products if you want it to improve.  I had an uncle, my dad’s late older brother who was afraid of germs, he disinfected himself and nearly EVERYTHING with alcohol before entering and before leaving his room.  Eventually, my dad said, he got severely ill because his immune system became dumb.

Okay, I know some of you are like “But she left out acne-prone skin!”.  There are causes that come into play when it comes to acne prone skin that I think are case-to-case and best answered by a dermatologist.  I do know that some of the causes are puberty, adolescence, poor hygiene, poor water intake (in connection to what I said bout oily skin), genetic lineage and bad diet.  There are lots of factors but since acne is such a case-to-case thing I believe individual questions on the subject should be answered by a licensed dermatologist.

Sorry, that was long, but I believe it was about time I talked about the base for EVERYTHING cosmetic, our God-given skin, we live and breathe in it and so we ought to know and care for our shell pretty well, don’t you think?

 

 

  • workaholics skip drinking water. -that’s true!!!

    i seriously think that i should incorporate water-intake as part of my diet and i’ll observe then if my oily skin would improve.

  • yani

    you know, after I finished reading this article, i immediately went to the kitchen to gulp down two glasses of water haha

  • April

    Very helpful… thank you! 🙂

    I do consume a lot of water everyday but I noticed that since I started drinking more caffeine (about a year ago), my face became oilier, particularly the T-zone. I have always had normal clear skin (except for occasional zits… har!). Do you think the caffeine is the culprit?

  • rOxy

    SUPER HELPFUL! I didn’t mind the long entry. I find it helpful and very interesting.

    I guess girls are more into skin!

  • Amelia

    Great article, thanks!
    To answer April’s question about caffeine – yes! When I took up drinking it I got awful zits around my jaw so whenever I had a special occasion coming up I’d quit for about three weeks beforehand. Now I have coffee in the morning then switch to green tea for the rest of the day and it helps a lot.

  • dafee

    great article, thank you!
    i wouldnt mind to keep on reading, tbh! can humid climates trigger oily/dehydrated skin, too? (i mean, not just give the impression of being greasy because of the humidity on the skin)

    about caffeine leading to oily skin: absoluely true, i can imagine this is because caffeine, just like alcohol, dehydrates the body. apparently for every unit of caffeine intaken, one has to compensate with DOUBLE the amount of water!

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