how to know skin type
posted on 16.01.2020 @ 8:20 AM

What is YOUR Skin Type?

For some, it’s pretty obvious whether or not they have dry or oily skin. For others, it’s a little harder to tell. If you’ve ever typed “how to tell what my skin type is” into a search bar, this is the post for you. And just how many skin types are there, anyway? Spoiler: 5. Let’s examine now what the different skin types are, and how to tell just what YOU have!

Read About:

  • Dry Skin
  • Oily Skin
  • Normal Skin
  • Combination Skin
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Skin type test
how to identify and treat dry skin
woman with dry skin applying a moisturizer

Dry Skin

Wait! Before you nod and think yup, that’s me, many people actually mistake dry skin for dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin can be nursed back to health, whereas truly dry skin is a little more…chronic. If you’re wondering how to tell if you have dry skin, check out these clues:

SIGNS of dry skin include:

  • Small or “invisible” pores
  • A feeling of tightness
  • Redness
  • Flaking skin or “scaly” patches
  • Visible lines

What can CAUSE dry skin:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes
  • Aging
  • Environmental factors (i.e. where you geographically live)

What can make dry skin WORSE:

  • Weather conditions (wind, cold, strong sun)
  • Long, hot showers
  • Indoor heating
  • Certain soap or skincare ingredients or formulas
  • Chlorine (swimming pools)
  • Some medications (check with your doctor!)

How to HELP dry skin:

  • Use appropriate skincare targeted towards dry skin
  • Take shorter, cooler showers
  • Use a humidifier to keep rooms from getting too dry
  • Use a “glow” foundation formula with skincare (like our highly rated Lava Art Glow Compact Cushion)
how to identify and treat oily skin
Oily skin can be easy to identify and treat

Oily Skin

This skin type is a little more visually obvious than dry skin, but if you’re still wondering how to tell if you have oily skin, read on!

SIGNS of oily skin include:

  • Large, visible pores
  • A “shiny” complexion
  • A “slick” feeling across the forehead, nose, or other areas
  • Regular blackheads and other blemishes

What can CAUSE oily skin:

  • Genetics
  • Puberty, pregnancy, or other hormonal changes
  • Environmental factors (i.e. where you geographically live)
  • Stress

What can make oily skin WORSE:

  • Weather changes (especially heat)
  • High humidity
  • Not having a proper skincare routine

How to HELP oily skin:

  • Wash your face and rehydrate after sweating to decongest pores
  • Do not pick at or pop anything on your face — may scar and lead to more acne
  • Use appropriate skincare targeted towards oily skin
  • Use a “matte” foundation formula with skincare (like our highly rated Lava Art Matte Compact Cushion)
how to tell if you have a normal skin type
normal skin still requires a strong skincare routine

Normal Skin

Good news! You probably have normal skin if you do not feel as though you have oily or dry patches. Other signs you have normal skin include:

  • Minimal acne or other imperfections
  • Little or no sensitivity or allergies 
  • Small (but still visible) pores

There isn’t any specialized regime required for normal skin types. Just make sure you cleanse, wash, and prep your face with good skincare twice a day! Failure to use appropriate skin care, however, can lead to oily or dehydrated patches. Listen to your skin, and nourish it accordingly. Many people believe they have one skin type or the other, only to realize after adopting a proper routine that they’ve had a normal skin type all along!

signs you have combination skin
combination skin is quite common

Combination Skin

A ton of people have combination skin without realizing it. For example, most of your face may be normal, but your forehead alone is dry and flaky. Or your cheeks are normal, but your T-Zone is oily. Let’s dive into some characteristics of combination skin:

SIGNS of combination skin include:

  • Slightly larger, more open pores in select areas (indicative of oily skin)
  • Tightness around, for example, the mouth and chin (indicative of dry skin)
  • Blackheads
  • Other symptoms of dry or oily skin, but again, only in a specific region, not the whole face!

See dry, oily, and normal skin types to determine how to treat your combination skin! We also recommend glow foundation formulas for combination skin, like the long-lasting Lava Art Glow Compact Cushion.

signs you have sensitive skin
there are many reasons to have sensitive skin

Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably already very well aware. Maybe you’ve learned you have an allergy to some ingredients, or you break out easily when you change products. But if you’re still wondering, here are the characteristics of sensitive skin:

Skin can become sensitive for many different reasons, including:

  • Genetics
  • Allergies
  • Certain medications
  • Certain product ingredients
  • Changing your routine too suddenly
  • Considerable sun exposure

Sensitive skin can look or feel like:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Unusual dryness
  • Redness
  • Sudden break outs

If you suspect you may have developed an allergy that triggers sensitive skin, we recommend being allergy tested and visiting a trusted dermatologist!

how to test what skin type you have
how to test what skin type you have

Skin Type Test

What is the most common skin type? Combination! There are countless scenarios…oily forehead, dry chin, sensitive eye region…the variations are endless. But if you’re still not sure where you fall, consider trying a skin type test!

Blot Test

Take a piece of blotting paper, and lightly pat your skin — we recommend a different sheet for different areas, in case you have combination skin and one area is more oily than another. Hold the blot paper up to the sun or other bright light. If you see a lot of oil, there you go! You have oily skin. Just some oil (but not too much) is indicative of normal skin, and no perceivable oil may mean dry skin.

Time Test

We don’t totally recommend this one since we’re all about sticking to a skincare routine, but if you want, give it a try. After washing your face, wait 20 minutes. Sometimes, the answer will be obvious before even 5 minutes! If your skin tightens and dries out, there you have it: dry skin. If you start to feel your face overproducing oil, boom: oily skin! This isn’t the best test to determine normal skin types, since prolonging your skincare routine after washing with cleansers can be dehydrating regardless of skin type. 

So there you have it! Have you always known your skin type, or has this been a learning process? Has your skin type changed over time? Let us know and share your story in the comments below!

Happy skin health,

– Rose from Lava Art



4 Skin Care Essentials To Use Every Day

The world is obsessed with skin care, and rightly so! But amongst the sea of hot new ingredients, revolutionary formulas, and more product names than we can count...sometimes you really just need to know the most basic daily skin care essentials. This is that list. Admittedly, we'd love to add a little extra serum or essence to this list of skin care essentials, but if you only had to remember four big things, these are pretty important. So let's take a look at the top four items every beauty-conscious human being should be using!   [caption id="attachment_8812" align="alignnone" width="1000"] What skincare products are essential?[/caption]   1. Toner If you don't believe in these yet, you should. There was a time, yes, when many toners contained alcohol and astringents that were quite drying — but that time is over. So really, are toners necessary for happy skin today? Read on. Short answer: YES. A good toner is a powerful asset to any simple skin care routine! The benefits of using a toner can include hydration, extra dirt removal, and the rebalancing of our skin's natural pH levels after cleansing. Our skin's natural pH is 5.5, and when that's knocked off balance, we can easily dry out. Different cleansers have different pH levels of their own, and pure water itself already has a pH of 7, meaning your pores are at high risk of being knocked off balance. Maintaining a more natural pH level is crucial to healthy skin! The right toner can also deliver a healthy burst of nourishing and restorative ingredients. However, the best toner ingredients for you and your skin are determined by your skin type and any special trouble areas, such as acne, scarring, or allergies. Generally, here's what to look for:   Toners for Dry Skin: Try a milky formula that focuses on hydration. Good ingredients for dry skin include plant, nut, and seed oils, such as coconut or jojoba.   Toners for Oily Skin: Stick to lightweight formulas that work to help reduce oil. Good ingredients for oily skin include AHAs and salicylic acid.   Toners for Normal Skin: You can alternate between more milky or lightweight formulas! Take advantage of this flexibility to focus on ingredients that your skin responds well to, such as tea tree oil or chamomile.   Toners for Combination Skin: Generally, stick to more lightweight formulas. The ingredients you choose should correlate with whichever other skin types you have a combination of.   Toner for Sensitive Skin: Look for products specifically formulated for sensitive skin, with ingredients that work to calm and soothe.   Hopefully, we've convinced you on why you should use toner in your skin care routine every day! Think of them as the primers of the skin care world. Or think of a plant with dried out soil — water may sit on top of the dirt for quite a while before absorption. But after things are moistened up a bit, just like soil, our skin will be ready to absorb and respond to more!   [caption id="attachment_9000" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Toners help prep your skin to be ready for more products[/caption]   2. Sun Cream This doesn't surprise anyone, right? ...Right? We've known for years now how damaging the sun's UV rays can be. Exposure can lead to much more than just fine lines, dry skin, and wrinkles — it could potentially lead to skin cancer. And that's really why you should wear sunscreen daily. Okay, so you know it's important to wear a regular sun block. Next question: What SPF should you use on your face daily? A good, comfortable number is at least SPF30, but it should be water-resistant (come on...everybody sweats) and broad spectrum (both UVA and UVB). If you're spending a lot of time outdoors, though, try to go for SPF60. Note: higher SPF does not mean longer wear times! Regardless of how high or low the SPF is, it's recommended to re-apply every few hours. Less frequently if you have a well-shaded job indoors, but more often for those who spend more time out in the sun. And where should sunscreen application fall in a beauty routine? Well, it depends on the person! Some prefer it to go under a moisturizer, and others are more comfortable leaving it as the last step. The choice is yours!   [caption id="attachment_9001" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Everyone should wear a daily sunscreen to help keep your skin healthy![/caption]   3. Creams Made for YOUR Skin Type Many people just buy whatever cream or moisturizer their favorite friend, family member, coworker or commercial are talking about that month. But different products work best for different skin types, and you should always have your individual skin type in mind when wondering how to choose a moisturizer! Don't know your skin type? Take a quick look at our guide here! Maybe you do know your skin type, but you're still wondering Hmm, what kind of moisturizer should i use? Different ingredients perform best with different skin types, and you should consider what your ultimate skin care goal is. Fade acne scars? Soothe and calm? Or just, plain and simple, keep everything hydrated? To get you started, here are some quick recommendations for choosing the best moisturizer for you and your skin:   Moisturizers for Dry Skin: The drier your skin, the thicker the formula should be. Consider an ointment if you experience itchiness, too. The best ingredients for dry skin moisturizers include plant, nut, and seed oils, shea butter, glycerin, ceramide, and hyaluronic acid.   Moisturizers for Oily Skin: Go light, with lotions and gels that are non-comedogenic, meaning that they won't clog pores. Look for salicylic acid and AHAs to control oil production, and tea tree oil is a favorite among those with oily skin who are also treating acne.   Moisturizers for Normal Skin: Creams are a good middle ground. They're thicker than lotions and gels, but not as thick as ointments, making them good for normal skin types. Since you're not battling dry or oily skin, look to ingredients with benefits that you're interested in. Chamomile is calming, blueberries are packed with antioxidants...feel free to explore!   Moisturizers for Combination Skin: Consider using two different moisturizers — an oily forehead doesn't need the same help as a dry chin, and so forth. Refer to the suggestions above, based on your own specific skin type combination!   Moisturizers for Sensitive Skin: Again, always look for products that are specially formulated for sensitive skin. Stick to hypoallergenic and fragrance-free formulas, and always check the ingredient list for any allergies. In general, try to stick to ingredient lists that are as short as possible — 10 ingredients or less. Consult a trusted dermatologist if over-the-counter moisturizers are still triggering your sensitivities.     [caption id="attachment_9002" align="alignnone" width="1000"] It's important to use the best kind of moisturizer for your individual skin type[/caption]   4. Skin-Friendly Makeup While not exactly part of a skin care routine, your daily makeup is just as up-close and personal. With so much information available on the internet now, it's important to know which makeup ingredients to avoid to keep your skin healthy and happy. And consider makeup made with natural ingredients, like botanical extracts and essential oils, to make sure that you're still receiving important skin care benefits throughout the day. Now, to be fair, a change in mascara isn't going to revolutionize your skin health. We're talking mainly about base makeup here — foundations, concealers, powders, and so forth. These are the products that sit directly on your pores for hours at a time, and can either make or break your skin health. If a makeup base can't breathe, for example, pores won't get the air they need to stay calm and under control. Dry skin types will dry out and crack; oily skin types will start over-producing oil, and see makeup separation. Regardless of skin type, everyone is at risk of breakouts and other skin troubles when pores can't breathe! So choose makeup that uses safe, high quality ingredients that allows your skin to breathe. This doesn't guarantee no more makeup-related breakouts forever, but give it an honest try. Even the best skincare routine is no match for bad makeup sitting on your pores. Luckily, the Lava Art Compact Cushion foundation formula is crafted to be breathable, with up to 19 natural, botanical extracts to help nurture and nourish skin throughout the day!   [caption id="attachment_9003" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Choose makeup with good ingredients to help benefit your skin health[/caption]   To Wrap it Up If you could only use four skincare essentials a day, this is what we recommend! A nice toner to clarify and balance, a sun cream for protection, and a skin-type specific moisturizer to lock it all in. Oh, and makeup that's actually good for your skin, too! The skin care industry is constantly evolving, and we do recommend experimenting with different products! But that is another post for another day. Until then, stay moisturized! All the best, - Rose from Lava Art


The Power of Blueberry Extract in Cosmetics

The humble blueberry — a superfruit loved and admired the world over. Whether you like them sweet, tart, in teas or in pies, it's hard to find someone who doesn't love a good blueberry. And, more importantly...blueberries love us back!   Blueberries are underrated in the world of cosmetics, and deserve more attention for the action-packed antioxidants they bring to our skin health. There's a reason why we use blueberry extract in cosmetics and in our own Lava Art Compact Cushion foundation formula!    So let's take a look at these little wonders, and see why it's so beneficial to include blueberry fruit extract in your beauty routine!   [caption id="attachment_8633" align="alignnone" width="1000"] there are many blueberry extract benefits for skin[/caption]   Benefits of Blueberry Extract for Skin Excellent Source of Antioxidants While blueberries do make a fantastic healthy snack when hungry, antioxidants can be absorbed topically, too! Blueberries are practically bursting with antioxidants that fight back against the free radicals that contribute to skin becoming loose or wrinkled, working to keep your complexion smooth and your skin conditioned. Seek out blueberry extract in skin care and other cosmetics to really take advantage of the topical power of antioxidants!   Can Repair Mild Sun Damage When looking for cosmetics with berry extracts, consider the Gallic acid found in the blueberry. Gallic acid can actually assist your skin in repairing itself from preexisting damages caused by sun exposure, including dryness, which can lead to wrinkles. But don't forget to wear SPF sun cream daily! Gallic acid found in blueberries may help repair skin cells damaged by the sun, but it can't stand in for a true daily sun block.   Packed Full of Vitamins C, A, and E One of the best benefits of blueberries for skin are all of those vitamins. Both Vitamins C and A stimulate our skin's natural creation of collagen! Collagen is what keeps our skin supple yet firm, leaving wrinkles behind for another day. The vitamins found in blueberry extract also stimulate new cell growth, so your skin can appear brighter and younger.   [caption id="attachment_8634" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Berry extracts are a great choice for healthy skin...especially blueberries![/caption] Blueberry Extract Good for You? As long as you're not allergic, there are nothing but great things to say about the benefits of blueberry extract! Of course, everyone has a different opinion on what the best extracts for skin are, or even what the best berry extracts for skin are (truthfully, we couldn't pick...that's why we include other berries in our formulas, too!) but no one knows your skin better than you do.    Give blueberry skin care products a try — we can't help but to recommend our own foundation, which is crafted with up to 19 unique botanical extracts...including, obviously, the lovely blueberry! Our natural extracts act as a layer of built-in skin care in your foundation, helping to keep your face nourished and hydrated throughout the day. And, of course, blueberry is a great team player in that mission!   We'll let you take a berry break for now, but get ready for the next Ingredient Highlight, because it's a famous one: Lavender!   See you soon, - Rose from Lava Art


Wearing Makeup While Exercising: The Truth

Fitness is more social now than ever before. Meeting your friends for yoga, asking neighbors if they’ll be at spinning class on Tuesday, or even just a post-lunch walk with a coworker...these are all so common now. And where does makeup fit in to this new world of social fitness? Well, it should fit in just fine, as long as you're smart about it! Working out in makeup doesn't need to be as taboo as some believe it is. In this week's post, we're here to set the record straight and help you look your best while feeling your best, too! To begin, let's address the biggest problems people have with wearing makeup to the gym, before getting real about the world we live in, and ending on some easy solutions and workout makeup routine suggestions!   [caption id="attachment_8472" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Fitness is more social now than ever before[/caption]   The Argument Against Working Out in Makeup Makeup Can Block Pores Honestly, this is a perfectly valid point! When working out or engaging with other fitness-focused activities, our bodies tend to heat up and produce sweat. This opens our pores up to breathe — and makeup sitting on the skin can complicate things. Our bodies will still sweat, of course. That's not the problem. The problem is that our open pores are more susceptible to makeup-related dirt and debris becoming trapped, which can lead to acne and other skin irritations. There are actually quite a few solutions to this problem worth considering, which we will address later in the Workout Friendly Makeup Suggestions section of the post! Bacteria Clings to Makeup Very few fitness activities require touching absolutely nothing. We all have a favorite machine to use at the gym. Even at-home yoga involves touching the mat. As aforementioned, our pores open up to allow for sweat and heat escape while we're exercising. If you're wearing heavy makeup, bacteria have something extra to hold on to, again leading to increased risk of acne or other skin irritation. These bacteria can easily be picked up on other machines, benches, mats, medicine balls...even your own phone, for something as innocent as skipping to the next song! Now while this is a good point, you shouldn't overthink it. Humans love to touch their faces. We do it so regularly, that we hardly even think about it. It's just an instinct. We touch our faces at work, home, out in public...nowhere is off limits, really. Just wash your hands with soap regularly, or carry hand sanitizer with you. And if you're super worried and unsure about the cleanliness of your gym, well...maybe it's time to switch gyms anyway. You Sweat it Off Some humans are just born sweaty! We all know a guy (or girl!) who's always the first to start sweating. Or maybe you're not a normally sweaty person, but your current class or routine really pushes your body hard, and you sweat more than usual. If worrying about sweating off your makeup is distracting you during your workout, then we recommend going super minimal. Your focus should be on your posture, set number, keeping your core activated...really, makeup should be the last thing you're focused on. Again, we'll have some recommendations worth considering later on in the post! [caption id="attachment_8473" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Stretching is important, and doesn't require taking off your makeup[/caption]   Exercising in Makeup: The New Reality The truth is...we're possibly the healthiest few generations that there may have ever been. In a 2016 study conducted by Coresight Research, Millenials "exercise more, eat better and smoke less than previous generations" but we can't count other generations out, either. The older generations are staying active too, partaking in swimming, light hiking, gardening, and other social yet health-conscious activities. Humans of the 21st century are more educated on health now than ever before. With that being said, here are some reasons why gym makeup looks are here to stay:   Working Out is Getting More Social Taking a fitness class together with friends and neighbors is common nowadays, and we often turn to "gym buddies" to help us stay motivated. But it doesn't need to just be the gym, either. You may text a neighbor down the street to see if they want to take the dogs out together for a nice walk. Or maybe you have an on-going deal with a friend: you pick me up for some casual volleyball at the park, and I'll pay for healthy smoothies later. And when we're out with others, we like to look and feel presentable. Even if it's just a pop of mascara, or lightly filling in the edges of our eyebrows. Gyms, parks, classes, trails...if you stay within your community, you're likely to meet other familiar members of the community, too, and it's nice to think hey, at least I looked presentable.   We Have Busy Schedules A popular time to hit the gym is right after work, or even during lunch breaks. It's pretty unrealistic to remove 100% of makeup when traveling between the two, especially if you have somewhere else to be afterwards. Many adults will hit the gym after work for an hour or so, and then head off to either run a few errands, pick up the kids, or even meet up with a significant other for dinner. We live in an age where it's pretty common to do social things after work, so it's most convenient to just keep the makeup on instead of taking the time to clean it all away, cleanse, re-apply skin care, and then re-apply the makeup itself.   Looking and Feeling Good is Motivating Many people are facing insecurity at the hands of different skin troubles. Discoloration, rosacea, acne scarring, the list goes on. But when we think we look good, we feel good, too. If you see someone at the gym wearing makeup, don't shame them. You never know what they could be struggling with, or what it took for them to become comfortable exercising in a public space. If a little concealer is what it takes to allow someone to feel comfortable going out and being active, then by all means — you rock that concealer!   Athleisure is on the Rise Workout clothing is designed to be more stylish and versatile than ever before. Seeing women out grabbing coffee in leggings and running shoes is totally common. And with athleisure clothing, naturally, comes athleisure makeup. Honestly, yes...some people are really only wearing that super cute sports bra for the sake of a nice gym selfie. But again, when we look good, we feel so much more motivated! Feeling empowered in a flattering activewear top may call for some fun lip tint before confidently heading to yoga, and there's nothing wrong with that.   [caption id="attachment_8474" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Exercising with friends keeps us motivated[/caption]   Workout Friendly Makeup Suggestions Should you show up to spinning class in a full face of glam? No, probably not. But there are ways to subtly enhance your looks through makeup while working out, too!   Workout makeup worth considering: SPF It's not technically makeup, but it should be worn every day anyway, especially if you prefer being outdoors over indoor gyms. Waterproof Mascara We're in full support of a little lash definition, but make sure it's here to stay and won't melt into your eyes at the first sign of sweat! Eyebrow Wax If you're worried about sweating those brows away, fill them in lightly and then pin those pigments down with some hair wax! Concealer Consider spot-treating! Use a concealer brush to cover small problem areas, and then cement it down with a trusted powder. Lip Stains or Lip Tints These lipstick alternatives deliver color without the worry of smudging! Foundation with Light or Buildable Coverage You knew it was coming. Working out in foundation is the most controversial point of any gym makeup routine, but exercising in foundation doesn't need to be messy. Use a product with light or buildable coverage with good breathability, so that your pores can still get some air. It's nice to be touch-up friendly, too, for any post-workout errands or socializing! Luckily, the Lava Art Compact Cushion foundation formula delivers buildable, breathable, touch-up friendly coverage perfect for any casual gym day or at-home routine!   [caption id="attachment_8475" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Simple, workout friendly makeup can include brows, mascara, and a pop of lip tint[/caption]   The Most Important Take-Away... Wearing makeup to the gym, working out in foundation, choosing the right mascara...none of it matters without a strong cleansing and skin care routine. Always make sure you gently remove 100% of any makeup worn throughout the day, whether you go to the gym or not! At the end of any day, cleansing and proper skin care are what really have the final say. So is it bad to sweat in makeup? Should you remove makeup before exercising? Can you workout with foundation on? There is no definitive answer! Do what works for YOU. Everyone has different schedules, different levels of fitness, different motivations. As long as you FEEL good, that's what counts! So get out there and feel good! - Rose from Lava Art

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