Ask the Expert: Can My Skin Type Change Over Time?
So, you’ve finally pin-pointed your exact skin type and are using all the necessary products that help you achieve a beautiful, healthy-looking complexion. Just when you thought you were catering to your skin’s specific needs, you start to notice your skin changing in texture, tone, and firmness. Perhaps your shiny complexion is suddenly becoming drier, duller even. What gives? Could your skin type be changing? Is that even possible? We turned to board-certified dermatologist and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, for the answer, ahead.
According to Dr. Bhanusali, your skin type doesn’t intrinsically change over time. That said, you may notice differences in your skin as the seasons change. For instance, your oily skin may suddenly feel dry in the cooler fall and winter months. This doesn’t mean your skin type has switched to dry, but rather that your oily skin is in need of more moisture. Another factor that can change our skin’s appearance? Natural aging and the passing of time.
“Generally, as we get older, there is more collagen breakdown and decreased oil production,” Dr. Bhanusali says. “This can lead to hallowing of areas like the temples. What’s more, a downward shift in your fat pads can make your face appear ‘bottom heavy.’ There is decreased elasticity and thus, the skin can appear thinner.”
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR SKIN OVER TIME?
With the passing of each year, our skin becomes less elastic and plump, leading to a loss of firmness. It is natural for our face to lose the same youthful fullness we were once sporting at the age of 22. Your genes have a lot of control when it comes to intrinsic aging, and unfortunately not much can be done to change it. What we can control, however, is the way in which external factors and lifestyle habits affect our skin. Extrinsic aging is caused by our environment and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, neglecting to follow a proper skin care routine, and skipping applications of broad-spectrum SPF to protect against harmful UV rays. By taking the right steps now, we can help slow the visible effects that this type of aging has on our skin’s appearance.
INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR
In addition to taking adequate sun protection measures—think: seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and applying (and reapplying) broad spectrum sunscreen daily—drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking and making better lifestyle choices, you should ensure your morning and evening skin care routines are incorporating products formulated with anti-aging ingredients. Here are two of our favorites to look out for:
Antioxidants: The AAD mentions that antioxidants—like vitamin C—can help protect your skin against free radicals caused by environmental aggressors, including pollution, UV rays, and even cigarette smoke. Antioxidants especially work great in tandem with your broad-spectrum sunscreen. Here’s how they tag-team: Sunscreen helps block the damaging effects from the sun (visible signs of aging being one of them), while antioxidants sift any free radicals that sneak through the sunscreen. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Sunscreen SPF 60 is one of our favorites, since the water-resistant formula contains advanced UVA/UVB technology and antioxidant protection.
Retinol: There’s a reason people have sung the praises of retinol for years. The multi-tasking ingredient is known to help address a wide range of skin concerns, including diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, shrinking the look of enlarged pores, and firming and smoothing skin. While there’s no denying that this powerhouse ingredient is effective, it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, as well as lead to excess dryness and irritation when used too frequently. If it’s your first time trying retinol, start with a low concentration—like SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5—and slowly work your way up. When using Retinol 0.5, SkinCeuticals suggests limiting initial use to once or twice a week, gradually increasing frequency to every other night, and then every night as tolerated. Also, be sure to only apply it onto your skin in the evening, following it up with Broad-Spectrum SPF during the morning hours.