Reject the Skin Type Box, Learn How to Analyze Your Skin Like an Esthetician
Do you ever feel like you might be more than one skin type? The beauty industry keeps us locked into skin types and categories that don't account for our own unique state of well-being. Traditionally, this industry developed skincare around changing the way your skin functions, instead of looking at how to aid your skin in its overall health. What's more, the beauty industry uses skin types as problems to be solved (and guess who's got solutions for sale?).
If your skin's "oily," get rid of all face oils and avoid them like the plague. If your skin's breaking out, bring out the big guns like benzoyl peroxide or Accutane for a full-on assault! And so on. With Botnia skincare, we're not trying to change your physiology. The beauty of our customizable skincare and custom-blended facials is that they can precisely adapt to meet the many nuances of your skin's needs and natural functions on any given day. We don't have a go-to, one-size-fits-all lineup for any skin type, because your skin has a personality of its own and is bound for behavior more unique than that.
Feeling a little dehydrated today? Add into your routine the Hydrating Serum and a Hydrosol to combat dry skin.
Accidentally got a sunburn or chapped skin from being outside too long? Soothe redness and irritation with our Soothing Repair Mask any time of the year.
For the dreaded pimple that comes up on a big day… use our Fix-zit Mask mixed with Clarity Oil as a quick spot treatment that’ll heal that pimple holistically.
Because we use natural ingredients that work with your skin and don’t change the skin, we can target many different types of skin conditions at once depending on the botanicals you’re using.
Why there’s no such thing as sensitive skin
We can't tell you how many clients have laid down on our treatment table and said, "I have sensitive skin." Honestly, we understand how they would think that. Maybe it came from a reaction to a product they used once that broke them out in hives. Maybe they went to an esthetician or dermatologist that stripped away their barrier function. Maybe their skin turns red when they eat spicy food or go for a run. Or maybe they blush when they're feeling uncomfortable.
All of this isn’t sensitive skin. It's the organ of that person's body expressing itself, giving us clues about what it likes and at times dislikes. Just like food allergies, not every ingredient agrees with your skin. But the word "sensitive" in cosmetics is a marketing ploy to get people to think they can only use products made with "nonreactive" ingredients. In conventional skincare, that's sulfates, petroleum products, and alcohols. If you ask us, it's a crazy way to treat anyone expressing "sensitive skin." If you believe you have sensitive skin, it's important not to put yourself into a box because you could be missing clues to maintaining your skin's optimal health.
If you use retinol one or two nights a week and your skin is red and flaking for days, this isn't because your skin is sensitive, it's simply because your skin rejects retinol. Just because your skin might flush doesn't mean it's reactive; in fact, your circulatory system might be more reactive than others, but all that means is that you're going to push and move waste faster and more efficiently. In fact, the basic premise of Gua Sha is to bring blood and bruising to the tissues of the body to heal them--that's been done for thousands of years with great success, because it's your body's job to heal itself. Instead of putting ourselves into boxes, what if we loved our skin and its reactions? And looked at them as a part of how to care for ourselves. Noticing when we use a product, “Oh, it seems that my skin is feeling healthier, it's soft and supple.” This is the sign of your skin being in balance, homeostasis.
How to analyze your skin
Can’t get to an esthetician? No problem. We share how to analyze your skin to learn the traits you might notice anytime you notice a change. (REPOST REEL) You can easily shop by “skin type” on our website under the “Shop Botnia” tab which helps recommend our favorite products to meet your different skin needs.
When you look at your skin, what do you see and feel? What do you notice? Our deep philosophy as holistic estheticians is built around these two simple observations.
Wash your hands and face then run your fingers around the perimeter of your face . . . what do you feel?
Using light-to-no pressure on the skin all over the face, feeling for patches of dryness, roughness, extra sebum, changes in texture, bumps… What do you notice?
Press against the skin lightly to see how quickly the skin bounces back. Does it bounce back like gelatin or can you see the indentation in your skin after you press it?
If you have other sensations like itchiness, heat, or any sensitivities, take note as well.
Look in the mirror and see if you notice any differences in color, redness, dark circles under the eyes, pale skin, etc. Are you flushed?
If you see acne, narrow down the type of acne it is and do your best to leave it alone or leave it for your esthetician to handle! Here are the types of pimples you might see, the first three being the most common:
- Pores that become blocked and inflamed produce a raised red spot with a white center: these are pimples.
- Pores that are clogged, then close and bulge are whiteheads.
- When the pore clogs but stays open, the top turns a blackish color due to exposure to the air and forms a blackhead.
- If bacteria grows inside a blocked pore, and is red and inflamed this is a pustule.
- Painful cysts can occur when the pore is blocked and inflammation deep in the pores produce a large (usually painful) lump beneath the surface.
Normal skin should feel hydrated, bouncing back after you press it, with no rough/dry patches or any texture changes. It will look mostly even in color without any redness or irritations. Skin looks bright and clear. Wrinkles, pores and acne are also all normal states of being in our skin, but noticing a sudden change in your skin with any of these traits can be signs that the skin is working through changes in your body systems as well.
Dry skin will feel dry to the touch and feel stripped of its natural moisture. Dry skin will lack oil, where dehydrated skin lacks water. If you notice that your skin doesn’t get oily throughout the day or produce any oil, feeling rough texture or seeing flaky skin might mean your skin is dry. Imagine what your skin feels like when getting out of a chlorinated pool, that tight feeling is dryness from the skin being stripped of its natural oils. Adding in an oil and using the Daily Face Cream to condition and keep the barrier protected from elements will help protect the skin from dryness.
Dehydrated skin, on the other side of the coin, is skin that lacks water. Dehydrated skin traits include dull skin that lacks glow, poor elasticity, and dry mucous membranes (like the insides of your nose). Skin that doesn’t bounce back after pressing into the skin may also be a sign of dehydration. You may also notice fine lines, sunken eyes, and cracked and dry lips or mouth. Oily skin can still be dehydrated. For skin in this state, adding water content back into the skin will help bring back the hydration and moisture the skin needs with our Hydrating Serum and a Hydrosol and using a rich cream like our Restorative Face Cream to seal it all in.
Oily skin is skin that has sebum present and sometimes an excess of sebum production, especially in the T-zone. If you need to blot your skin throughout the day, it may be a sign that your skin is overproducing sebum. Pores also tend to be larger on those who have oily traits.
Over-exfoliating the skin can lead to both dry and oily skin. This can happen when the barrier is removed when cleansing, causing the skin to think it needs to produce more oil leading to a perpetuating cycle of feeling dry and oily at the same time. To combat this, we recommend oil cleansing for those who tend to have oily skin. Contrary to popular belief, cleansing with oils can actually reduce sebum production in oily and congested skin, as it keeps your natural barrier intact.
A note on wise skin types - aging is a normal and natural process of the human body and we see the beauty and the uniqueness of skin as the body ages. Overtime, you may notice fine lines, wrinkles or dark spots appearing in the skin. While we can’t stop aging, you can slow down the process by keeping the skin hydrated and protected from the sun.
If you're noticing progression in your skin that’s quick and big over a short period of time and something feels out of balance, they may be signs that something is happening system wide to your body. Looking at other factors in your lifestyle (the amount of sleep you’re getting, if you’re feeling stressed, changes in your diet, etc.) can be helpful in determining if these changes are normal or need professional advice.
If you see advanced skin conditions like plaque, broken skin, eczema, or psoriasis, it’s a good idea to check in with your esthetician or see a dermatologist to get a diagnosis. Avoid using Google and WebMD, as misdiagnosing a skin condition can further irritate it without professional advice.
Think of the skin as a window into your body. The state of your skin will change over time and throughout the seasons. It’s working hard to protect you from environmental elements as well as keeping out bacteria, viruses and anything that can harm us and it’s the first line of defense in keeping us healthy.We want to empower you to know about your skin, learn how it functions, and what to do when you see changes happening. Our master estheticians are always here to help whenever you have questions through DM or email email@example.com. You can also find a Botnia Spa Partner near you if you’re interested in working with a holistic esthetician on your skin goals!
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