Why is it that some people have beautiful, radiant skin while others battle constant blemishes and breakouts? There are many factors that influence skin type. One of the biggest factors is heredity -- your biological predisposition to a particular skin type [source: WebMD: Breakouts]. And while you might not be able to alter your genes, the good news is there are many factors that you can control to manage your skin type. Hormone imbalances, for example, can affect skin quality by causing an increase in oil production, which often clogs pores and leads to acne breakouts. Many women combat this issue by taking birth control pills to reign in the hormones' activity [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
Environmental conditions, like the weather and exposure to UV radiation, can also influence skin type. During the winter, for example, both the cold wind outside and hot air from indoor heaters can push your skin into the dry category. In the summer, the sun also dries and burns the skin, causing fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging [source: The National Skincare Institute, AAD]. Long-term exposure to UV radiation can also cause more serious problems, like skin cancer. Always wear a moisturizer with SPF protection on your face and neck, even in cold weather.
A diet rich in antioxidants can act as a barrier against free radicals caused by environmental pollutants, and a good moisturizer usually helps keep your skin from getting dried out in any season. It's also important to wash your face daily to get rid of excess oil, dirt and dust particles on your skin [source: Bouchez].
Everyone wants great, healthy-looking skin, but few are born with it. By knowing your skin type and the factors that influence it, you can have beautiful, radiant skin. And you don't have to stumble upon the fountain of youth to get it.
Read on to find more tips for taking care of your skin.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Causes of Aging Skin." AgingSkinNet. (Accessed 8/31/09)http://www.skincarephysicians.com/agingskinnet/basicfacts.html
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Hormonal Therapies Offer Effective Solutions for Many Adult Women With Acne." (Accessed 08/18/2009)http://www.aad.org/media/background/news/Releases/Hormonal_Therapies_Offer_Effective_Solutions_for_M/
- Barel, Andre O., Marc Paye, Howard I. Maibach. "Handbook of Cosmetic Science and Technology, Third Edition. Google Books. (Accessed 8/18/2009). http://books.google.com/books?id=YvYqa1fptDcC&pg=PA29&dq=skin+type+dry+oily+combination#v=onepage&q=skin%20type%20dry%20oily%20combination&f=false
- Beener, Boydie. "I Know My Skin Type - StyleLIES." Stylist - AOL Living. March 16, 2009. (Accessed 08/18/2009).http://www.stylelist.com/blog/2009/03/16/i-know-my-skin-type-stylelies/
- Bouchez, Colette. "Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out." Medicine Net. (Accessed 8/18/2009). http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50505
- Ladock, Jason. "Understanding Why Your Skin Ages and What You Can Do About It." Heath Guidance. (Accessed 08/18/2009).http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/9751/1/Understanding-Why-Your-Skin-Ages-and-What-You-Can-Do-About-It.html
- Lees, Mark, and Joel Gerson. "Skin Care: How to Save Your Skin." Google Books. (Accessed 8/18/2009). http://books.google.com/books?id=TdC3KeFcoQIC&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=identify+your+skin+type&source=bl&ots=mZtb2fhXG2&sig=E459kXy4dL2nxNu8OOTJXvbnris&hl=en&ei=j5COStKyEYeyNoulyK8K&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10#v=onepage&q=identify%20your%20skin%20type&f=false
- Mayo Clinic. "Dry Skin." Dec. 16, 2008. (Accessed 8/31/09)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/moisturizers/SN00042/NSECTIONGROUP=2
- Shapouri, Beth. "What's Your Skin Type? Do You Even Know?" Glamour Magazine. August 20, 2009. (Accessed 8/20/2009).http://www.glamour.com/beauty/blogs/girls-in-the-beauty-department/2009/08/whats-your-skin-type-do-you-ev.html
- The National Skin Care Institute. "Skin Types." (Accessed 8/12/09).http://www.skincarenet.org/skin-types.html
- WebMD. "Skin Care Tips for Teens." Feb. 8, 2009. (Accessed 8/31/09)http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/teen-skin-care-tips?page=3
- WebMD. "How to Banish Your Breakouts." (Accessed 8/31/09)http://www.webmd.com/video/banish-breakouts