My girl Laura wrote in to the blog (email me! firstname.lastname@example.org) saying she wasn’t sure what skin advice on here actually applied to her because she wasn’t sure what TYPE OF SKIN she actually has, and to that I say: girl, you are lucky. She wondered if her pores were large! THEY AREN’T, I’VE SEEN THEM, but also: if you have large pores, you’re most likely already aware of them because they look different than the usual pores you see. Pore shame: it’s a real thing, guys.
If your skin type is cOmBiNaTiOn, like mine is, there is never a question in your mind as to what advice applies; EVERYTHING applies because your face is like a crazy war zone. I’ve got oily spots, clogged pores, dry patches, all that shit. If you are lucky enough to wonder whether or not you have bad skin, you are either the only person living on your little tropical island of 1 or you are in possession of some ok-grade skin. (If you are on that island, though, wear sunblock.)
Here’s a test I learned from some teen magazine: hold a square (single ply, not some puffed-up fancy Charmin type bullshit) of toilet paper to the various zones of your face (nose, forehead, chin, cheeks…) Examine how much oil is transferred from your skin to the TP from each zone. If you’ve got grease transfers everywhere, heads up: your skin is oily. If some patches (most likely your T zone) transfer a little oil but others are bone dry, welcome to my world! You’ve got combination skin. If you’re staring at the TP going “WHAT IS IT I AM EVEN LOOKING FOR IT JUST LOOKS LIKE THE SAME OLD TOILET PAPER” then chances are your skin is not oily, it might be a little dry or it might be perfectly Ph balanced (in which case: fuck you.)
If your skin flakes, peels, gets itchy, red, or seems anything less than dewy, then you want to add a little moisture into your product rotation. Moist skin is healthy skin, and it ages well. Dry skin has a tendency to crack and fissure, which reduces elasticity over time. Our goal is elastic, moisturized, plump, healthy skin….skin that looks like it was born yesterday. (A special note: there are some skin conditions that manifest like reeeeeally dry skin, usually around the mouth or nostrils, that are actually due to a fungal or viral problem, not a lack of moisture. When in doubt, see your dermatologist– because if you’ve got a yeast imbalance and it’s making your skin crack and bleed, there’s no fancy face cream from Sephora that’s going to fix you up. You need to see a Dr. and get on a real healing regimen. PREACH.)
If you’re battling an overproduction of sebum (clogged pores, oily patches, acne) then you’re going to want to target reducing that sebum (retinoids, jojoba oil) and if your skin is always perfect and strangers stop you on the street to ask what your secret is then WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS BLOG FOR, GO BE A MODEL.
Answering your questions,