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Skin Type: How it Determines Which Products Are Right for You (One Size Doesn't Fit All)

This week's blog post is from Renee Rouleau, trusted and sought after skincare expert who has dedicated more than 30 years to the art of skin! Renee recognizes that good skin is rarely achieved with a "one size fits all" approach. She has created a real-world solution - identifying 9 skin types - so your skin gets the best care possible.

There are many opinions among professionals on "skin typing." Some experts believe it doesn't matter at all, but most agree that the old categories: oily, dry, combination, normal - don't fit the nuances of real skin biology. The following approach to skin typing covers more skin behaviors and skin concerns - so read on and see if you agree! (Need more help? Book an book an appointment with one of our student estheticians who will diagnose, treat, and recommend for you!)

There are two groups of people who are interested in skincare. The first group is made up of skincare professionals—dermatologists and estheticians who study and research skin. They’re familiar with all of its functions and behaviors, and they know how to categorize it with a skin typing system. The second group is made up of skincare enthusiasts and consumers. While this group is also aware of skin types, they generally don’t have the technical training or experience to accurately identify them.

To make matters more complicated for the second group, the traditional skin types—normal, dry, and oily—simply aren’t accurate on their own anymore. They just don’t provide enough information or guidance to tell people how best to care for their skin. That’s why, early on in my career, I developed my signature 9 Skin Types. These are super-specific skin types that cover a combination of behaviors and concerns, so you can give your skin exactly what it needs to look and feel its very best.

What’s Wrong With the Standard Normal, Oily, and Dry Skin Types?

When I went to school to become an esthetician, we learned the standard skin types—dry, oily, and normal. When I became a practicing esthetician, and I was in the treatment room working hands-on with clients’ skin, I realized that skin is more complicated than that. I noticed there were a lot of other skin concerns that were far greater for people than just finding out “how dry is my skin?”

While the traditional skin types can offer some guidance, they don’t offer enough of it. Knowing whether you have normal, dry, or oily skin can help you understand how much oil your skin produces, but it doesn’t tell you much more than that. There are so many different factors and concerns to consider.

Take acne, for instance. Even that falls into different buckets. There’s teen acne and adult acne. There are frequent breakouts and occasional breakouts. There are different types of breakouts. Some people break out only in one area. Others experience widespread breakouts. Some people may experience acne in conjunction with other conditions like rosacea, so they can’t use traditional acne products that will dry them out and irritate their skin. What about someone who is concerned with both acne AND aging? You don’t want to bombard the skin with drying ingredients that could exacerbate fine lines and aging concerns. And where do concerns like discoloration from the sun or from post-breakout marks fit in? I started Renée Rouleau Skin Care in 1996. As I was working with my clients’ skin, I kept track of all the different combinations I was seeing. Eventually, I determined that there were 9 Skin Types, all with very specific signs and symptoms and that it was impossible to fit everyone into the traditional, generic skin types.

What Are The 9 RR Skin Types?

The 9 Skin Types are specific. They cover a variety of skin conditions and concerns.

Skin Type 1:

This skin type is characterized by oiliness, clogged pores, and severe breakouts all over. It requires a careful combination of acid exfoliators as well as pore-clearing botanicals like tea tree and witch hazel to reduce breakouts.

Skin Type 2

If you have oily and/or combination skin with occasional breakouts, and you’re concerned about aging, you might be a Skin Type 2. This skin type requires a careful blend of non-drying exfoliants with hydrating antioxidants and skin-brightening botanicals.

Skin Type 3

Skin Type 3 is characterized by oily and/or combination skin that experiences consistent breakouts with sensitivity. It requires a careful blend of BHAs to deliver maximum blemish-clearing benefits without leaving the skin feeling tight, dry, or irritated.

Skin Type 4

Redness, sensitivity, and occasional breakouts characterize this skin type. It requires a careful blend of pore-cleaning ingredients, along with soothing ingredients to calm irritation.

Skin Type 5

If you experience more consistent redness (or rosacea), you might be a Skin Type 5. This type experiences redness, sensitivity, and dehydration and shows signs of aging. It requires gentle, soothing ingredients to look and feel its best.

Skin Type 6

Skin Type 6 is characterized by normal, dehydrated skin that shows signs of aging. It requires high concentrations of AHAs to boost cellular turnover and potent antioxidants to brighten the complexion and prevent environmental damage.

Skin Type 7

This skin type is characterized by a dry, tired look, and is often accompanied by signs of sun damage. It requires firming and energizing ingredients.

Skin Type 8

Those who belong to Skin Type 8 often experience a dry, tight feeling in their skin with loss of tone and signs of sun damage. It requires high concentrations of AHAs to boost cellular turnover, peptides to encourage a firm look, and lipid-rich oils to provide much-needed moisture.

Skin Type 9

Finally, there’s Skin Type 9, which is characterized by dryness, redness, sensitivity, and visible lines and wrinkles. It requires a high concentration of lipid-rich oils and comforting botanicals to soothe and strengthen the skin from the inside out.

How Do I Know Which Products to Use Based on My Skin Type?

When it comes down to it, people want to see positive change in their skin! The fastest way to accomplish this is to use products that give your skin exactly what it needs. This is important because when you use a curated routine, you can target multiple skin concerns at once. It’s not like each product targets every skin concern at once—instead, it’s the totality of the routine that does it. Your cleanser might target one concern, while the toner targets another… The effects of all the products come together to give synergistic results.

More questions? Ask a professional! See one of our student estheticians and get a thorough skin diagnosis, receive a facial or specialty treatment and get product recommendations for your specific needs.

Don’t forget our Lactic and Fruit Acid peels are 20% off – but only till November 30th!


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