All posts by aaliyahserr1

What’s Your Skin Type?

Aaliyah Serrano

Spending hundreds of dollars on trendy products and still not getting the results from your skin care regimen is exhausting and frustrating. No matter how many serums and creams you douse yourself in, there are still breakouts, there’s texture, and no glow; we’ve all been there.  

The answer to this is quite simple and easy to determine. In order to create a skin regimen that works for you, it’s important to understand your skin type.

The four skin types are determined largely by your genetic skin features but it’s important to note that the condition of the skin can vary depending on any number of internal and external factors, but that’s for another day. Characteristics of your skin type are based on how much oil is produced in the follicles from the sebaceous (oil) glands, follicle (pore) size and water content.

Determine Your Skin Type

Start by cleansing the skin with a gentle cleanser for at least one minute; pat your skin dry with a clean towel and do not apply any other products to the skin. Allow for one hour to pass and really pay attention to how your skin naturally looks and feels. Touching your skin with clean hands is encouraged, this will give an idea of texture and oiliness.

Here how to interpret your results:

  • Oily: Shiny appearance and feels greasy
  • Dry: Dull and lackluster in appearance, feels tight and rough. 
  • Combination Skin: Oily in the t-zone, dry or normal on the sides of the face or vice versa.
  • Normal Skin: soft and hydrated, no oiliness or dryness. 

Four Skin Types

Normal Skin

Normal is considered to be well balanced, meaning sebum (oil) production and hydration (water) levels are within a normal range and skin metabolism is functioning in a healthy manner. The skin’s follicle size is small, the texture is smooth, supple, and the complexion is bright and clear.  Normal skin may not be susceptible to the same conditions other skin types experience, although normal skin has the potential to be drier, as skin metabolism slows down with age.  

The goal in treating normal skin types is to maintain the integrity of the skin and focus on preventative treatments.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is caused by overactive sebaceous (oil) glands; the skin can feel thicker in texture and firm. The skin’s follicles are visible and enlarged in size similar to that of an orange peel. Due to the overproduction of oil, follicles can become clogged causing blemishes. Over exfoliation and excessive drying of the skin can lead to increased oil production. 
The goal in treating oily skin is to reduce the overactivity of the oil glands, keep pores unclogged and promote healthy oil-water balance. 

Dry Skin

Dry skin is the result of an underactive sebaceous gland. The skin’s follicle size is fine and non visible; looks flat similar to a wall and appears tight, dull and lackluster in appearance. Since there is a lack of oil and lipid production in the skin, there is no lubricant to keep the moisture locked in the skin resulting in transepidermal water loss. With water content lacking in the skin, fine lines and wrinkles become more visible. 

The goal in treating dry skin is to nourish and hydrate the skin, preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL) as well as exfoliate dry skin cells that have accumulated due to inability to properly shed. 

Combination Skin

Combination skin is the blend of both an oily and dry skin type. The follicle size tends to be larger in the t-zone; there is increased oil production and there may be a buildup of dead skin cells and clogged pores in the center of the face. Sides of the face may be dry or flaky and follicle size is finer. 

The goal in treating combination skin is to regulate the overproduction of oil in the t-zone and keep pores clear, preventing acne. While simultaneously keeping dry areas moisturized and increasing hydration levels. 

Skin’s Barrier Function & Skin

Skin type plays a role in how well your natural skin barrier is functioning. 

When skin is functioning optimally, we have what’s called an acid mantle that serves as a barrier layer of protection to keep the skin from drying out or allowing external factors that can damage it in; it consists of sebum, lipids, water and sweat. Oil-water levels are balanced and the skin maintains a pH of 4.5-5.5. For some (normal skin types) this occurs naturally, while for others (oily, dry, combination) it does not. 

When the natural barrier is not functioning properly, your skin may not be producing enough lipids/oils and not retaining water in the skin which causes the dry skin type. Alternatively, producing too many lipids and oil causes the oily skin type. In order to pinpoint what the skin needs, you have to understand what it already does and plug in what’s missing in your skin puzzle. The goal is to achieve oil-water balance and support the natural barrier function of the skin. 

Now that you have an idea of what skin types are, stay tuned for when we discuss the conditions that often accompany these skin types and which ingredients and professional treatments work best! 

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4 Common Skincare Mistakes and Why it’s Effecting Your Routine

By Aaliyah Serrano

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Ever wonder why your skincare routine isn’t giving the results that you were hoping for? Or why some products work wonders for your friends but cause you to break out? And no matter how many serums you may apply, your skin still seems dull & dry?

Chances are you might be making some skin care mistakes without even realizing it. Let’s dive into the four most common reasons why your skincare routine isn’t working. 

  1. Not using products intended for your skin type or condition

Skin is categorized by four genetic skin types: Oily, Dry, Normal, & Combination. This is determined by natural oil production. There are also skin conditions that you may be dealing with such as: hyperpigmentation, dehydration, and acne. With that in mind, there is no one size fits all product and what works for one skin type/condition may not necessarily work for another.  An effective skin care routine requires customization based on your individual skin needs. 

  1. Over exfoliating the skin

While exfoliants are a great way to remove dead skin cells, treat hyperpigmentation and diminish fine lines and wrinkles; too much of a good thing could actually be harmful, especially when using exfoliants that are too harsh for the skin. The skin creates a natural protective film that is made up of oil & sweat called the acid mantle; and like the name implies, our skin is slightly acidic and has a pH balance of 4.5-5.5. A healthy acid mantle is the balance of oil and water on the skin’s surface. When you over exfoliate, you are stripping the skin of its acid mantle which leaves you susceptible to dehydration, free radical damage, irritation and redness. 

  1. Not using sun protection sustitible 

You can buy all of the expensive products, gadgets and professional treatments but all of it is a waste of money if you are not protecting your skin investment with a SPF on a daily basis. Let’s face it, the ozone layer is not what it used to be and if you are not reapplying your SPF every two hours on a daily basis to effectively protect against UVA (aging) & UVB (burning) ray exposure you are leaving yourself susceptible to premature aging, sun cancer and further skin damage. 

  1. Not being patient with your routine

Patience & consistency is key when making the decision to take your skincare seriously. There is no quick fix, fast acting product or advanced treatment that will magically erase years of damage caused to the skin. How long do you continue to use that new moisturizer or serum before deciding it doesn’t work and moving on to the next thing? Not giving products the appropriate amount of time to work and create the changes you wish to see in the skin will ultimately be your downfall. Not doing your routine everyday twice a day hinders the progress of your skin. Staying committed and trusting the process is how you’ll see results. 

Most importantly, always seek the advice of a licensed professional when it deals with your skin health and concerns. In the age of social media, it’s difficult to discern good advice from bad advice, finding someone that you trust with your skin is very important.

Just a reminder: Skincare is a journey, it takes time and patience so be kind to yourself. 

Aaliyah is a licensed esthetician operating in Atlanta, Georgia.
For tips and skin skincare consultations, please contact her at