For the past 35 years, I've known one thing to be true: my skin type is oily/combination.
I'm talking seriously oily. My face melting off by 3pm every day kind of oily.
But since turning 35 and being in lockdown, change is in the air. My skin is no longer an oil slick (huh?).
So confused are my skin and I, we've had to change our whole routine. I've swapped my micellar water for an oil cleanser (what?!), traded my gel cleanser for a cream cleanser (um, are you OK?), and for the first time in my life, my skin feels somewhat... normal?
I'm not complaining, but it got me thinking: am I experiencing some kind of beauty-placebo effect, or can your skin type change?
So, I called Melbourne-based Dermatologist Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan to see if she could explain why my skin type has changed. Here's what she said.
Skin Types 101.
First, a quick refresher on skin types.
Experts agree skin types can be broken down into four categories: normal, oily, combination and dry.
Dr Gunatheesan advised me our skin type is predetermined by our DNA. In other words, you're born with your skin type. You enter this world as either an oily, dry, normal or combination human being.
(I keep imagining my newborn baby oily skin glistening as if my mother had slathered me in coconut oil... not unusual for a Sri Lankan mother to do!)
What Is My Skin Type?
The easiest way to find out your skin type is to think about how your skin looks/feels the majority of the time.
Is your skin mostly oily? Do you wake up with a sheen on your face or find your T-zone becomes oily by lunchtime? You've probably got oily skin. Got skin that feels dry and tight, or looks a bit dry and flaky most of the time? Then you might have dry skin.
A side note - dehydrated skin and sensitive skin aren't skin types, they're skin conditions. So it's important to know you can have oily skin that's dehydrated or sensitive as a result of factors like the environment, weather, the products you're using, hormones, medications... the list goes on.
FYI, we unpack the best The Ordinary products for your skin type in our Skincare Nerds YouTube video below!