The Skincare Conundrum
The Skincare Conundrum
We’ve been thinking about our skin all wrong. If you really want to change the way it looks and feels, it’s time to think outside of those old skin-type boxes.
Elizabeth Siegel

You’ve been told that your skin is either oily, dry, sensitive, combination or, most curious of all, normal. “It frustrates me,” says associate clinical professor Mona Gohara. “People get thrown into these buckets, and it doesn’t make sense.” We’ve taken for granted that these classifications define us and our epidermis, but almost nobody fits neatly into one. “People like categories, but in reality, everyone has combination skin – no one is just dry or oily, and you have wrinkles on some parts of your face and not others,” says dermatologist Amy Wechsler. On top of all that, the old categories don’t account for all of the ways we’re learning how the skin works. “Our skin’s biology is more nuanced than we ever thought,” says Mona. And as we understand it better, a new approach to skincare is taking shape. More brands are creating customized formulas for your dry cheeks and brown spots – and yours alone. And that’s just the beginning of a more personalized approach. “We’re learning that everyone’s skin has a unique fingerprint – the bacteria living on your skin and even epigenetics affect how your skin looks,” says dermatologist Whitney Bowe. The technology for figuring out your skin’s DNA is beginning to explode. It’s all going to change the way we approach skincare.

Soon there will be a litmus test for skin

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March 2020