Just when you have finally been able to identify your skin type, as well as the necessary skincare products to meet the specific needs of your skin, you begin to notice visible changes in texture, complexion, and sensitivity that were not observed before. But once we know our skin type, is it set for life or can it deviate from its current path over time?
Is it possible to change your skin type?
Can we expect a change in our skin type over time?
Strictly speaking, your skin type is unique and cannot be intrinsically changed. Permanent, it has been assigned to you by genetics. However, even if your skin type cannot physically change, it can undergo major or minor changes, whether you want it to or not. The skin is an organ that constantly reacts and adapts, while trying to maintain a certain balance. However, there are several factors that can influence your skin type and contribute to its evolution.
Seasonal Changes: Although most skin types will remain the same across seasons, it is possible that certain parameters may intensify depending on the weather conditions and the methods used to combat these climatic variations (heating, air conditioning, hot showers, etc.). Temporary but uncontrollable, the skin must adapt to its new environment. For instance, winters can make dry skin even drier, flaky, dull, and more irritated than usual, pimples more inflamed, and exacerbate certain skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, etc.), whereas summers with high temperatures can make oily skin even oilier than normal, increase breakouts and skin flare-ups due to excessive sweating, and cause pigmentation spots with sun exposure.
Environment/Lifestyle: air pollution, stress, cigarette smoke, frequent and excessive alcohol consumption, sun, acute or chronic insomnia... are all recognised factors that affect the state of the skin and give it certain visible attributes. For instance, stress has been blamed for making the skin dull, oily, and more sensitive. Excessivealcohol consumption can also have various effects on the appearance of the skin. Alcohol is known to cause dehydration, leading to redness, a decrease in elasticity, a greyish complexion, and dry skin. Insufficient sleep can result in dull, dry skin, wrinkles, and dark circles under the eyes, in addition to exacerbating existing conditions such as acne or rosacea.
Dietary habits: what you consume on a daily basis can also cause your skin to react in various ways and deteriorate its appearance. Processed sugars, dairy products, saturated fats... certain foods can trigger acne outbreaks, promote skin inflammation or even accelerate skin ageing. Similarly, not drinking enough water can lead to dehydrated skin with sometimes the presence of dry skin patches, skin that is less elastic than usual, as well as the appearance of more visible fine lines on the skin or a dull complexion.
Hormones : puberty, pregnancy, menopause... throughout life, we may experience numerous hormonal upheavals, thereby disrupting sebum production. Cortisol, adrenal androgens, insulin, oestrogen... hormones can have a radical effect on the skin since they can impact the quantity or quality of the sebum produced. For instance, women who have their periods every month are subject to hormonal fluctuations that can lead to skin changes, although this period is brief. Similarly, puberty can make the skin oilier with the appearance of skin eruptions, while menopause is associated with dehydrated and wrinkled skin. During pregnancy, generalised hyperpigmentation (melasma) and blemishes can be observed.
Use of incorrect cosmetic products: the use of unsuitable products can have detrimental effects on the skin. Indeed, a poor skincare routine can disrupt the skin's pH balance, clog pores, and trigger an allergic reaction. If you have oily skin and you use products that dry out your skin, this will result in an excess of sebum to compensate for the loss, leading to enlarged pores. The same concept applies to someone with dry skin.
Ageing : as you age, your skin may change due to all the biological changes it undergoes, characterised by the accumulation of macromolecular damage within cells and a decrease in the regenerative capacity of stem cells. For instance, the pH gradually increases, which leads to an increased susceptibility to infections, reduced resistance to mechanical stress, and diminished wound healing. The skin also loses its natural hydration due to the sebaceous glands producing less sebum, risking the onset of dry, wrinkled, and sagging appearance.
Consequently, a reassessment and adjustments to your skincare routine from time to time may be considered if you notice that your skin is changing and is different than usual. Indeed, because what works for dry skin can sometimes exacerbate oily skin, and vice versa.