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you’re just not my type

Posted in under my skin with jane wurwand

21Abraham Maszlow’s famous hierarchy of needs tells us that we all need to belong, to be a part of something—family, team, tribe, nation. True enough—but leave your skin out of it.

To cut right to the chase, there are no real skin “types”. This idea is an oversimplification which makes the work of manufacturers so much easier. But it does not help you, the end user, get your best skin to happen.

The huge general categories of “Dry”, “Oily” and my favorite, “Combination,” only begin to tell a fraction of the whole skin story. Somewhere, there may be an individual whose skin is consistently one and one thing only. This is the exception, however. Skin, like every other aspect of our health and indeed our being, is a moving target. Oh, sure, that may LOOK like your face in the mirror there this morning, the same face that you cleansed, exfoliated, moisturized and admired just last night. But the truth is—different day, different skin.

Manufacturers and retailers rely upon your consistently finding your favorite drug store chain, going to your favorite shelf, and snapping up your favorite product, whether in Dubai, Dublin or Des Moines. This is the great profit incentive of the world monoculture. But the trouble is, your skin is always changing, and this buying pattern based upon skin-types does not allow you to find products which accommodate these changes.

Just face it, you’re inconsistent. We all are when it comes to skin, and this is not a bad thing. Our skin continually adapts to a thousand subtle signals and messages from the inside (hormones, diet, brain chemistry) and the outside (weather, environmental pollutants, altitude). And so it changes to protect and serve us, as it has for millennia.

The smarter way to see skin as is a constantly evolving condition. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy more products. You simply need to consult with a professional about which products will best suit your needs, and help you continuously chart the movements of that fantastic, living beast we’re in: our skin.


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