In the array of skin issues, one may have, Skin texture ranks among blemishes, hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and others. While irregularities on the skin are a normal part of being human, they can be a nuisance for some people and may be the cause of low self-esteem, especially for people who take pride in their appearance and health. Having an uneven skin texture doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong with your skin but if you’re someone who wishes to achieve a smoother skin texture or even if you just want to learn more about how skin functions, this guide can help you so keep on reading!
What is Skin Texture?
Skin texture, essentially, is the surface appearance, feel, and overall condition of your skin’s outermost layers. Good or ideal texture may refer to skin that is smooth, soft, supple and has enough hydration along with appropriately firm collagen and elastin support (This is what the beauty industry loves to refer to as the “Korean Glass Skin”).
What Does My Skin Texture Say About My Health?
The texture of your skin is often disturbed by external factors that directly interact with your skin. However, it can also be a key indicator of any underlying health issues you may have.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and is almost like a window to look into how one’s internal imbalances and hormones are working. It can often carry important clues about the health of other organs. Dermatologists suggest that changes in the texture of the skin may sometimes be early signs of more serious health problems.
- If you have the ideal and commercially prized standard of skin i.e. largely smooth and free of texture, with a bright glow, it usually suggests a healthy hormonal balance. This is not to say, that people with the “perfect” skin cannot have any health problems, disorders/diseases but a largely texture-less skin is reflective of a good immune system, low stomach inflammation, and little to no endocrinal disturbances.
- If the texture of your skin is often disturbed by random patches and frequent rashes, and these anomalies don’t necessarily respond to topical treatment, then it could point towards serious internal infections and more specifically allergic reactions. In such a case, it is important to identify the infection-causing factors as well as the reasons behind the allergy flare-ups and attempt to eliminate them by partnering with relevant professionals.
- If the textural disturbances you notice are usually in the form of cystic acne and are centered around your jawline, then it would be a good idea to set up an appointment with your endocrinologist as these types of acne-driven textures point towards hormonal imbalances that lean towards PCOS/PCOD. And they’re super painful (yikes! Who needs that?) Also, this type of texture is rather stubborn and tends not to respond to topical treatment.
- While dull and dry skin is a common phenomenon that every third person is a victim of and can be considered harmless for the most part, studies suggest that dry skin is often linked to hyperthyroidism.
- Bumpy skin, i.e. the most common type of texture on our skin is in the form of small colorless bumps which may be concentrated in certain areas or spread throughout the face and body.
It must be noted that bumpy skin is not the same as whiteheads. Whiteheads occur when oil and impurities get clogged in your pores and bumps grow from underneath the top-most layer of the skin. These are indicative of the imbalances in your overall health, meaning that you are consuming a diet that your body either does not need or ultimately cannot support. For this purpose, you need to make small albeit radical changes.
Skin Texture vs. Skin Irregularities
While the two terms skin texture and skin irregularities may seem similar and one may be tempted to use them interchangeably, they certainly are not the same.
Skin texture refers to the regular feel and appearance of our skin, meaning that a certain type of texture is normal and that is how your skin looks most of the time. On the other hand, skin irregularities refer to abnormal occurrences that one may experience with their skin, meaning whatever difference in texture has occurred is just as the name suggests, irregular. A person may have skin texture consisting of bumps and ice-pick scars but the occasional appearance of pimples and cysts may be skin irregularities for them.
How Do Skin Textures Differ in People?
When trying to understand your skin, its texture, and how to deal with it, it may be confusing, disheartening even, to see other people you observe, not having the same skin texture as you. You may wonder why your skin is the way it is and why theirs isn’t. Here are some reasons that may help you understand how skin textures can differ from person to person.
If your genes can determine what you look like, sound like, the way you talk and, everything in between, why can’t they determine the way you age and how your skin develops? Obvious differences in genetic predisposition are the primary reason you may notice that your skin texture is different from others. This may also be why you and your biological sibling are more likely to have similar skin textures as opposed to you and your friends or acquaintances.
Also one of the primary reasons why people have different skin textures. Activities and habits that you’ve inculcated in your daily routines can drastically influence the texture of your skin. This can be inclusive of the food you eat, the amount of polluted air your skin is exposed to, whether you smoke or not, etc.
Chronic Skin Conditions and Allergies
One reason why no two people can have the same skin texture is that the way their skin reacts to certain elements may differ drastically. It could also be that people with a skin texture different from yours may have skin issues caused by internal or external factors, which may not necessarily be visible to the naked eye.
Beauty Practices and Habits
Skin texture can also differ from person to person because of the kind of beauty practices they have. They may be using products specifically formulated for their skin type and concerns while you may have difficulty in figuring out what your skin needs.
What Causes Changes in Skin Texture?
The human skin is an actual living organ and is constantly regenerating. However, as we age, this regeneration can slow down to a great extent when the rate of collagen production in the skin decreases significantly. When this happens, there may be an excess build-up of dead skin cells on the outermost layers of our skin and not enough new cell production underneath it. This may cause the aging skin and bumpy.
The phrase “what goes in, comes out” may have weird and shitty (pun intended) connotations but it is also extremely relevant when it comes to the texture of your skin. The foods you eat cause your skin to appear a certain way. If you are to eat a clean, natural, healthy, and balanced diet, you are more likely to have clearer skin that glows better. At the same time, if you eat foods dense in fats (oil-soaked mango pickles all the way!), then you may need to prepare for the unfriendly visitors in the form of acne.
Exposure to Sun
I have a very intense love-hate relationship with the sun. I love how nice its light feels in the winters and how it can brighten up my mood but I hate what it does to my skin. Repeated exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays is scientifically proven to excessively damaging your skin. This may result in dryness, dark spots, and even, wrinkles.
Pollutants in the environment are no friends of your skin, if your skin is exposed constantly to these for long durations, it is bound to react in the form of changing its texture, specifically when the damage caused by the pollution clogs your pores and makes your skin breakout
Irregularities in Routine
We’ve already established that our skin functions efficiently to communicate what may or may not be wrong inside our body. When an anomaly in your routine occurs, your body raises red flags that are showcased by your skin because it doesn’t understand what the anomaly is or why it happened in the first place.
Stress is one of the biggest reasons behind changes in your skin texture. When you are stressed, your body releases the cortisol hormone which makes the oil production of your skin go into overdrive. This leads to acne breakouts, bumps, and sometimes maybe even rashes.
Cosmetic Procedures/Products that Can Improve Your Skin Texture
This method works when skin-save erosive chemicals are applied to a person’s face with relevant concentration to remove the primary dead layers of their skin.
Micro needling works by activating and attempting to duplicate the body’s natural reactions to an injury by puncturing the skin’s surface. The tiny pinpricks involved stimulate collagen and elastin production in our skin.
It is a technique used by dermatologists wherein dead and damaged skin cells are scraped off from the skin’s surface.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
It is designed to rejuvenate the skin. The technique usually uses an ablative, fractional laser tool to remove the damaged layers of our skin.
How to Improve Your Skin Texture for Flawless Skin?
You’ve already read about how damaging the sun can be for your skin. It is one of the biggest reasons behind the textural decline, early aging, dark spots, etc. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Using a good quality, all-rounder sort of sunscreen before stepping out during the day and reapplying it every two hours can seriously reduce and perhaps even eliminate the possibility of sun damage to your skin.
Your skin may not always be able to remove the dead skin cells on its own. To facilitate this process, you may give in a helping hand. This can be done by using an effective but mild exfoliant, be it derived from natural and plant-based ingredients or chemical-based substances (for example, Salicylic acid).
Retinol in the Day, Vitamin C in the Night
If you haven’t corporated these ingredients in your skincare and are still riddled with stubborn texture, it’s probably time to do so now. There’s a reason why both Retinol and Vitamin C are cult favorites in the beauty community. Vitamin C improves the look of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Retinol, on the other hand, helps in improving the skin’s elasticity and texture. Vitamin C may best be used in serum form in either dark bottles or small capsules to prevent it from losing its potency. Retinol at the same time performs best in creams and light oils.
Oils; Friends not Foe
We’re all guilty of believing adding more oil to already oily skin is a recipe for disaster. And while I’ve grown up believing this myth, I now know better. Adding the step of applying a suitable oil to your skin can do wonders for its appearance and texture. When oils are introduced to our skin, they greatly help in controlling its natural sebum production, which limits the amount of texture on the topmost layers.
General Practices that Contribute to a Better Skin Texture
Double Cleanse after Wearing Makeup
Taking your makeup off before you retire for the day and washing your face can help you avoid clogged pores and bacterial acne.
Cover Up when Possible
While sunscreen with a good concentration of SPF is a great way to avoid sun damage, the best choice to make as suggested by many doctors is to cover up whenever possible. So if you don’t have specific beach trips planned, maybe a facemask and a long-sleeved tee, will do you better than you think.
I know this seems a bit too obvious, but it is also that much more important. A good 6-8 hours of sleep is your body’s way of functioning well. Disturbances in this time of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation are likely to cause disruptions in your skin’s textural health.
Eat Better & Stay Hydrated
We have established this multiple times. Eating clean is the key to good skin. There’s no denying that. Switching to a protein-rich, unprocessed diet can greatly improve your skin texture and appearance.
Eliminate Stressors or Manage Them
Since we know, stress is bad not just for your general health but also for your skin and only gives you boo-boos, maybe eliminating the sources aka. the stressors of these stress bursts can prevent any stress-induced acne and a weird texture. Some ways to do this are meditation and therapy.
Exercises, cardio specifically, releases toxins from the body which gives way for the ‘happy’ hormones to be released into our bloodstream and cause us to feel better. These hormones have a direct correlation with how good your skin looks. (Post-workout glow is real and we’re here for it!)