Skin Stories

How This Skincare User Learned She Didn't Actually Have Oily Skin

Meet Ayten, whose move from Istanbul to NYC completely changed her skin.

Ayten H.

Atolla Member

Ayten H.



Skin Stories is a feature series written by Atolla users about their relationship with their skin.

If it feels like your skin has betrayed you lately, you’re not alone.

Hello winter! Hello red, flaky, dry, itchy, irritated skin! Even if you have healthy skin most of the year, you might find out that winter has a way of getting the best of us. The harsh and cold weather outdoors combined with the heat and dryness indoors, sucks any moisture that is left. No wonder almost all of us in the Northeast are affected by a winter skin crisis. And if you have sensitive skin like I do, the results of this can be extreme.

Growing up in Istanbul, winter skin was never been something I had to learn how to navigate. Winter never went below 34 degrees and moisture never left the Mediterrean. So it was easy to find a steadfast routine that I would never have dreamt of changing. I have always been skeptical of people's suggestions, thinking to myself "everything I've been doing has been working perfectly so far, no need to take a risk and change it."

Moving to New York and experiencing dry, cold winds in the morning changed my skin completely. I felt really confused. Now, how would I know which product would work for me? Does the Sephora reviewer have the same kind of skin as me? What type of skin do I even have- is it dry, oily, or both? I didn't know! With this new harsh winter climate in NYC, I had to figure it out all over again. And before Atolla, I don't think I really knew my skin.

What type of skin do I even have? I didn't know! Before Atolla, I don't think I really knew my skin.

Figuring out how to keep your face from breaking out in the winter can be quite confusing. Because dry skincare is so much more than the right moisturizer to use. Was my diet also affecting it? Have I been drinking enough water? How many more steps should I add to my routine? Should I eliminate some products? Was I exfoliating too much? (I do love exfoliating.) There were all these different solutions and advice on blogs, magazines, people that felt like trying to sell me a product. But was the product right for me?

I am currently going through the worst skin I’ve ever had. Of course every winter my skin gives me a new curve ball to throw me off my game however this time, no luck, nothing had been working. And frankly, I think everything I did to make it go away just made it worse. None of my usual go-to’s in times of crisis were working because it wasn’t the skin I knew. This left me frustrated and even more irritated than my skin is.

Taking the Atolla Skin Test was a revelation. My whole life, I always assumed (without really knowing) that I had oily skin because extra oil always seemed to accumulate on my face, especially on my forehead.

None of my usual go-to's were working because it wasn't the skin I knew. Taking the Atolla test was a revelation.

As it turns out, I have both dry and dehydrated skin. But what I was doing in my routine (overexfoliating and using too many of the wrong products) was clogging my pores and making my skin produce more oil. I didn't naturally have "oily" skin. Atolla gave me the information I needed to make an educated purchase rather than trying a brand that a person online said worked for them. Since everyone's skin is different, it's difficult to make a generic recommendation on how to fix winter skin. But that is what Atolla stands for: that skin is more complex than the 4 types and 2 different solutions that are out there.

Atolla taught me to put trust in my serum. That serums are not only for certain types of skin, but the right serum with the right ingredients (custom just for you) can fix whatever complicated skin issue you have going on. And for me, it felt pretty complicated.

My serum prevents moisture leaving my skin in the first place. Keeping as much moisture as possible in the harsh winter is crucial. And finally, after some time, I can tell you my skin is doing better! It's a work in process; there's no magical solution out there that will fix anything and everything in a day. But I feel that I finally have it under control. And now I have this skin testing kit that arrives at my door every month I can turn to for answers.

- Ayten H. (New York, NY)

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