By now, many of you have probably already heard the discussion around skin types, either in the online beauty world, at the dermatologist’s office, or amongst skin-conscious friends and family. Today we’re here to give you a better idea of what skin types are and how you can identify yours!
It’s actually fairly simple. There are five basic categories of skin types: normal, oily, dry, combination, and sensitive skin. Just like with most things, it’s not always that clear-cut; your skin can be a mixture of categories and may even change throughout the seasons or over the course of your life. In any case, it is important to pay attention to what kind of skin you have. Once you identify your skin type, you can research how best to work with it and find what products work best for you. Here is a set of simplified guidelines to help you find your personal skin type:
Normal skin is a balanced skin type and tends to require the least amount of fuss out of the lot. That being said, it should still be taken care of with a proper skincare routine including sunscreen during the day. Sunscreen is a vital part of any skincare routine, no matter the type of skin. Normal skin often has: little to no imperfections and barely visible pores.
Oily skin can often benefit from a good cleanser and a spot treatment to dry out acne spots and problem areas. Don’t forget to always reintroduce hydration into the face in the form of an oil-free moisturizer because stripping your skin of all moisture can result in an overproduction of oil. Some common characteristics of oily skin include: enlarged pores, a shiny complexion, acne, and other blemishes.
The best thing to do as someone with combination skin is to keep a variety of products at hand to switch between depending on the type of skin-day you’re having. Using spot treatment only in problem areas can be helpful as well. Combination skin is a mixture of skin types and can often be identified by: enlarged pores, blackheads, and a shiny complexion around the t-zone.
Dry skin should be well-moisturized and hydrated using a combination of moisturizers, serums, and oils. Hot water tends to dry out the skin as well, so it is definitely something to avoid if you already suffer from dry skin. Some characteristics of this skin type are: less visible pores, a dull or rough complexion, more visible lines, and patchiness.
As someone with sensitive skin, it is best to stay away from dyes, strong fragrances, sulfates, and parabens. Even products that may seem safe should be carefully tested before application. Patch tests are a great way to ensure that your body won’t react badly to a product before applying it to the whole of your face. Sensitive skin can be identified by: redness, itching or burning, and dryness.
There is no good or bad skin types – every kind of skin is beautiful and normal. That being said, there are ways to treat the most undesired effects of your skin type if you wish to do so; while some solutions are topical, others target internal factors. It is important to understand that what works for others may not necessarily work for you, even if you seem to have a similar skin type. Speaking to a professional and doing your own research are two great ways to begin the journey of understanding and repairing your skin.
Chesak, J. (2019). The No BS Guide to discovering your real skin type. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/skin-type-test#normal-skin
Stuart, A. (2021). What's your skin type? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/whats-your-skin-type