What Is Your Skin Type?
What’s the difference? Your type depends on things such as:
- How much water is in your skin, which affects its comfort and elasticity
- How oily it is, which affects its softness
- How sensitive it is
Normal Skin Type
Not too dry and not too oily, normal skin has:
- No or few imperfections or blemishes
- No severe sensitivity
- Barely visible pores
- A radiant complexion
- fine pores
- good blood circulation
- a velvety, soft and smooth texture
- a fresh, rosy colour uniform transparency
As a person with normal skin ages, their skin can become dryer.
Combination Skin Type
Your skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Many people have this type. It may need slightly different care in different areas. The so-called T-zone can differ substantially – from a very slim zone to an extended area.
Combination skin can have:
- Pores that look larger than normal, because they’re more open
- Shiny skin
- an oily T-zone (forehead, chin and nose)
- enlarged pores in this area perhaps with some impurities
- normal to dry cheeks
The oilier parts of combination skin are caused by an over production of sebum. The drier parts of combination skin are caused by a lack of sebum and a corresponding lipid deficiency.
Dry’ is used to describe a skin type that produces less sebum than normal skin. As a result of the lack of sebum, dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to retain moisture and build a protective shield against external influences. This leads to an impaired barrier function. Dry skin (Xerosis) exists in varying degrees of severity and in different forms that are not always clearly distinguishable.
Significantly more women suffer from dry skin than men and all skin gets dryer as it ages. Problems related to dry skin are a common complaint and account for 40% of visits to dermatologists.
You may have:
- Perspiration: active water loss from the glands caused by heat, stress and activity.
- Trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL): the natural, passive way in which skin diffuses about half a litre of water a day from the deeper skin layers.
- Almost invisible pores
- Dull, rough complexion
- Red patches
- Your skin is less elastic
- More visible lines
Your skin can crack, peel, or become itchy, irritated, or inflamed. If it’s very dry, it can become rough and scaly, especially on the backs of your hands, arms, and legs.
Dry skin may be caused or made worse by:
- Your genes
- Aging or hormonal changes
- Weather such as wind, sun, or cold
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds
- Indoor heating
- Long, hot baths and showers
- Ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, or cleansers
Use these tips to help your dry skin:
- Take shorter showers and baths, no more than once daily.
- Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid deodorant soaps.
- Don’t scrub while bathing or drying.
- Smooth on a rich moisturizer right after bathing. Ointments and creams may work better than lotions for dry skin but are often messier. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
- Use a humidifier, and don’t let indoor temperatures get too hot.
- Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents, or household detergents.
Oily Skin Type
‘Oily’ is used to describe a skin type with heightened sebum production. An over production is known as seborrhea.
You may have:
- Dull or glossy shiny, thick complexion
- Blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes
- Enlarged, clearly visible pores
- thicker, pale skin: blood vessels may not be visible
- Puberty or other hormonal imbalances
- Heat or too much humidity
To take care of oily skin:
- Wash it no more than twice a day and after you sweat a lot.
- Use a gentle cleanser and don’t scrub.
- Don’t pick, pop, or squeeze pimples. They’ll take longer to heal.
- Look for the word “noncomedogenic” on skin care products and cosmetics. This means it won’t clog pores.
Oily skin is prone to comedones (blackheads and whiteheads) and to the varying forms of acne.
With mild acne, a significant number of comedones appear on the face and frequently on the neck, shoulders, back and chest too.
In moderate and severe cases, papules (small bumps with no visible white or black head) and pustules (medium sized bumps with a noticeable white or yellow dot at the centre) appear and the skin becomes red and inflamed.
It can show up as:
If your skin is sensitive, try to find out what your triggers are so you can avoid them. There are many possible reasons, but often it’s in response to particular skin care products.
Unlike skin type, skin condition can vary greatly during the course of your life. The many internal and external factors that determine its condition include: climate and pollution, medication, stress, hereditary factors that influence the levels of sebum, sweat and natural moisturising factors that your skin produces as well as the products that you use and the skincare choices that you make.
Skincare products should be selected to match skin type and address skin condition.