Skin Types: What Are They—and How Do I Know Which Type I Have?
You’ve likely seen beauty products advertised as being “intended for normal skin” or “great for combination skin,” but what does that mean? How do you know which type of skin you have? And do different skin types really need different products?
We’ll break it down for you.
There are four main skin types: normal, oily, dry, and combination.
Normal: Skin that is pretty well-balanced and does not tend to breakout or react to products is classified as eudermic or “normal.” People with this skin type usually have pores that are small and not easily visible, and their skin is neither shiny nor flaky. If this sounds like your skin, enjoy it! And take care of it! Keep it moisturized, and avoid products that are intended specifically for other skin types; these can disrupt the balance your skin is fortunate enough to have.
Oily: When skin produces too much sebum (a condition called seborrhea), the surface of the skin appears shiny or “oily.” Blotting the skin with a tissue or blotting sheet can help remove some of the excess oil and reduce the shiny appearance, but the issue will persist unless the underlying cause is identified and treated. Some possible causes are stress, hormonal imbalance, diet, medication, or reaction to a cosmetic product.
Dry: When skin produces too little sebum, it looks dull and can even be flaky. This is a result of a lack of moisture, so it can only be helped by adding moisture. Moisturizing products are great, but it is also important to drink plenty of water--hydration is key. And if your skin is already dry, try not to use products that cause dryness!
Combination: When certain areas of the skin are one type and other areas are another type, the overall skin type is called “combination.” For example, if your cheeks tend to be normal or on the dry side but your T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is usually oily, you have combination skin. A lot of people with combination skin tend to assume they have oily skin; however, it is important to identify combination skin so that a skincare routine can be developed to help the oily areas of skin without drying out areas that are not oily.
If you want to get more in-depth, there are three additional skin types: sensitive, acne-prone, and mature.
Sensitive: If your skin has a tendency to react to new products (it breaks out, becomes reddened and/or painful), you have sensitive skin. You have to be more careful than those with other skin types when it comes to selecting products that will come into contact with your skin. Your best bets are usually products with fewer ingredients and/or mild or no fragrance. Tip: When trying out a new product, apply a small amount to a small area of skin in a non-prominent location--that way, you can see how your skin will react to it before you put it all over your face!
Acne-Prone: Some skin frequently breaks out in pimples, blackheads, and/or whiteheads. If your skin is like this, you have acne-prone skin. This means your pores clog fairly easily, and you need to be diligent with your skincare to minimize breakouts. Keeping your skin clean is one of the most important things. Find a cleanser that works for you and use it daily. Gently exfoliate. Keep your skin moisturized. Even cleaning up your diet can help because oily, fatty foods can cause breakouts.
Now that you know what your skin type is and how you can take care of it, you’re better-equipped to achieve and maintain healthy, lovely skin!
Because no matter what type your skin is, it has the potential to be beautiful!