Your skin most likely falls into one of the three main categories below. In actuality, most people will cover the entire spectrum of skin types in their lifetimes. Skin changes because of changes in lifestyle, climate, stress, hormones, aging—basically, life!
While the thought of micromanaging your routine through these changes may sound daunting, you may only need a couple of minor adjustments to your routine to keep up with your skin’s changes and get it back on track.
But first, a very important question: What skin type do you have? The following are the 5 most common skin types.
What Are The Five Basic Skin Types?
1. Normal Skin
Normal skin is neither too dry nor too oily and has an even tone. It is resilient to environmental changes, such as temperature and humidity, therefore making your skin comfortable throughout the day. This type of skin doesn’t have visible pores or blemishes. However, if you don’t take care of this type of skin properly, you may experience breakouts and other issues.
2. Sensitive Skin
With sensitive skin, you are more susceptible to changes in the environment. This type of skin tends to be dryer than normal skin and has a thinner epidermis. It is prone to redness, irritation, rashes, or hives due to its lack of resilience when facing environmental factors like pollution or temperature fluctuations.
3. Dry Skin
Your skin is dry if it feels tight after washing your face or taking a shower. Additionally, the upper layers of the epidermis are filled with dead cells that make your complexion appear dull and flaky. Dryness can also cause red spots on your cheeks, making this type of skin prone to infections because it is more fragile.
4. Oily Skin
This skin type has more prominent pores than normal or dry skin, filled with oil and dead cells that accumulate in them. This type of skin gives off a shiny look no matter the temperature outside because its sebaceous glands produce more fluid than necessary for hydration balance. To counteract this type of skin, you should look for a powerful exfoliator and avoid applying heavy creams.
5. Combination Skin
This type is characterized by having both dry and oily spots on the face. One part of your complexion doesn’t receive enough hydration while another gets too much oil. This causes blackheads to form faster than with other skin types.
How To Identify Your Skin Type?
You can identify your skin type by checking out these characteristics:
- Comfortable and moist to the touch.
- It doesn’t have visible pores or blemishes, but it may experience breakouts from time to time.
- Soft with a thin epidermis which makes you more susceptible to changes in the environment.
- It is dry and tends to have red spots on your cheeks.
- It feels tight after you’ve washed your face or taken a shower, which causes flaky skin that can lead to infections if not treated properly.
- Has larger pores than normal skin.
- Produces more oil and dead cells that lead to blackheads forming faster than other skin types.
- Can have dry or oily spots across your face at different times, which causes breakouts on some parts while others remain normal.
- This kind of skin tends to get red spots on the face more easily than other skin types because of its irregular pigmentation, making it difficult to recover after being exposed to the sun.
How To Care For Your Skin Type?
It is not enough to know your skin type: You also need to understand its primary needs. In the following sections, we’ll give you the details so you can build a skincare routine that works for you.
For normal skin, it is best to follow the basics every type of skin needs, such as a gentle, effective cleanser, a non-irritating AHA or BHA exfoliant, and a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater, and a moisturizer with skin-restoring and skin-soothing ingredients.
Adding an antioxidant serum to your skincare routine can also benefit your skin since even normal skin needs a robust amount of antioxidants to stay healthy.
If your normal skin type tends to be slightly or occasionally dry, try creamier, richer-textured skin recovery products; if it tends to be oily or combination, try lighter-weight, more fluid skin balancing products.
It can feel like everything is irritating when you have sensitive skin. However, you may see significant improvements with a few lifestyle changes.
The following tips can help anyone with sensitive skin:
- Take short showers of 5 to 10 minutes with warm water – not hot
- Do not use harsh astringents or exfoliants
- Make sure the soap you use is gentle and fragrance-free
- Instead of perfumes, use essential oils
- Launder with a gentle, fragrance-free detergent
- Consider using organic cleaning products
- Shave with a cream or gel every time
- After showering, pat yourself dry (instead of rubbing) and apply moisturizer as soon as possible
- Try new products on a discreet area of skin at least one day before applying them to the whole body
Dry skin can be treated by returning moisture to the affected areas. Two to three times a day, apply a moisturizing cream or ointment to your skin to help restore moisture. For sensitive skin, use a fragrance-free moisturizer.
Your skincare routine should focus on retaining moisture if you have dry skin.
Choose a cleanser that is gentle and soap-free so that healthy oils won’t be washed away. Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser is designed for even the most delicate skin.
- Face. Your skin can be protected all day long with a gentle, fragrance-free cream moisturizer. It may be a good idea to use Cetaphil’s Daily Hydrating Lotion. Hydraulic acid is a powerful moisturizing agent.
- Body. Choose an oil that won’t irritate your skin. It is particularly soothing to use shea butter.
- Hands. In the winter, your hands are especially vulnerable to dry air. A powerful moisturizer like Aveeno’s Intense Relief Hand Cream For Dry Hands or O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream will keep them soft and smooth.
Regular washing can reduce the amount of oil on the skin. To wash oily skin, follow these steps:
- Gently wash with warm water and soap.
- Choosing soaps with fragrances, added moisturizers, or harsh chemicals can irritate or dry out the skin, causing it to produce more oil.
- It is best to avoid loofahs and rough washcloths as they may stimulate oil production on the skin.
Some medicated acne care products may be helpful if this does not work. Acids found in these products can help treat oily skin, such as:
- salicylic acid
- glycolic acid
- beta-hydroxy acid
- benzoyl peroxide
Some skin types may be sensitive to these acids. Test a new product on a small area of skin first to see how it reacts.
Committing to a daily and nightly skin care regimen is essential for tackling combination skin. To get your skin used to the regimen, use the same products 1-2 times a day for at least a month.
- Use a cleanser once or twice a day to clean your face.
- You should exfoliate sparingly, sometimes only once a week.
- Use a moisturizer twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
You will need to treat two types of skin with this skin type. The dry areas of your face should be moisturized, and the oily areas should be reduced. Usually, the oiliest area of your face is your T-zone (your forehead, nose, above your mouth, and chin). Based on your skin type, you will need to treat specific areas of your face rather than the entire face with one product.