shutterstock_1723848115_2jo0GfW..jpeg (shutterstock_1723848115.webp)Have you ever been curious about your skin type? Skin types can be pretty vague and broad. Most of the time you see skin care companies simplify them to make it easy for their customers to purchase what they need. However, the skin type system is quite complex and if used correctly can give a more accurate analysis. There are five main skin type classifications:

  1.  Normal Skin
  2. Normal-Combination Skin
  3. Dry/Dehydrated Skin
  4. Oily/Problem Skin
  5.  Sensitive Skin

It is important to note that skin analysis and conditions are continuously changing and these five types may change as the field progresses. It is also important to point out that your skin can change throughout your life due to hormonal changes, seasonal factors, diet, age, environmental factors and other distresses. Diet and health history are vital when determining a specific skin type.

Normal Skin

Just like it sounds, a normal skin type appears to be in perfect health to the naked eye. Though it sounds common, very few people have this skin type. With normal skin the skin looks plump, soft, smooth, and even in tone. The pores appear even and not stand out significantly. This skin type functions well and has no excess oil or dryness. Normal skin does not need any specific correction or treatments to maintain its good condition. For normal skin, the goal is to maintain, prevent and correct the aging process. The skin should be protected from environmental factors by wearing sunscreen daily. Skin should be cleansed twice a day with a mild/gentle cleanser and always a clean face before bed!

Normal-Combination Skin

This skin type is partially oily and/or partially dehydrated. Oftentimes, the forehead and central part of the face (known as the T-zone) are oily. It generally shows larger and more prominent pores. The cheeks and outer portion of the face can appear dry and sometimes can be flaky. Combination skin types are sometimes challenging to treat but most product lines are advanced enough to correct them. One approach is to address the T-zone with an oily skin mask twice a week to keep it under control. After treatment to the T-zone a moisturizer is recommended. Creams labeled for Normal-Combination skin are higher in water content, contain limited oil and work well for the skin without adding extra oil to the T-zone.

Dry/Dehydrated Skin

Dry or dehydrated skin can be pretty tricky to determine. Assessing dry skin versus dehydrated skin requires several considerations. Roughly ninety percent of this skin type is really just dehydrated skin. Several circumstances such as products, medications, lack of water and environmental factors can all lead to dry skin. Dry/dehydrated skin can be just temporary and be corrected depending on the cause. Genuine dry skin lacks oil. The lipid barrier holds oil and if the barrier is compromised this can dry the skin.

Oily/problem Skin

Oily skin is often easy to characterize as it shows excess sebum or oil production. Often this skin type shows enlarged pores and can show blackheads. Oily skin is more susceptible to acne and breakouts. Most people with an oily skin type will always have oily skin. The good news is that oily skin tends to show less fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment for oily skin is to balance oil production. This skin type requires frequent cleaning but should never be over corrected.Excessive treatment can worsen the problem because the skin can overcompensate producing more oil. Gentle cleansing, light exfoliation and a moisturizer for this skin type can help balance the secretions.

Sensitive Skin

Skin types are normally classified as oily, dry or normal however in recent years sensitive skin has become a new skin type. Due to skin care technology and more advanced studies sensitive skin has been a growing concern. Sensitive skin is a condition that can be on any skin type but certain circumstances can make some people more susceptible. This skin type flushes easily, may feel uncomfortable and even painful. This skin type can be quickly aggravated by several things such as topicals and environmental conditions. Today most skin care lines have special systems for this skin type with reduced sensitivity factors.

In summary, knowing the different skin types can help you determine your own skin. Every skin type has unique needs. Choosing products for your skin type can help address and correct skin concerns. Remember, skin types can change and it is important to re-evaluate your skin as you notice changes.

Danyelle Schultz
Esthetician, Laser Practitioner
Peach Dermatology