Skin Types 101

Friday, April 20, 2012
Knowing your skin type helps you determine what kind of products you need for skin care and also cosmetics. Your skin type dictates which skin care products to buy will help you maintain or achieve clearer skin or an improved complexion. Skin type also plays a very important role when it comes to foundation or other "face makeup" since there are so many different kinds which can either make or break your appearance.

Skin types can also change with the seasons so keep in mind that your Winter skin care routine may not work for your skin in Summer, and if this is the case you will need to be able to spot the differences and adjust your routine accordingly to prevent unsavory skin.

There are 5 main skin types: normal, dry, oily, combination, or sensitive, although it is possible to have sensitive normal, dry, oily, or combination skin. 

How do I determine my skin type?

  • People with normal skin tend to have an even complexion (lucky!) with small pores, a surface that isn't too oily or too dry, and few breakouts. People with normal skin are lucky enough to have the least problematic skin (therefore the least intensive skin care) and with it being so supple it ages well too. 
  • People with dry skin tend to have a somewhat ruddy complexion with pores that are barely visible, has flaky areas (such as the cheeks, chin, or around the nose), and a dull appearance. Dry skin is more prone to wrinkles than other skin types and may cause some irritation. This skin type needs special attention when it comes to moisturization in order to replenish the skin.
  • People with oily skin tend to have a sheen to their face with prominent pores, and frequent acne or blemishes. Oily skin also becomes shiny much faster than the other skin types and requires special attention with mattifying products if you want to keep the shine away. Contrary to what you would think, oily skin requires gentle and careful cleansing since harsher products will stimulate the skin to produce more oil. 
  • People with combination skin tend to have an oily T-zone (forehead and nose to chin) with possibly dry patches, more noticeable pores and breakouts on the T-zone. Since combination skin has a mixture of skin types, skin care can be a bit tedious since the oily parts need gentle cleansing and the dry parts (if you have them) need moisturizing products. 
  • People with sensitive skin can have a blotchy complexion with delicate skin, dryness, and the tendency to react with products or become easily irritated. Sensitive skin is the most problematic and needs very a very specific skin care routine with products that won't irritate or inflame the skin.  


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