When talking about skincare it’s very important to know your skins type. Knowing your skin type is important for determining which products will work for you, and knowing which products to avoid. Products are designed based on six different skin types.

These types include: Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination, Acne Prone, and Sensitive.

Skin types are usually not limited to only one type. In most cases you’ll see a combination of skin types.

Possible skin combinations:

  • Normal + Acne Prone
  • Normal + Sensitive
  • Dry + Acne Prone
  • Dry + Sensitive
  • Oily + Acne Prone
  • Oily + Sensitive
  • Combination + Acne Prone
  • Combination + Sensitive

Skin types can vary depending on factors such as:

  • Hormones
  • Genetics
  • Medications
  • Water Content
  • Oil Content
  • Sun Exposure
  • Stress
  • Environmental Conditions (Climate & Pollution)
  • Smoking & Secondhand Smoke

Identifying Skin Type

Normal

When trying to decide if you have normal skin it’s important to know that just because you have a little oil on your nose it doesn’t mean your skin is oily. Normal skin types can still be dry or oily in certain areas. When it comes down to determining if you have normal skin you need to look at a few things: you don’t consistently have oiliness or dryness, your pores don’t stand out (not enlarged), your skin doesn’t feel dry, or oily at the end of the day – these are all signs that point to a normal skin type. However it’s also important to note that all skin types can have breakouts, so just because you have normal skin it doesn’t mean you’ll never have a breakout. In fact, nearly 85% of all people have acne at some point in their life.

Signs of Normal Skin Type:

  • Little or no signs of imperfections
  • No primary skin concerns
  • Not too dry or oily
  • Not prone to breakouts
  • No sensitivity

Dry

The reason your skin becomes dry is because your skin loses it’s ability to maintain normal moisture levels. Skin dryness is usually associated with exposure to dry air, excessive sun exposure, prolonged contact with hot water and scrubbing with soap (both strip oils from the skin). It’s important to avoid irritating and over drying ingredients. To properly take care of dry skin it’s important to use barrier-repairing ingredients that help the skin retain moisture. Sunscreen is very important tool in fighting dry skin. One of the most pervasive beauty myths is that drinking water will help hydrate the skin – there is actually no current scientific evidence that can support this claim.

Signs of Dry Skin Type:

  • Dull complexion
  • Rough and flaky areas
  • Less elasticity

Oily

One of the most common misconceptions about oily skin is that it requires a cleanser that will completely clean all of the oil off of the skin. This is not the case: oily skin is usually a sign of dehydrated skin. When your skin is dehydrated it naturally produces more oil to try and hydrate the skin. When you constantly use over drying cleansers you’re essentially stripping the skin of it’s oil, forcing it to over compensate by producing more oil. When you have oily skin it’s important to make sure your skin is moisturized, this will prevent your skin from over producing oil, which will lead to a less oily complexion.

Signs of Oily Skin Type:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Dull or shiny complexion
  • Possibly prone to Comedogenic breakouts.
  • Frequent acne breakouts

Combination

Combination skin is actually very common in most people because the center of your face naturally has more oil glands, this means you’re more likely to have clogged pores in the T-Zone. It’s also very likely that some areas of your face (under the eyes, and around the nose) are more sensitive. Combination skin can be very tricky when trying to properly take care of it. In most cases it requires two different routines based on which parts of the skin are more oily and which parts are more dry.

Signs of Combination Skin Type:

  • Dull or shiny areas
  • Dehydrated areas
  • Shiny areas
  • Possibly prone to Comedogenic breakouts

Sensitive

Sensitive skin is a common term used by patients and clinicians, as well as the cosmetic industry, and are usually a challenge faced by dermatologists and other skin care professionals. It’s common to suffer from severe facial irritation, burning, and/or stinging after application of cosmetic products and toiletries such as sunscreens and soaps. When you have sensitive skin it’s important to avoid products that contain ingredients such as: abrasives (microbeads, walnut shells), irritants (fragrances, menthol, alcohol), extremely hot or cold water, bar soaps or cleansers, physical exfoliators (harsh wash cloths, loofahs, scrub mitts). It’s very important the sensitive skin is treated with gentle and fragrance free products.

Signs of Sensitive Skin Type:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Dry / Dehydrated
  • Cannot tolerate certain ingredients