What is your skin type? Knowing the answer to that is the first step to knowing how to effectively care for your skin. However, this can be difficult to determine, as there are numerous factors at play.
Genetics definitely play a role, but that is just one part of the equation. Things like diet, lifestyle, hormones, and state of health also affect our appearance – often, in quite a big way. Then, of course, there are environmental factors like sun exposure, pollution, and passive smoke.
Nevertheless, in the beauty industry, skin types are typically divided into 5 groups:
5 DIFFERENT TYPES OF SKIN
- Normal skin: Skin that looks and feels healthy is considered “normal” skin. Proper circulation is evident in its color, and it is generally supple, plump, and moist. Because sebum is secreted by the sebaceous glands moderately, this type of skin is well balanced, as opposed to being too dry or oily. Normal skin, which is the least problematic of all types, is often described as having a healthy radiant glow.
- Dry skin: This type of skin is dull and dry because the sebaceous glands are underactive or do not produce sebum at all. It is characterized by flakiness and rough patches generally, and people normally find that is tight, itchy, and easily irritated. Dry skin is prone to premature wrinkling and tends to sensitive to temperature and humidity. Hydration and moisturizing are important for chronic dry skin.
- Oily skin: When the sebaceous glands are overactive, too much sebum is secreted. This makes skin look oily and shiny. Texture wise, this type of skin is greasy, yet it is coarse as a result of large clogged up pores. Oily skin is prone to acne, blackheads, and spot breakouts. Often, flaky patches can be seen in areas where the oil has dried. Though problematic, this skin type is not susceptible to wrinkles and aging.
- Sensitive skin: Not so much a type as it is a condition, sensitive skin refers to skin that is very easily irritated. It can be normal, dry, or oily. This skin type is prone to burning, itching, stinging, and chaffing. Redness, rashes, and allergic reactions (to certain cosmetics especially) are common. Blotchiness is often also a feature, and broken tiny blood vessels can sometimes be seen depending on skin tone.
- Combination skin: The most common skin type of the five, combination skin is called that because it can be oily in some areas and dry in others. Some areas can even be sensitive or normal. Usually, though, the forehead, nose, and chin are the greasy spots, while the skin in the eye and mouth area is dry. In fact, combination skinned people are said to have “T-Zone” faces because of this. Cheeks can be dry or oily.
WHAT SKIN TYPE ARE YOU?
Here’s a quick test:
1. How does your skin feel after you’ve cleansed?
(a) Rough & tight
(b) Supple & smooth
(c) A little oily
(d) Oily in some areas
2. How often do you experience breakouts?
(a) Hardly ever
(d) In the T-Zone only
3. How would you describe the texture of your skin?
(a) Transparent & smooth
(b) Even & firm
(c) Uneven & a little rough
(d) A combination of the above
4. During the day, how does your skin look?
(a) Flaky & chapped
(b) Clean & refreshed
(d) Shiny in the T-Zone by early afternoon
Now add up your a’s, b’s, c’s, or d’s. Mostly a’s means that you have dry skin. Mostly b’s gives you normal skin. Mostly c’s is oily skin. If you got d’s, it’s combination skin. Bear in mind that most of us have combination skin.
YOUR TURN: Did you find this post useful? How has knowing your skin type helped you achieve healthier, better-looking skin? Let us know in the comments.