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Understanding Your Skin Type

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Over time, there have been several tests used to determine the different types of skin. One such instance is Fitzpatrick’s classification which was first expressed in 1975. This classification based its explanation on the different skin types on skin color and the way they responded when exposed to the sun. This classification was further used to work out the proper type of protection against sun damage to the skin and also foretell the risk of skin cancer.

However, looking at skin types from the beauty perspective, skin is categorized in terms of balance relating to sebaceous secretion, hydration, and sensitivity level. Per this analysis, each skin is identified as unique, having different characteristics, and would require different attention. A person’s skin type is founded on their DNA information.

In other words, genetics has a lot to play where a person’s skin type is concerned. However, in the long run, a person’s skin type can be changed by internal and external factors. There are five types of skin; normal skin, dry skin, oily skin, a combination of oily and dry skin, and sensitive skin. These skin types are explained in detail below.

Normal Skin

To determine a skin type, one has to look at the sebaceous secretion, which depends on how much oil a person has in her/her skin. It also provides insight into how it affects the skin’s texture. A second thing to look for is the hydration content. Hydration content means how much water a person has in their skin. It affects the skin’s elasticity.

Lastly, one needs to consider the sensitivity level of the skin. This consideration involves observing how tolerant a person’s skin is to certain substances and ingredients in skin products. Suppose you observe the following about your skin. In that case, it means that you have normal skin: no extreme sensitivity, regular texture, pores are barely visible, skin is neither dry nor oily, and it is easy to maintain.

Overall, this skin has a lustrous and smooth complexion. If these characteristics match your observations, you have normal skin. Another term for normal skin is balanced skin. The explanation for this conclusion is that this type of skin has a proportionate amount of water and oils, creating the perfect balance for the skin.

That does not mean that there won’t be days this type of skin may not be drier or oilier than other days.The catch is that should you get a skin blemish, it is not difficult to solve it. That also means you can try out as many make-up and skin products as you want without excessive reactions or damage to your skin.

Dry Skin

The skin cell is made up of almost 70% water. The water content in the skin determines how flexible the skin is. Thus, dryness happens when the sebaceous glands on the skin do not produce enough oil to keep the water in. Thus, people with dry skin have this type of skin because their skin lacks oil.

This oil loss can be caused by several external factors, such as the weather, low air humidity, immersion in hot water, ingredients in some skin products, medications, etc. Usually, these factors are temporary. However, it may be a lifelong condition for others because their genes and hormonal changes contributed to it.

Dry skin is also known as dehydrated skin. It comes in different ranges. It varies from slightly dry to very dry. Dry skin is characterized by flakiness, a feeling of tightness, and roughness. Sometimes, it is easy to have a powdery look, see redness, feel itchy and even have cracks. Cracked skin is common in those who have dry skin, which in some cases may lead to bleeding.

The ability of dry skin to develop cracks makes the skin vulnerable to bacteria, which is usually not serious. However, it can also cause eczema or make the skin likely to develop more infections if it is not properly cared for. Thus, a common occurrence for those with dry skin is that whenever they use foaming face washes or exfoliating serums, it causes irritability.

To help manage the dilemma of having dry skin, you need to take shorter showers and baths. That should happen not more than once daily. To avoid irritability, use mild, gentle soaps and cleansers. You should ensure your possible best to stay away from deodorant soaps as their ingredients can be hostile toward your skin.

Also, make sure not to rub on yourself too hard when bathing or drying yourself. Make sure to apply a rich moisturizer with oil-based products immediately after bathing, especially products containing zinc oxide, mineral oil, glycerin, beeswax, olive oil, coconut oil, lanolin, cocoa butter, and synthetic compounds like butyl stearate and glycol laureate.

Avoid skin products that dry out the skin, especially those containing alcohol or witch hazel. Preferably, you should opt for creams and ointments rather than lotion if you don’t mind their messy nature. And whenever needed during the day, reapply. You should never visibly have flaky skin during your day. Do well to put on gloves when using detergents, solvents, or cleaning agents.

Use a humidifier whenever you can while ensuring never to let indoor temperatures get too heated and dry. Use sunscreen on sunny days and a cream barrier on cold and windy days. Lastly, ensure not to sit in an air-conditioning environment for a long time.

Oily Skin

Anyone who has oily skin has a shiny, porous, and humid image. This condition is due to the overactivity of the sebaceous gland leading to excessive oil production on the face. When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, it inevitably leads to oily skin. This overactivity of the sebum (oil) on the face leads to facial issues like acne, blackheads, and blemishes.

Some distinct features of oily skin are the presence of enlarged pores and shiny skin, or you may notice acne, blackness, and blemishes on this type of skin. This type of skin is usually common in adolescents and people under 30. Oily skin is usually a result of genetics and hormones. However, some factors that can worsen this condition include diet, stress, exposure to too much heat, and not being gentle with your skin.

To effectively maintain this skin, you should wash your skin twice daily, especially after having a sweaty day. Use a mild cleanser suited for oily skin, and be gentle with your skin as much as possible. Roughly rubbing your skin will only cause the oil glands to produce more oil. Also, do not pop the pimples that appear on your skin.

Oily skin makes it difficult for the altercation on your skin to heal early. It is also likely to scar your skin or damage it. Again, use non-comedogenic skincare products. These products do not clog pores, which reduces the chances of blackheads or acne. Lastly, use cosmetic products designed for oily skin, especially those containing salicylic acid and glycolic acid, to deal with acne problems.

For instance, choose a water-based matte foundation when choosing your foundation, as it is better suited for oily skin


Combination Skin

The combination skin type is interesting. It features the characteristics of both dry and oily skin and sometimes normal skin. One distinct feature of combination skin is the T-zone. This “zone” is identified as oily areas and can be found on the nose, forehead, and chin. These areas form the letter “T,” hence the name T-zone.

With this type of skin, it is observed that the most active oil-producing glands are found on the nose, then closely followed by the chin and forehead. Usually, the skin on the cheeks is either normal or dry. Combination skin is often characterized by large pores on the face, shiny skin, blackheads, or blemishes in the oily areas.

A lot of people have this skin type. A good way to care for this skin is to try out different skincare routines since the different skin types on your face have different needs. Combination skin may be a result of genetics. However, harsh ingredients affecting your skin that disturb your skin’s natural balance could cause your skin type to be that of combination skin.

You must mix up your skincare products to effectively care for combination skin. Thus, use non-comedogenic products or water-based products for your T-zone. On the other hand, use oil-infused products for the rest of your face. Make sure to always use a gentle cleanser for your face. Always hydrate and make exfoliation a major routine in your skincare practice.

Also, use a toner to shrink the large pores, hydrate the skin and maintain the pH balance of your skin. Make sure to use an alcohol-free gentle toner. Lastly, this skin demands a constant change in routine. Combination skin is known to act with the slightest change in the weather. On sunny days, this type of skin gets oily and therefore needs lighter, water-based products to thrive.

However, on cold winter days, the skin needs to be moisturized with non-comedogenic products, so it does not get dry.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin is so called because of the sensitive nature of the skin. The sensitive nature is a result of nerve endings under the skin. This skin reacts to stimuli a normal skin would not be affected by. This skin type is so fragile and has lost the skin’s protective barrier, making it vulnerable to microorganisms and irritants that enter and cause irritations or allergies.

It may also be known as irritated skin. Thus, sensitive skin reacts easily to any stimulus, from weather conditions like sunny days, certain skincare products, or even eating spicy food. Because of the over-sensitive nature of the skin, it is easy to notice a patch of redness on the skin when reacting to a particular ingredient or product.

This situation is usually followed by uncomfortable feelings such as heat, tightness, redness, or itching that sometimes lead to painful and stubborn irritations. Therefore, a major caution to those with this type of skin is to find out what reacts with their skin, especially concerning cosmetics products or ingredients, so they avoid those entirely.

As a result of its delicate nature, this skin type needs more attention and care to function. When caring for sensitive skin, one non-negotiable tip is to visit a dermatologist to help you pick out the right products suited for your skin and to also help maintain your skin’s pH balance. Also, never forget to moisturize but ensure that the moisturizers are lightweight.

Avoid products with harsh ingredients, dyes, and parabens, as they may irritate your skin. Again, take vitamin supplements to strengthen your skin against irritants. Adopt a day and night routine for your skin to thrive. Always remember that sunscreen is your friend! Sensitive skin is usually affected by the sun’s UV rays, so it blocks your skin’s exposure to be irritated by the sun’s rays.

Do well to pick a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above. If you go for an SPF below 30, it will not be as effective. Lastly, if you are unsure about a product, do a patch test on your skin. To do a patch test, apply a little of the product on the inside of your arm. Then, observe how your skin reacts to it during the day.

If you do not develop a reaction from using the product at the end of the day, you know it is safe to use it. If you develop a reaction, you should stay away from that product. 


To end here, knowing your skin type is one of the most important things to know before you develop a skincare routine. That way, you know you are on a routine suited to your skin type. Also, it guides your decision when picking out make-up products without damaging your skin in the long run.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Let me know what you think about it. Also, do not forget to send this article to all your friends and loved ones.

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