Characteristics of Skin Types

Characteristics of Skin Types Jan 18, 2022 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team

Wondering what your skin type is? Each type of skin has its own characteristics and requires different care. Based on these characteristics, there are five types of skin: normal, dry, oily, combination, and sensitive. Here are the characteristics of each skin type...  

Normal Skin

  • Normal skin is used to describe well-balanced skin. This type of skin is neither too oily nor too dry, which means it has a healthy balance of both water and oil. When skincare companies advertise to “normal skin” individuals, they’re primarily targeting people with few to no acne blemishes, no sensitivity, minimal pores, and balanced hydration levels. If this doesn’t sound like your skin, you might want to stay away from “normal skin” products because they could be aggregating your skin even more. 

Dry Skin

  • Dry skin is used to describe a skin type that is dull and can be rough and flakey. This type of skin often feels tight and is prone to showing fine lines. The skin feels dry because it produces less sebum than normal skin. With less sebum, the dry skin lacks the lipids that it needs to lock in moisture and to build a strong outer layer of skin. The skin primarily loses moisture in two ways — perspiration and trans-epidermal water loss. 

Oily Skin

  • Oily skin is used to describe a skin type with lots of sebum production, which makes the skin look and feel shiny and greasy. Oily skin tends to show more in the T-zone near the forehead, nose, and chin. Those with oily skin are more likely to have bigger pores and more acne blemishes. 

Combination Skin

  •  Combination skin is used to describe a skin that has a mix of skin types. Combination skin may have areas of both dry and oily patches. It’s common for the combination skin to differ between the T-zone and the cheeks.

Sensitive Skin

  • While sensitive skin can stand alone, it can also be paired with the other skin types — like sensitive and oily skin or sensitive and dry skin. This type of skin typically feels like it’s itchy, dry, and burning. This is mostly due to the skin being more vulnerable to external irritants such as ingredients and environmental factors. If your skin is sensitive and has frequent flareups, it’s helpful to note which factors cause your sensitivity and try to avoid them as much as possible. 

How to Determine Your Skin Type

To determine your skin type, you can easily observe your skin at home. After washing your face with a gentle cleanser and allowing it to dry for 30 minutes, how does your skin look and feel? If your skin is tight and flakey, you have dry skin. If your skin appears shiny, you have oily skin. Be sure to note in what areas your skin is dry or oily as you could have combination skin. If your skin feels soft and hydrated, you most likely have normal skin.    Another method of determining your skin type is using blotting sheets. After washing your face with a gentle cleanser and allowing it to dry for 30 minutes, press blotting sheets onto your face. Hold up the sheets to the light to determine if/where oil is picked up. If the entire sheet has oil, then you have oily skin. If the sheet only had a little or no oil, then you have dry skin. If you notice oil only in the T-zone, you have combination skin. If the sheet doesn’t pick up much oil, then you probably have normal skin.   

Closing Thoughts

It’s important to know what skin type you have, so you can best care for your skin. It is necessary to note any skin type can be sensitive and experience acne. With the right products, you should be able to properly take care of and manage your skin. For help determining your skin type and choosing the right products for your skin concerns, please contact Complete Family Dermatology in Lincoln, NE at 402-423-1111!  


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