Understanding Skin Types

What’s Your Skin Type?

You’ve heard the buzz about normal, oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin types. But which one do you have?

It can change over time. For example, younger people are more likely than older folks to have a normal skin type.

What’s the difference? Your type depends on things such as:

  • How much water is in your skin, which affects its comfort and elasticity
  • How oily it is, which affects its softness
  • How sensitive it is
 
 
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Normal Skin Type

Not too dry and not too oily, normal skin has:

  • No or few imperfections
  • No severe sensitivity
  • Barely visible pores
  • A radiant complexion
 
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Combination Skin Type

Your skin can be dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone (nose, forehead, and chin). Many people have this type. It may need slightly different care in different areas.

Combination skin can have:

  • Pores that look larger than normal, because they’re more open
  • Blackheads
  • Shiny skin
 
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Dry Skin

You may have:

  • Almost invisible pores
  • Dull, rough complexion
  • Red patches
  • Your skin is less elastic
  • More visible lines

Your skin can crack, peel, or become itchy, irritated, or inflamed. If it’s very dry, it can become rough and scaly, especially on the backs of your hands, arms, and legs.

Dry skin may be caused or made worse by:

  • Your genes
  • Aging or hormonal changes
  • Weather such as wind, sun, or cold
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds
  • Indoor heating
  • Long, hot baths and showers
  • Ingredients in soaps, cosmetics, or cleansers
  • Medications

Use these tips to help your dry skin:

  1. Take shorter showers and baths, no more than once daily.
  2. Use mild, gentle soaps or cleansers. Avoid deodorant soaps.
  3. Don't scrub while bathing or drying.
  4. Smooth on a rich moisturizer right after bathing. Ointments and creams may work better than lotions for dry skin but are often messier. Reapply as needed throughout the day.
  5. Use a humidifier, and don't let indoor temperatures get too hot.
  6. Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, solvents, or household detergents.
 
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Sensative Skin Type

It is the most problematic and fragile type of skin, which needs a very special type of care.

You may have:

  • reddish and scaly areas
  • itchy and tingly
  • very dry, tends to feel tight
  • becomes inflamed and irritated easily
  • prone to breaking into spots

 

 
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Oily Skin Type

You may have:

  • Enlarged pores
  • Dull or shiny, thick complexion
  • Blackheads, pimples, or other blemishes